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Helping Women Become Financially Confident With Jenifer Sapel

For years, women have been struggling to break free from the systems and societal expectations that keep them from reaching their potential. This is especially true when it comes to money, where women are found to still lack financial confidence. In this episode, Jenifer Sapel joins Rosie Zilinskas to talk about how women can overcome this lack so they finally get to live a financially independent life. Jenifer is the CEO and President of Utor Wealth, where she helps women become financially confident through financial planning and investment management. Tune in as she shares her expertise and insights with us. She discusses how to manage your money for your past self, your present self, and your future self and why the distinction is between creating wealth and earning wealth. Plus, Jenifer also cuts through the noise when it comes to money, giving clarity on making financial decisions. Tune in for more tips and tricks on becoming financially confident. Let Jenifer help you in this conversation.

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Helping Women Become Financially Confident With Jenifer Sapel

This conversation is going to be centered around money and our behavior. Jenifer Sapel is going to be talking to us about why women still lack that financial confidence. She has an amazing way of explaining how to manage your money for your past self, your present self, and your future self, and why the distinction is between creating wealth and earning wealth.   Jenifer is a recovering overachiever who overcompensated financially after living with a mother who struggled financially after the divorce. She started Utor Wealth after getting tired of long-winded meetings and over-emphasis on products and sales quotas. Utor is Latin for “To use, to employ, and to enjoy.” Jenifer believes that every dollar we touch and how we send it out into the world is shaping both the way we live and the way we aspire to. Every woman deserves to do it intentionally and with confidence, which is exactly how she helps her clients. Stay tuned for this awesome conversation with Jenifer.

Before we go into the episode, I wanted to remind you that there is a free quiz you can take on the NoWomanLeftBehind.com website. If you log onto the homepage and you scroll down slightly, you’re going to see a section that says, “Let’s Find Out Where You Are In Your Career.” If you click on the radio button that’s called Take the Quiz, there will be a pop-up that comes up and it says, “What’s The Key Blocker In Your Career Path?” There are three key blockers that you may be operating under and you may not even know it. If you click on Take The Quiz, it’s going to be about ten questions. It shouldn’t take you more than three minutes. You’re going to be able to get some additional resources by taking the quiz. Remember, go to NoWomanLeftBehind.com to take the free quiz.

You’re an expert in the financial world. You say that women that are typically 40 to 55 now have their stuff together, and they still lack financial confidence. Why is that, Jenifer? There are so many reasons for that, Rosie, but I’ll give you a couple. One is our culture is biased when it comes to finances. We see that in media. There was a study done in the UK that looked at media messages, specifically financial messages geared for women versus financial messages geared for men. In all of the messaging, they found that 90% of financial messages to women were about how to budget. It’s like, “Don’t spend too much, don’t splurge, don’t do this, how to cut back on lattes,” and that kind of thing, where 75% of messages to men were things like, “Make that big investment.” It was encouraging them to invest and take ownership, even buying a watch in their career, whatever the case is. We’re bombarded with external messages constantly telling us that we’re not good with money. That’s one. Two, we’re tired. I’m sure you’ve seen, and your audience can relate, that women and especially women who out-earn their spouses take more of the responsibilities and duties at home because we have this workload. We’re the only ones thinking about birthdays, summer camps, and things like that. Whether it’s a cognitive load or a physical load, we’re the ones doing more of the housework. Something has to give and a lot of times, what shifts are those big investment and financial decisions. Those get left too. I hear wildly successful and brilliant women say things to me all the time, “I’m like a ‘50s housewife when it comes to finances.” It’s super common. The last thing that I’ll say there is that the whole financial world or the financial services industry was built by men. All of its structures and the way that it’s set up don’t necessarily resonate with women. Our experience in the world, based on the last two things I’ve talked about is different than a man’s experience in the world. All of the services and the products are not set up to be interesting and enticing to us in general.
NWB 60 | Financially Confident Women
Financially Confident Women: The entire financial world was built by men. All of its structures and the way that it’s set up don’t necessarily resonate with women.
