At the halfway point of the “Road to Financial Wellness Road Trip” version 2.0, Jason Vitug found himself in a conference room named after one of the pioneers of the credit union movement, speaking to a room full of people who advocate for credit unions on a daily basis.
“I’m a credit union geek, so to be at the world headquarters is a bucket-list item,” Vitug says.
Vitug, a former credit union executive turned entrepreneur, and the team from Phroogal were at CUNA’s Madison, Wis., office last week to talk about simple steps people can take to achieve their financial dreams.
In October 2013, Vitug created Phroogal, a digital platform that crowd sources and curates financial information to help consumers make better financial decisions. Nearly 600 people worldwide contributed $78,501 via a crowd-funding website to launch the initiative.
Phroogal is hosting “The Road to Financial Wellness Road Trip” to educate consumers—millennials in particular—about smart money management.
“When we think financial education and financial literacy, we don’t think sexy,” Vitug says. “But when we talk about the lifestyle and what you can achieve, people get excited.”
During last year’s Road to Financial Wellness, Vitug and the Phroogal team traveled 10,218 miles and held 37 events in 30 cities in 30 days. Eight thousand people attended the events.
During this year’s “The Road to Financial Wellness Road Trip,” the Phroogal team will connect with and spread the financial wellness message to more people during a 15,000-mile trip that includes 50 pit stops.
“When you share your dreams, you share your vision,” Vitug says.
The key to financial wellness is envisioning the life you want to live, Vitug says. Start by asking yourself two questions:
What brings happiness to my life? This is different for everyone. For some it may be travel, for others it may be purchasing a vacation home in the woods, or a new vehicle.
How would I spend my time if I had no debt or other financial obligations? Time is a valuable asset and plays an integral part in planning and carrying out your vision.
Once you’ve answered those questions and identified the “dream lifestyle” you want to live, Vitug advises doing some financial planning. This includes creating a budget, or the “blueprint to get you from where you are to where you want to be,” he says.
Money, Vitug says, should not be the end goal. Rather, it should be viewed as a tool to enable people to reach their financial goals.
“The secret to financial wellness is having a vision for your life, gaining clarity of your values, and financial planning that aligns with what matters most to you,” Vitug says.
For more information on “The Road to Financial Wellness Road Trip,” including the location of future pit stops, visit roadtofinancialwellness.com.
Or follow the journey on Twitter via the hashtags #TheRoad2016 and #MySmileLifestyle.