admin March 12, 2020 No Comments

What does Financial Independence Mean to You?

What do you think of when you hear the phrase financial independence?

Do you think of being able to afford to move out of your parents’ house and pay for your own things? Do you think of living in your dream house, going on great vacations, and doing what you want – when you want. Or, do you think of not working at all, and instead spending your days on the beach sippin’ something sweet? Maybe for you the “independence” part of the phrase just means being able to find a decent home, put acceptable food on the table, have fun with your friends, and live a happy and comfortable life.

The point is that financial independence means different things to different people.


And it may mean different things to the same people at different points in their life. Sarah Newcomb, Director of Behavioral Science at Morningstar, found that people are more likely to have a satisfying life if they choose reasonable role models.

For example, the Kardashians probably are not the best role models to help you feel like you’re living a satisfying life. They have an unusual situation that most people can’t attain. If you choose to spend like the Kardashians and have 0% ability to earn the income they do, you will be miserable.

Warren Buffet on the other hand, is not a bad role model. He has lived in the same modest (depending on your definition of modest) home for decades. He has spent less than he makes and invests a lot for his future. If you follow his lead, you may not live as successful a life as he, but probably just as satisfying.

Even better would be your Aunt Sue who has a good job that pays a middle-class wage. She spends less than she makes and invests the rest for her future. She’s apt to retire at some point with an adequate nest egg to maintain her lifestyle for the rest of her life.

Aunt Sue has an emergency fund to take care of those unexpected issues that come up like someone crashing into her two-year-old car. Yes, she has insurance but they don’t pay for 100% of her replacement car. She has to make up for the difference from her emergency fund.

Her vet bill for her dog never taps her emergency fund because she plans for two emergency visits to the vet a year. Often that line item in her cash flow rolls into her opportunity fund at the end of the year because her dog has been well every year after the first year. (That first year as a puppy used up all of the money allocated for her baby.)

She has an opportunity fund that allowed her to take six months off from work to travel when she turned 30, her dream after graduating college. She came back with a little left in her opportunity fund and her emergency fund full.

Aunt Sue has lived a full life. She’s done what she dreamed of, live in a home that’s very comfortable, and was able to retire from work when she wanted to and maintain her lifestyle. Aunt Sue is a great role model for how to do life successfully and reach financial independence. Nothing fancy, but she found comfort, happiness and had little heartache and disappointments.

Looking into your future, how do you want to live your life? What does success look like? What would disappointment look like? How realistic are you? Who do you know that is living a “good life” in your opinion? What are they doing “right”? How can you apply that knowledge to your own life so YOU can live your amazing life?

Taking some time to reflect on this will set you up not only for financial independence but for a fulfilling life. And everyone here at South Bay Financial Partners want to help you live your AMAZING life!


Because life is too short to not spend it doing the things you love, and your finances should support that.

So, we’ve created a community for passionate young adults to master the intimidating world of money, simplify confusing financial decisions, and manage their expenses all while hanging out with fun, like-minded people working towards one common goal (the best goal in our opinion): living an AMAZING life.

To do this, our community, Your Amazing Financial Life, features…

  • Access to the SBFP team’s advice, guidance, and support
  • Monthly topics (with conversations, learning, and planning)
  • Monthly Q&A video calls with the team
  • Monthly wine and cheese events
  • Special access to courses, office hours, challenges, and events
  • A book club
  • Personalized ADVICE from us and STORIES from others that can’t be found anywhere else
  • And so much more!

Our mission is to provide financial advice and information to as many people as possible, at as low of a price as possible, and we’ve finally found the best place to do it. We do hope you’ll join us over there!

And even better? This month we’re talking all things financial independence (and how to reach it) in the group!

>> It’s time you start living Your Amazing Financial Life!! Come join us! https://yafl.southbayfinancialpartners.com <<


Tara Unverzagt February 8, 2019 No Comments

3 Spending Best Practices to Help You Feel Less Uncomfortable with Your Financial Situation

“How am I doing financially? Am I ok?” I hear these questions frequently. And there are other frequently asked questions. “Do I have enough money for emergencies?” “How will I pay for college for my kids?” “Can I afford to spend money for [fill in name of your dream money sink hole] now?” Whether they want to buy a new car or remodel their kitchen or they get a sinking feeling when the stock market drops, most people are uncomfortable regarding their finances. Frankly, being a little nervous about your finances is a sign that you’re paying attention which is good.

“If I buy this car now, will that impact my vacation plans?” Maybe. It’s not a simple question to answer. If you have read past articles, you’ll know that I’m a big proponent of “spend less than you make,” a concept that’s easy to understand and, oh, so difficult to execute. If you spend less than you make, you should have a stash of cash to use for things like buying a car — without needing to take out a car loan. Okay, so far?