That is a mouthful there, especially the marketing. You’re right, I haven’t heard marketing that is geared toward men like, “You have to budget.” It’s more like stock market investment and look at your portfolio. We don’t talk to women like that. I heard a statistic years ago that if you have a couple and the husband passes away, the wife doesn’t have that relationship or bond with the financial planner.   I know a financial planner that every time they meet, insists that the spouse is there so that he can talk to both of them because he realizes that it’s important to build that relationship. You’re extremely knowledgeable. Tell me a little bit about how you got into financial planning and your expertise, especially around women.   It started at home for me. When I was ten, my parents got divorced. Life before the divorce was very comfortable financially, and life after the divorce was not. My mom struggled financially after divorcing my dad. As the oldest daughter, I was an overachiever and perfectionist. I call myself a recovering perfectionist now. I looked at that and I was like, “I’m not going to do that.” From a very young age, I was always interested in financial independence in general. Financial services hunted me down. It wasn’t something that I saw myself doing. I was going to be an attorney. I could see myself arguing in court. What happened instead was I was managing a gym. I was also an athlete and very into anything with mobility. I was managing a gym after college and one of my members was like, “Have you ever thought about doing what I do?” I was like, “No, that seems boring.” He was like, “Why don’t we have lunch? Let’s talk about what that means.” What he told me at lunch was, “It’s so cool because we show people how to make college funding happen for their kids, and then when their kids go to college, we get invitations for that.” I was like, “That is cool. Tell me more,” so here I am. In the last year or two, what I’ve been able to connect with is that what I love about financial services is that money touches every aspect of our life. I get to be a person that’s like, “How do I make these hard times in your life easier? How can I eliminate money in conversations where life gets hard? How do we use money so that we can celebrate the high points of life?” That’s why I get excited about Mondays. I can certainly relate to your story because I was a divorcee. I was working full-time and my husband at the time was staying home with the kids. We went through a bad divorce. It took me four years to get divorced. I was one of the lucky ones that went to trial. What happened was afterward, I was broke. It was a bad situation. I had to leave in the middle of the day, so I left with nothing. One of the things that I’m proud of is I started from scratch at 40. One of the reasons why I’m so passionate about the things that I do is because, at 40, I got sole custody of my kids. They were 4 and 6 at the time. At the time, I was waiting for someone to say, “Do you want to be promoted?”   When I finally said something, it was because I had these two little kids to take care of. One thing was very clear, I needed to make it happen. I needed to make more money to take care of them. When I got out of college, my parents didn’t have any money. I was the first generation. I remember one time desperately calling my mom and I was like, “Mom, do you have $50? I need to eat.” I was bound and determined that when my kids got out of college, they were not going to have any debt. I was already starting at 40 with zero because I had nothing, and then rebuilding. It has been a crazy ride. I remember budgeting down to the penny. It’s so important to be aware, but I didn’t look at it from an investment perspective. To the audience, I generally ask for two tips at the very end. We’re going to switch it up. We will repeat those two tips at the end, but we’re going to start with those two tips. Let’s start with Jenifer so we can get into the guts of the conversation, and why this is so important for women, especially in the corporate world, that are working so hard, and they’re not able to advance in their careers as fast as they would like to.   I would love to. Before I start, I want to say, Rosie the rockstar. Thank you so much for sharing that and good for you. I have chills because you did it. You bet on yourself, you invested in yourself, and you asked for your needs to be met. We live in a culture that says women are here to serve other people. Our value is to be of service to our spouses, employers, and everybody else. We don’t hear enough. You cannot be of service to anybody if you’re not first in service to yourself. I’m so impressed. Thank you.   My first actionable tip is exactly in line with your story and what you said. It’s to be financially confident in your own personal finances. Whether you have a partner or not, know your personal financial numbers. Being financially confident does not mean that you have to know anything. It doesn’t mean you have to be an expert like me. It means that you don’t need to know anything about finances specifically. What it does mean is you need to know the money that’s coming into your household on a monthly basis. You need to know the money that’s going out of your household on a monthly basis. You need to be comfortable with those numbers. You need to be comfortable with, “After taxes and benefits and things like that, this is the amount that gets deposited into my account,” whatever interval that is. You need to know how much you are roughly, how much it takes to live, and how much you’re spending on housing, food, transportation, and childcare. The more comfortable you are with those numbers, the more powerful you’re going to be in any of your career conversations. As you mentioned in your story, Rosie, you said, “I have to be able to