Chic Spotlight: Financial Adviser Jennifer Funk

Chic Spotlight: Financial Adviser Jennifer Funk
Whether you need a complete budget makeover or just a couple tweaks, this financial advisor offers insight and tips on how you can set yourself up for success — and savings.

Cincy Chic: You work with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, but what first drew you to finance?


Financial Adviser Jennifer Funk: When I was 19 years old I went to work for a financial services firm, just for a job. Many of our clients were retired, and I saw the diversity in how people planned proactively for retirement or not and how it affected their daily lives. I recognized the importance then of starting early with a plan and maintaining a proactive approach. I find great satisfaction in knowing that I am helping people reach a secure financial future. The earlier you start focusing on the rest of your life, the easier it is to achieve your goals.


Cincy Chic: With the holidays past and tax time approaching, many women are looking for a budget makeover, so what are the most important factors to consider when setting up a budget?


Funk: Create a realistic budget that you know you can live with comfortably. We need to think about all aspects of our lives that we might spend money on. Don't forget to factor in the daily latte, monthly trips to the salon, annual expenses like subscriptions and gifts.


Have more than one savings account. Have one for the "expected" expenses, such as Christmas. Have another for the "unexpected." You want your "unexpected" savings to eventually build to six months of living expenses, but that takes time and there can be unexpected expenses along the way, such as car expenses.


Cincy Chic: Nobody wants to feel constricted when it comes to money, so how can readers stick to a budget without feeling like they are denying themselves of anything?


Funk: Feeling constricted with a budget can set one up for failure. We need to set up a budget that has a degree of flexibility for the unpredictable expenses as well as a reward system to reward ourselves for success. A budget can be like a diet where we need to reduce our expenses or just to keep us on track like having a healthy eating regimen. Whichever reason we create a budget, we know that we need to build in the ability to have a slice of chocolate cake every once in a while.


Cincy Chic: Setting up a budget doesn't help if you don't stick to the plan, so what tips do you have for readers who want to make their budget more of a lifestyle than just another failed New Year's resolution?


Funk: Make it as automatic as possible so there is no room to create exceptions to your own plan. Automatically put a pre-determined amount into the expected fund, the unexpected fund and, if there is enough left, a retirement savings account like a 401k or IRA When it becomes automatic rather than voluntary, we tend to forget about it and not notice the money. Look at your income as if starting with what you have available to spend AFTER you have made those automatic deductions. It is hard in the beginning, but you do forget about the extra money.


Cincy Chic: When you aren't focused on finances, what do you like to do for fun?


Funk: I have two small children, and I love spending time with them enjoying the great events, sights and activities that Cincinnati has to offer. In particular, I love the performing arts, and Cincinnati has a wide range of world-class organizations. Currently I have been exposing them to classical music, which they are enjoying tremendously. We have a season subscription with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra as well as the CSO Lollipop Series.


Cincy Chic: What do you love most about Cincinnati?


Funk: I love the people in Cincinnati. It is a great place to raise children. We are such a warm and friendly community with a spirit of helping each other out. I am originally from the west coast and have seen much of the U.S.


I have found the people in Cincinnati to be some of the most genuine and friendly people around. It is the only city I have known where you can lose $2 children's sunglasses at the far end of the zoo and find them at lost and found on your way out.





Photographer: Neysa Ruhl

Model: Jennifer Funk

Location: BOOST...for meeting's sake

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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