Three concepts to consider when spending money

1. Money in the bank is for spending, right?

“If I have enough cash in the bank to pay for the car, I can afford it, right?” I used to run the numbers for people to see how reducing their net worth by $XX,XXX will impact their goals. Even that seemingly simple question may not have a simple answer. Sometimes, it’s easier to reach long term goals if you move the money for it out of your bank account and into a long-term saving account.

2. Don’t just consider THIS purchase.

Sharon and Steve like to cook. They spend all their free time in the kitchen. A big part of their budget is spent on food and pots & pans. They spend less than they make and have a budget that works for them. They asked me whether they can afford to remodel their kitchen to make it a really wonderful place to cook in. I looked at their lifestyles and how that expenditure might impact their overall objectives. The numbers said yes, they have been saving money and have no debt; they should be able to afford the new kitchen and still meet their other goals.

I also knew that, if they remodeled the kitchen, there was a good chance they’d go out for dinner and entertainment less because they’d be enjoying their new kitchen. I knew they wouldn’t be back next year asking whether they could afford to buy a fancy car or go on a luxury trip. Cooking is their passion, and the remodeled kitchen will help make their lives more enjoyable for years. Sharon and Steve aren’t spending to make themselves happy. They are already happy, and their new kitchen can help them enjoy their hobby even more.

Zach and Kimberly asked me whether they could afford to buy an expensive car. I looked at the numbers and, yes, they could afford to buy that car. It wouldn’t impact their long-term objectives much. But they always struggle to spend less than they earn. They often turned to debt to pay for things they want. Given their spending habits, they will likely be back next year wanting to take their family to Asia. The year after they will want to remodel the basement. Their list will go on and on.

The new car will make Zach and Kimberly happy right now, but they probably won’t really be satisfied or happy in the long run. They need to reflect on the “need” they are trying to satisfy and address that first. Are they just bored, looking to impress their friends, or in some other way not happy with their current car? Until they know the answers to those questions, they shouldn’t buy that expensive car.

When making any important decision about spending, you need to stop and think about your values and your long-term goals. Think about a major purchase you made five years ago. Do you even remember any? If you do, is it important today? Is there something you’d like to buy today that is more important than that was? What might you want to buy five or ten years in the future? Is that more important than what you’re thinking about buying today? Money spent today is money that you don’t have tomorrow for something that may be more important to you.

3. Money Doesn’t Buy You Happiness

Money enables you to have choices, but there’s no guarantee that it will make you happy. Much research has been done on people who received a windfall of money and spent it within a few years, buying everything they thought would make them happy. In the end none of those purchases increased their level of happiness at all, and they often ended up as poor as or poorer than they were before. (As a matter of fact, a study showed that even the neighbors of a lottery winner often ended up poorer in the long run, too!) What went wrong?

Someone recently said, “The people I know who ‘made it’ and are wealthy are the only people that know what money can’t do for you.” If you’re thinking “if I only had more money than…, I’d be” – happy, respected, secure; know that those feelings can’t be purchased by money. You have to find happiness yourself. And it could be as simple as changing the stories you tell yourself.

Your Budget Tells Your Story

Spending less than you make is the goal. If you find it difficult to achieve this consider what’s important in your life and make sure that every dollar is used to enrich your life and bring you satisfaction. We find that apps like YNAB can help you get organized, see where your money is going, and make sure you get the most out of every dollar. Take control of your spending and don’t let marketing, your friends, or your family make you feel badly about how you live your life and spend your money. Let your budget tell your story and be proud of it.

Ready to Gain Control of Your Financial Situation?

Enter our BRAND NEW Financial Coaching Program.

Our Financial Coaching Program is truly the first of its kind, and allows you affordable access to a financial planner. Most Financial Planning options are set at an incredibly high price point. Not this program. This program is affordable and is aimed at working on all things finance 101 – still alongside an experienced financial planner!

This program allows us to easily serve as your financial coaches and help steer you in the right direction. We’ll accomplish this through a series of meetings in which we establish tangible goals to work towards, and discover your emotional drivers behind all of the decisions you make. By coupling your goals and your “Why?”, we’re able to help keep you on track by channeling your core values rather than just throwing numbers at you.

Once we’ve established your goals and your “Why?” we take a deep dive into your current financial life.

Accountability and follow through are keys to the success of this program, and are why we firmly believe that, together, we will be successful in reaching your goals.

With the South Bay Financial Partners Financial Coaching Program you can expect to live a less stressful and more fulfilling life by changing the way that you manage your finances.

Interested? Schedule a call with us HERE to learn more!