support myself and provide for my kids in a different way, so I have to make more money.” Knowing that about your personal situation drove more powerful conversations in your career development. For the audience, some of them don’t have as strong drivers as you have. Some of us are like, “I don’t know what I want. I’m not sure.” That’s okay too. It’s the more you get to understand, “This is what I want and this is what’s important to me.” Let’s say you see your dream house on Zillow and you’re like, “That’s a beautiful house.” Get intimate with, “This is what the mortgage would be on that dream house. If I know what my monthly cashflow looks like, can I afford that mortgage or not?” If the answer is no, then just like you had kids to take care of and things like that, now you have a dream mortgage number to hit. When your performance review comes, you can say, “I need an 8% raise.” You can know, and you don’t have to tell them, “It’s so that I can afford the mortgage on my dream house.” If you know that and you’re grounded in that, you’re going to be much more effective in your career conversations. Was that the first tip, then?   The first tip is to be financially confident. If you’re financially confident in your personal finances, then you’ll be more confident in your career trajectory. I like the way you said that very concretely. If you know that getting that mortgage is going to be an 8% increase in your expenses, then you’re going to have to increase your income. It does give you that power. That is very powerful. What’s the second tip?   The second tip is to be grounded in your financial principles and super flexible in your methods. I know that sounds woo-woo, so I’ll give you an example again. If retirement or financial independence is a priority for you at some point, then you know of the income that comes in, you’re going to enjoy most of it. Some of it, you have to put aside for your future self. You’re putting aside for a future date when someday you don’t have to work. The principle there is financial independence. That’s the thing that we’re trying to accomplish. That’s the priority. That’s what’s important to us. The methods are you’re investing in the stock market. If you’re putting money aside and you’re putting money into the stock market, great. It’s to accomplish this certain goal. If ten years from now you decide, “I don’t like investing in the stock market. I would rather invest in real estate,” and you switch from investing in stocks and bonds to real estate, that’s fine. That’s the method. Don’t be flexible in your principles. What I like about that principle, especially for women, is we’re constantly thinking if we’re doing the right thing. We’re second-guessing ourselves and wondering, “Are you sure?” There is no right answer. If you’re sure about your principle, all of your methods can be flexible. I’m assuming you’re familiar with Suze Orman. She does a lot of financial education, training, and stuff like that for women. Suze’s rule of thumb is to have your emergency fund. It used to be like 6 to 9 months. I think she extended it because of the pandemic to 9 to 12 months. When someone is not happy in their job and they talk to the manager, they’re like, “I want to do something different,” how does that position them to have that conversation with their manager if they have the emergency fund?   One of the most powerful things you can have in a negotiation is the ability to walk away. It’s the ability to say, “We’re not coming to an agreement and that’s fine with me. This isn’t going to work and I’m going to go find something else.” If you have 6 months, 9 months, or 12 months in the savings and you know you can find employment somewhere else that’s going to be a better fit when you walk into that conversation, just that knowledge is going to be a powerful negotiation tool. One of the most powerful things you can have in a negotiation is the ability to walk away. – Jenifer Sapel Share on X That tip number two, when you were saying your financial principle, I would assume that when someone has that nest egg or that emergency money when you lose your job or someone gets hurt or all that stuff, would that be considered a principle for you to have that nest egg? Let’s talk a little bit about what are some principles that people have when it comes to money.   The first principle, I would say is financial-mechanical principles. Being intentional with your cashflow is number one. That’s the money that’s coming in and the money that’s going out. You are the only person who can decide beyond the numbers of finances what your other principles are. For example, the principle for me is I have to find meaning in my work. I can’t show up to a job that’s not meaningful. That’s a principle for me. That’s not for my husband. My husband derives his meaning outside of work. For him, it’s more important to have the type of job that’s flexible and intellectually engaging, but he loves to shut it off at work and then find his meaning outside of work. Being intentional about your cashflow from a numbers standpoint means this is the amount I need to earn or I want to earn annually or monthly. Be intentional about how much is coming in every month and how much is going out every month, and what it’s going out to every month. That’s principle number one. Number two is to manage your big risks. When it comes to finances, there are a lot of things to be afraid of. The real big financial risk or the big scary monster that is easy to address is death. We’re all going to die at some point. If you have kids or if you have anyone who depends on you financially, life insurance is a major consideration. If you couldn’t be here and people still are going to need money beyond your lifetime, you should absolutely be considering life insurance. Death, divorce, disability, unemployment, and