I need to put this out there first: this sounds like a sponsored post. It’s not. In any way. I wasn’t asked, compensated, or even hugged for writing it. I just really, really love this concept. Carrying on…
If you’re a T-rider you’ve probably seen the stylish black and white advertisements – “You’re a grownup, don’t panic” – with concerned looking adults. You may have thought the signs were for a new clothing company (I know I’m not the only one here), or even thought “my birth certificate may indicate I’m an adult, but YOU DON’T KNOW ME and I DON’T NEED YOU.” Take a breath, champ. This place might turn your life around.
I stopped by the Society of Grownups shortly after they opened in October to see what was up. I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful space with friendly people and an intriguing concept that I hope catches on and goes national. This location (conveniently located in Brookline directly on the C line) is the first of it’s kind. I speak for all of us millennials when I say: we need this.
Society of Grownups offers classes, supper clubs, informal chats, special events and one-on-one counseling with financial advisors. Your stomach dropped at that “f” word, didn’t it? Society of Grownups is based on the premise that having solid finances (or at least a plan for solidifying your maybe-kind-of-goopy-right-now finances) enables you to achieve your goals whatever they may be. Planning to have a family? Want to save without giving up your lattes? Just want help finding that elusive work/life balance? Attending an event at the Society can get you on the right track for all of that.
Since I have a blog about cheap stuff you may think I have this whole “finances” thing covered but I can assure you of one thing: I have little to no idea what I’m doing. I’m great at not spending money mostly because that’s how I was raised. But everything else kind of flies over my head. I have a 401k because I was automatically enrolled in one at my last job. “Investing” isn’t in my vocabulary. Adam has been doing my taxes since we’ve been together. Not much of a grownup over here.
I think I’m like many of people my age in that if given the chance to sit down with a financial planner, I probably wouldn’t do it. I would be intimidated, probably embarassed. That’s why I was so pleasantly surprised by Society of Grownups. There’s zero pretension, the class topics are all relevant and down-to-earth, and the people there just want to help.
One of the class offerings immediately caught my eye. I attended the Loans & Groans Student Loan Workshop a few weeks ago with about 10 other 20-somethings. I’ve racked up some student debt over my time at Simmons College and then going back to school for massage (none of which I regret). Over the 90 minute workshop I learned quite a few things. Among them: I’m not alone and it’s gonna be ok. What I liked most about this workshop was that the teacher, a Certified Financial Planner, was right there in the trenches with us and shared how much student debt she has herself. There’s no judgment here, seriously. I went home with clarity, action items, and a pretty dang good feeling that I took this itty bitty step for myself.
Bottom line: the classes aren’t free, but are definitely worth it. Chats are $10, classes are $30, and suppers are $40. Your first 20 minute “check up” with a financial advisor is free and $20 after that. A more in depth 90 minute appointment is $100.