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Overcoming Fear – A Look into the Future

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I recently started working with a new client. And at a month in, I have gotten a pretty good look at what my life could look like if I don’t get a better handle on my finances. Especially in regards to my savings and retirement!

My Clients Predicament

I’m not going to focus on the client to much but I’ve quickly become aware of a few things without being told them:

  • They did not diversify their business very well. When one thing fell through, the whole thing came tumbling down. (I am certainly familiar with this issue as it is the one that knocked me completely out a few years ago.)
  • They don’t seem to have any savings. (This is an assumption on my part, but based on the pressure and stress they are under to make a go of what we are working on together, I think it’s a pretty solid one.) This seems to be a common thing among serial entrepreneurs as I network with them. They invest in their business…and forget to invest in themselves. I am certainly guilty of this.
  • They have let fear make them flounder. This is one I hear in every single conversation I have with them. It’s painful to hear. And even harder to determine how to both guide them through and be sensitive to the predicament they find themselves in.

What it boils down to is that they don’t reach a certain income level through their current business model in the next 100 days. They will have to start all over and figure out what they are going to do with the rest of their lives…and this is at 65+ years old. A very scary situation.

Like Whoa! Moment

And an eye opening one for me! While my savings has definitely increased as my income has. I am no where near where I should be towards my retirement savings. Like nowhere. Like embarrassing to even bring up my complete and utter failure here.

So I could be this client…20 something years from now, if I don’t get my act together. This will be me. And I DO NOT WANT THAT. I am at a crossroads and…

I must create a more balanced approach to my financial life. And it needs to be done as of yesterday! Seriously! Nothing could convince me more of this, then watching my client flounder and battle this fear.

BAD Community, guide me! What steps should I take TODAY to get started in making a significant contribution to my future self. ROTH IRA, stock market, steady savings (I’m already doing this one,) other ideas? Any resources you would recommend for getting started so late in the game?

My plan is to take your idea, research them and roll them around in my head and choose a path that focuses on…regular savings (continuing to build toward a 6 month EF fund,) retirement savings AND debt payoff. My income is strong right now and steady. I want to take advantage of that as quickly as I can but also be very smart about it.

Update on Line of Credit and Surgery

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Update on Debt Reduction Strategies

I called to find out about the line of credit I applied for. It’s a good thing I am decent at telephone negotiations, because they definitely gave me the runaround. The application was stuck somewhere in the system, but I finally found out it is now conditionally approved (pending income verification). No comment on how I was supposed to find this out (carrier pigeon? Smoke signals? They certainly didn’t call, write, or email). The problem is that they approved me at a much higher rate and told me the promotion I applied for had expired!

Politely, I noted that I applied a few days after I got the email, well before the deadline of the 19th. I’m not psychic and no one reached out. For some reason, I had to explain that to two different people over the course of 35 minutes. I dislike wearing the “can I speak to your manager” hat, don’t you?? Regardless, the application moved ahead and I’m now putting together my proof of income. Fingers crossed they accept it. I included my bonus in there which wasn’t smart, in retrospect, but I receive that bonus every year.  I’ll include my tax returns as evidence. I also have side income I need to submit proof of. The whole thing is still a bit shaky but I remain optimistic.

What to do with a $9500 line of credit?

I plan to pay off my two credit cards with it. They are both at 19.99% interest and the payments are stressing me out! I’m not sure what to do with all the payments and subscriptions that come off my main Visa card. Things like my weekly transit pass, monthly subscriptions such as Netflix and Spotify, pet insurance. I don’t account for these things properly in my (let’s be blunt, non-existent) budget. I’m thinking of closing one credit card and keeping the other one open for these items, and paying them off every Monday to stay on top of the balance. How do you handle monthly payments on a credit card? I prefer the protection of Visa to Visa Debit linked to my checking account. Getting money back from erroneous billing/fraud in your checking account is next to impossible, whereas it’s fairly easy with credit card companies.

Eventually, I’d really like to switch to a travel rewards card. I want the premium economy leg room and airport lounge access, baby! A girl can dream. For now, I need to demonstrate I can be responsible with credit and work with what I have.

Surgery went well

Update on the glomus tumour removal! I feel SO MUCH better this time around! My hand already has more mobility than it did three weeks in to healing last time. The surgeon went in from the side to avoid existing scar tissue, and I get to keep my fingernail this time. I also have to say, this was my first time at this particular hospital (Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto). It was just so nice compared to the Scarborough hospital, which is down the street from me. Sunnybrook is far more advanced technologically! They were scanning the barcode on my wrist everywhere I went and had monitors in waiting rooms for families to see their loved one’s surgical status. I was able to give my parents my patient code and they could see my status online, too.

I moved around a bit in prep, and I was given three heated blankets in that time. The nurses would wrap the blanket around my shoulders and give a little squeeze. It felt so nice! And then in the OR, the surgeon noticed tears in my eyes, and he asked what was wrong. I said I regretted not having my parents there that day. He said his daughter is 30 and she would want him there if she was having surgery, too. He said, “We can go as slow as you want. I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. Let’s talk through what’s next and you can let me know when you’re ready.” He was so compassionate, and I was so tired and emotional. His kindness warmed me right through. He held my hand for a bit, and I will remember that forever.

Next up…

Time to get the financial house in order. It still feels like I’m free-falling with spending and expenses. The goal: get the whole budget done to minimize anxiety. I’m beginning work on that right now. I’m off work til Wednesday!