lawsuits are big risks. With all of those five things, for the most part, your best lines of defense are legal documents and insurance policies. With unemployment, it’s the savings account. That one is having 6 months, 9 months, or 12 months. It depends on what is your level of comfort and what our income flow looks like. Some people get big bonuses every quarter or annually or things like that. They may want a bigger pool. They miss out on a bonus if something happens. For some people, the higher up you are in the C-suite, usually the longer the job search can take. You may want a bigger pool of money. That comes down to comfort. Does that make sense, Rosie? Do you have questions? That makes a lot of sense. It’s so funny because I had a faux pas. I’ve had a term life insurance for twenty years and it’s expiring this year. My daughter is 22 and my son is 24. They are both gainfully employed. We’re starting to separate. I’m trying to be like, “You guys pay for your phones,” and all that stuff. We’re not there yet, but we’re in the process of separating.   I accidentally let my policy lapse last October because I thought I had it on autopay. I could have sworn I had it on autopay. I got a letter in November saying, “Your policy lapsed.” I was like, “What do you mean?” I was thinking to myself, “If I die between now and next October, I’m going to be so mad because my kids are going to lose all this money.”   I had to reapply. I had to fill out the application. For term life, it was $270. It was something menial. I was like, “They’re just going to go ahead and reinstate it.” No. I filled out a whole application and another questionnaire. They reviewed all my stuff and I submit some additional documents. They sent someone out to do the whole medical test. I was like, “You guys have spent so much money for $270.” If I die, they’re going to pay a lot more money. The whole situation was weird.   I told my kids, “You guys are good until October.” I’m not renewing my life insurance for them. They are now working. They’re independent and all that good stuff. I have other financial stuff that they’ll get if I die. That’s a lesson for I didn’t pay attention and that whole thing happened. I considered letting it go but no, “Let’s do the responsible thing.”   To your point, what are some recommendations or what do you talk to your clients about all the time that maybe our audience could think about? They’re like, “I haven’t thought about that.” Death of a spouse is one and divorce is the other one. I want to talk about divorce. How can women protect themselves? They’re married and money is commingled, and stuff like that. I’ll leave it there.   We could spend the rest of the time just talking about this. You tell me how much or how little you want to know. In your situation, this is one of the common things. Another takeaway that I should tell anybody who’s tuning in right now is to put a note on your calendar to remind yourself every year of your insurance policies. One of the easiest and best times to do that is during open enrollment. If you’re working right now and you have open enrollment where you have to make some of those decisions, make that a time where you’re carving out enough space where you can think through these things. Make sure that your life insurance is still good. Update the beneficiary because some of the things I’ve seen are that ex-spouses are still listed as beneficiaries on policies. I had a client who was divorced, and then several years later remarried. When we reviewed her coverages, her son is listed as a beneficiary. I was like, “Is that on purpose?” She’s like, “No, I just listed him while we were divorced. It should be my new spouse. Good catch.” Put some time in your calendar to review all of your insurance coverages and all of your beneficiaries, and do that once a year. The thing about divorce is the state that you live in already has decided how the division of your assets will go if and when you get divorced. A lot of times, there’s a conversation about a prenuptial agreement. You can even do a postnuptial agreement. That’s a document that happens after you’re married that says, “While we’re healthy and this relationship is still good, let’s decide now how we would split everything in the event of a divorce.” That decision has already been made for you. A prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement gives you the opportunity to say, “We don’t necessarily agree with the state or we don’t want the state to decide. We’re going to decide ourselves how we would amicably split this thing should that occasion ever arise.” A prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement is a legal document. That’s one of your best defenses. Another best defense is to be aware. Be financially confident in your household finances. It’s okay to have a division of labor. It’s perfectly fine for one person to be in charge of paying the bills, and the other person to be in charge of how the investments are made. What isn’t okay is for one party to be completely oblivious to what’s happening in either of those scenarios. Did you find any surprises in your divorce? Definitely.   That’s common, Rosie. What you’ve experienced is very common. I think it’s something like 80%, whether it’s through divorce or death. Here’s the other reality. The reality is all relationships end. They’re either going to end through a divorce or through death. They’re all going to end at some point. At some point, one person in that relationship is going to be solely responsible for finances, even if just temporarily.
NWB 60 | Financially Confident Women
Financially Confident Women: The reality is all relationships end. They’re either going to end through a divorce or through death. At some point, one person in that relationship is going to be solely responsible for finances.
