Setbacks and New Beginnings

How does that old chestnut go? Two steps forward, one step back?

Yeah, that’s what’s happening here.

While I’m getting better at tracking my spending and I’m spending less money overall, there are still some obstacles in my way on the path to becoming solvent.

big girl panties

Problem #1: Four Wheels, One Badly Damaged Door

My mother graciously lent me her car while she’s visiting relatives in Europe. Not one week after she left, I put a massive dent in the passenger’s side. I got too close to a handrail in a parking garage. Classic screw-up. To make matters worse? I was distracted by my thoughts of money when it happened. It was like my unconscious wanted to dig the knife in a little deeper. Well, now I know how deep the wound goes: to the tune of $3,200.

I don’t even know where I’m going to get the money. My boyfriend says it’s time I tell my mother because it’s unlikely I’m going to be able to pay it on my own (which he’s right, especially after today.)

Problem #2: Goodbye Freelancing

My freelance situation is changing. I need to start looking for a full-time job because it’s evident that I can’t sustain myself on a freelancer’s salary. Not at this point in my life. I’m coming to terms with that and, you know what? I’m kind of okay with it. I know I won’t stop freelancing completely–hustla’s gotta hustle–but I’m about to lose a well-paying gig.

I had a bit of a cry today about this. I’m not even sure I want to keep this gig any longer. The only reason I’ve kept it this long is because it’s been lucrative. But now that the purse-strings are tightening, I’m not sure it’s worth it. It’s a smaller hourly rate than my normal charge because I negotiated it when I first started freelancing and I haven’t renegotiated since. Plus the scope of my work has been chipped away to the point where I’m basically a copy and paste machine for the company. No wonder they want to cut my hours.

I have to ask myself: what value am I getting out of this job? They clipped my wings long ago and now they want to take away the only incentive to keeping this gig going. I’m not sorry to see this go. In fact, it’s a bit of a relief. The plus side of having a full-time job will be that I don’t have to relentlessly search for gigs so much. More of my time can go into gaining experience rather than trying to prove I have experience. Once I find that full-time job, that is.

back to work

Today wasn’t all bad news, though. I started the day off on a good note. I met up with my financial adviser, Michelle. Funny that I have a financial adviser and I’m in this crap-shoot, isn’t it? Well, it’s partly because I haven’t seen Michelle in well over a year. Ostensibly we got together to update my life insurance (yay, I’m a non-smoker now!) but we spent the majority of our coffee date catching up. Michelle and I have always had a good rapport together. We met through a mutual friend one evening while I was singing at a bar and we hit it off as friends from the start. Every time we get together it’s always a good catch-up. Turns out we both lost our fathers in 2013 so today’s conversation was especially emotional for us.

When we finally took a look at my numbers I was surprised to learn that my spending had decreased a lot since our last meeting. Now that we’ve established that, though, it means there isn’t much room for movement in that category, meaning I need to definitely start making more money. Thus, another reason to get back in the 9 to 5 game (at least for now). Michelle also suggested another alternative: becoming a financial adviser. This isn’t the first time she’s made the suggestion to me, but I was finally listened.

Michelle is a full-time teacher, but she’s a financial adviser on the side because she loves helping people. She suggested I explore it because we share similar traits.

I think it’s funny that a person like me is looking into becoming a money adviser to others, but it would be a great way to help myself first. I’d learn the foundations so I can help myself get out of this debt crisis and then I could help others with their problems. I really like that idea!

I’m meeting Michelle at her office this coming Saturday to explore the options. My curiosity is peaked. Who knows, this could be the start of something good!