You can have things divided and you can have day-to-day tasks that are divvied up. Once or twice a year, you need to come together and make sure that everybody is on the same page in terms of what’s happening on monthly bills and things like that, and what’s happening with longer-term investments and those kinds of other things so that nobody is surprised when the day will come. You will have to take care of this yourself at some point. Statistically, it’s the woman who is going to have to take care of finances because men die before women do. If you become divorced, you’re going to have to do it anyway. Statistically speaking, if you’re a woman, whether you want to or not, you probably will be solely responsible for your finances at some point. The other thing that should happen that’s a best practice is that both partners pull reports annually and review them together. What you’ll see on credit reports are credit card bills that have been racked up that you may not know about or other kinds of liens. I have seen that before. I’ve seen spouses that were surprised. They didn’t know that their spouse had a gambling problem until it came up on a credit report. I’ve seen a husband die, and the wife was surprised that his business had not been paying his excise tax, and figure excise tax. I’m one of five kids. My parents were never good with money or whatever happened. One of the things that I told my siblings about five years ago was, “We need to help mom and dad get their estate together.” We put everything into a trust. Between one of my sisters and I, we took care of all of their final expenses. As much as my other siblings, they were like, “I don’t want to talk about this.” I’m like, “I do. I don’t want to be the one getting the phone call that something has happened to mom or dad, and then we have to figure out how we are going to pay for this, where they are going to be buried, what is going to happen with the house.”   When there’s money and there are siblings and there are properties to be sold, things happen. I was like, “I want everything in writing. I do not want any surprises on who’s going to get what.” We have it all spelled out. All of their final expenses are done and paid for. We went to a different funeral about a year ago. My sister and I went and checked out their headstone because their headstone, plot, and all that stuff are ready. I want to grieve. I want to be present at the moment. I know this sounds morbid but at the same time, I don’t want to be having to pick out a casket when something happens to them.   I don’t think it sounds morbid at all. Again, Rosie the rockstar. Congratulations. You’re somebody who gets hard things done. Thank you for that. Society doesn’t run without people like you. In a perfect world for me, I think there are cultural failures that we have. That whole process you went through with your parents, I would love it if that was part of our normal culture. If we think about when people are born, there are baby showers. There are reveal parties. There are all these rituals around coming together and identifying what’s needed. Mothers sit around and be like, “This is critical. Don’t waste your money on this.” We have cultural norms around the beginning of life. We have completely failed at the end of life. How cool would it be if we lived in a place where all that stuff you did could be more like a baby shower? We get together as a family and be like, “It was a huge celebration when you came into the world. We want to be able to celebrate your life when you leave the world.” To your point, we need to have the space to grieve. It's better to get rid of your debt first and then work on your present self and your future self. – Jenifer Sapel Share on X I did that when I was younger because the company that I work for gives a certain amount of matches. I always said, “At a minimum, do the matches. If they match 3%, do 3% or whatever.” I did it right. That’s good.   The other way I like to think about it with the past-present self is who you are prioritizing. Are you prioritizing your future self or are you prioritizing your debtors? You are earning money. Who do you want to take better care of? They’re happy getting their minimum monthly payment. If you prioritize your future self and what you want and you can stick to those priorities, you are better off. There’s some point where there’s a crossover where you got enough money saved and invested. If you want to write a check and be done with the debt, you could. Who are you prioritizing, your debtors or your future self? That’s incredible.   Prioritize yourself. With the women thing, we feel an obligation to everybody else first. Everything we’ve talked about is the starter kit level. The advanced thinking around debt is that debt and money are the same thing. I know you have knowledge about Harry Markowitz, who’s a Nobel Prize winner. He created the Modern Portfolio Theory, but even he doesn’t invest in certain ways.   Harry Markowitz won a Nobel Prize for Modern Portfolio Theory in the ‘50s or maybe the ‘60s. That research has shaped the way that we invest today. The simplest way to describe it is he’s the one who said, “If you’re hoping for a 6% rate of return, the way to achieve that 6% rate of return is to invest 60% of your money in stocks and 40% of it in bonds.” That’s the most efficient because it will achieve your goal at the lowest amount of risk. It’s taking enough risk to meet your goal and not having any more risk than you need to take to hit that goal. Harry Markowitz himself is on record saying he doesn’t invest that way. We like to bring that up in the context of everybody thinking there are all these rules and we don’t know how to play the game. Even the Noble Laureate, Harry Markowitz, who wrote the rules doesn’t play by his own rules. You also described the financial services industry as a bad pair of jeans. They are ill-fitting and uncomfortable. I love that analogy. Why is that?   It’s more just that it feels unapproachable. People tell me all the time, “I don’t know if I need an advisor and I’m afraid to talk to an advisor. I don’t even know what questions to ask an advisor.” That’s where we use the jeans analogy. Not every pair of jeans is for everybody. Everybody has a shape, different levels of comfort, and different levels of style. You have to try them on to know whether or not it’s a good fit. If you meet with an advisor and you’re like, “This is uncomfortable,” that’s your sign that this is not a good fit. Keep on trying on jeans. I don’t know about you, Rosie, but it takes me forever to find a pair of jeans. It’s exhausting if I was in the changing room. I don’t love it but I spend the time because it’s worth it. I want to find a comfortable pair of jeans that is stylish and looks good on me. It’s such a huge difference when you buy clothing where you feel good. Your disposition is so different. It’s the same thing as the example of the elder couple where both are not meeting with the financial planner. That’s why 9 out of 10 times, the financial planner loses that customer because they never made a relationship with that woman. That is so key. I love that if it doesn’t feel comfortable, then seek another financial planner because eventually, you will find a financial planner that is able to meet your needs in a comfortable conversation.   It’s your style that you talk about. It’s the hard life experiences, the stories, the messy stuff, the mushy stuff, and the emotions. You should be able to talk about that with your advisor. If you’re like, “Just tell me what to do,” that’s a whole different style. When you’re a financial planner, it’s almost like insurance. I need to know what’s happening in your world so that I can provide you with the best insurance products. If you don’t tell me that you own three houses and you’re only going to talk about your one house, then I can’t help you. It’s the same thing with financial planning. We’ve already talked a lot about women. What do you think is the number one reason that they avoid talking about money?   Shame. I hate that answer. Say more about that. What do you mean, like shame in what way?   It’s so many ways. Where I see it show up with money more than anything else is people come to me and feel like they should know more than they do. They’re ashamed, “I’m ashamed that I don’t know more about money than I do right now.” There’s no reason to be ashamed about not knowing about money. There are no mechanics in our culture. In our culture, there are surveys that show people would rather talk about death than money. We don’t talk about money and money is a skill. I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old. Becoming a mother humbles you in a lot of ways. One of the ways is it shows you how everything is learned. Kids do not know how to use a spoon. You have to teach them how to use a spoon. If you don’t know how to use money, you’ve never been taught how to use money. It is a life skill and read about it. You can’t read about how to use a spoon. You can’t read about how to drive a car. You have to use the spoon and it’s going to be messy and you’re going to screw up. It’s the same with driving a car. The first time you get behind a car or the first time you have to parallel park, you’re terrified. The more and more you do it, the better you get at it. Money is the same way. I could go on and on forever about shame but we should stop there. It’s such a shame that women are ashamed to talk about money. It’s ridiculous. This is why you and I do the work that we do, helping women with their finances. I am here having this conversation because I want women in the corporate world to understand that they can take their power back by managing the money and not letting the money manage themselves or manage them.   That’s so critical because if you don’t pay attention and think that it’s going to happen all on its own, that’s not the case. You have to be intentional about how you manage money. It’s the same thing when you need to make more money and you’re working, you either need to ask for a raise or promotion, go to another company, or change jobs, but you have to take massive action and it’s going to be a process.   It’s not going to be a one-and-done thing. Even with asking your manager for a raise, you are probably not going to get a raise if you go in there on day one and say, “I need a raise.” It’s probably going to be a process. You’re going to go in there and say, “I was thinking about different ways of contributing. How can I help you meet your goals? If I help you meet your goals, you’re going to help me meet my goals.” You have to be strategic in the way that you approach the situation.   At the very beginning, we’re talking about those principles. It’s almost like your core values. You have to work on distinguishing or unveiling what your core values are so that you can figure out where you want to put your attention and your energy. We have talked so much about such amazing information here. I’m curious, Jenifer, do you even have conversations with young people that are coming into the workforce, say maybe no more than 5 or 10 years? What is the one piece of advice that you always tell those young people?   My general advice is boring and vanilla. It is in line with what we’ve talked about here. That is to manage your cashflow and set aside money for your future self. Don’t stress too much about where you’re putting that money aside. That’s a method. If you’re managing your cashflow and putting money aside for your future self, get to a point where eventually, your target is 20% of your income being set aside for your future self.
NWB 60 | Financially Confident Women
Financially Confident Women: Manage your cash flow and set aside money for your future self.
Don’t beat yourself up for starting at 1%. That is perfectly acceptable. Anybody who can manage their cashflow and get to a point where they’re setting aside 20% of their income annually, you’re going to be in good financial shape. Everything else is a process. As we’ve talked about with everything, you don’t have to learn everything at once. You’re not going to learn it by reading it in a book. You’re going to learn it over time as you pay more attention and ask more questions, and learn and grow as you go. The one piece of advice that I could give myself as a twenty-something in my career trajectory would be to eliminate the word earn like, “I’m earning money, I’m earning my bonus, I’m earning my wealth,” and replace it with create. Women are horrible at this. This is why women think we have to meet 100% of the job requirements before we apply. Earning implies that you have to put in a lot of effort to do it. Creating implies you’re creating wealth and you’re creating value in your company. I know so many twenty-somethings who are working their tails off thinking they have to earn every penny. The reality is that they are making that money and they’re making all of their potential future raises and promotions because of who they are, because of their perspective, because of their creativity, and because their being on the team is creating value for the team. It’s not because they’re working their ass off. Working your ass off doesn’t hurt, but it isn’t a mandate. You can make a ton of money without working your ass off. Working your ass off doesn't hurt, but it isn't a mandate. You can make a ton of money without working your ass off. – Jenifer Sapel Share on X I’m going to change a couple of things in my content and my conversation because I have used the word earn, but create is so much better because you’re absolutely right. They are creating whatever job they have. They’re contributing and creating.   Creating value does not necessarily mean earning and busting your butt. We are at the end of our conversation. Can we quickly recap the two tips then that we talked about at the beginning?   I added the bonus third with create. The first one was to be financially confident in your personal finances. That doesn’t mean knowing everything. It means being comfortable in your ability to navigate it. Be comfortable with your personal financial numbers. Two is to learn and be grounded in your principles and be flexible in your methods. Your methods can change. Don’t sweat it. They will change. You don’t know everything that you’re going to want to do now or in the future with your financial decisions. Worry about your principles first and your methodologies as they go. Those are excellent tips. There are two things that I’m going to take away from this conversation. The first one is, who are you investing in? Your past self, meaning debtors, credit card, any school debt, anything like that, or 401(k) investments and that kind of thing. The second one is what we talked about, earn versus create. Those are two very impactful things. This has been such a powerful conversation because we brought up so many things that women generally don’t talk about, which is why we’re having this conversation. Thank you so much for being here. Any final words, Jenifer?   You got it. You are your own best investment. Never ever be afraid to invest. Rosie, you are an amazing host and an amazing human. Rosie the rockstar.

Jenifer shared with us that we can become more financially confident. One of the things that resonated with me is she talked about being able to save for your future self and pay for your past self simultaneously. Meaning that you can invest in your Roth IRA at the same time that you are paying off your debt, whether it’s credit cards, student loans, or whatever. That’s genius because I’ve heard other people say, “Focus on paying off your debt,” but then you’re not investing for your future self. That is tip number one.   Tip number two she said is to learn to be grounded in your principles, and flexible with your methods. The methodology is creating a budget and using different apps and doing all the things, but you need to be clear on your principles, which I know are your core values so that you can be clear on your principles and then you can be flexible. Two amazing tips. I hope that this was helpful to you because I want you to have that financial freedom. You have to be brave, be bold, and take action.  

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About Jenifer Sapel

NWB 60 | Financially Confident WomenJenifer Sapel is a recovering over-achiever who overcompensated financially after living with a mother who struggled financially after divorce. She describes her childhood home as one that pretended tough subjects didn’t exist: rape, death, sex, and of course, money. Her drive to succeed, curiosity, and astonishing ability to problem solve, helped propel her success in financial services winning awards and often being the only woman leader in the room. She started Utor Wealth after tiring of long-winded meetings and over-emphasis on products and sales quotas. Utor is latin for: to use, to employ, to enjoy. Jen believes that every dollar we touch and how we send it out into the world is shaping both the world we live in and the one we aspire to. Every woman deserves to do it intentionally and with confidence, that is exactly how she helps her clients.

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