Category Archives: Play

Setka Out

Something miraculous happened today. It’s not epic, like a baby being born or a horrific train derailment that everyone walks away from.

Nope. It’s a tiny miracle. But it’s all mine.

I paid off my car loan.

I began this year with two financial goals. Pay off my student loan (check), and pay off my car loan (just checked). It’s only April.

This. Is. A. Miracle.

And so, it’s time for me to shutter this shop. Writing Cashgab was an incredible journey for me. It was my catalyst for real change. I recently found an email that I sent to Money Mentors (highly recommended, btw) in 2009. It wasn’t until I started writing this blog in early 2012 that my financial life started to blossom. I learned so much about personal finance, such as how to manage a credit card like a Big Girl and the importance of planned spending savings. I also know that I inspired other people to get their financial houses in order. I know this because they wrote me emails, shared comments on my posts, and told me in whispered tones over coffee.

I can’t say that I will never get in financial dire straights again. But I can say that I know how to get out of it if I do: start talking.

It’s that simple. Tell people. Ask for help. Talk about what you’re doing to change. Make yourself accountable.

So many of our money issues are rooted in shame. If you talk about something, you take the stigma away. Ditch your shame.

Gab.

~HS

PS For my beloved regular readers, you are few but you are mighty. Please read my new blog of dispatches from the ‘burbs: Setka in the Suburbs. Money talk will be at a minimum. XO

photoThis sweet ride’s all mine, baby. Jealous? 

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Time for a financial check-in

I’ve been writing this blog for eight months and that seems like an arbitrary amount of time for a personal finance check-in. OK, here I go.

Debt

Mortgage: $250,700* (I wrote in the original post that it was $252,700. When I checked again, I realized I was about $2,000 off…in my favour. Isn’t that a nice surprise!)
Car Loan: $3,770
Student Loan: $1,470
Credit Card: $400 (dropped at the dentist, will be paid by my benefits plan)

Savings:

Retirement Savings: $7,600
Regular Savings: $2,800
Planned Spending Savings: $900 (to be spent in Costa Rica when I head there for my sister’s wedding in December)

My financial life has improved dramatically since I started this blog. It’s partially because I’m working more freelance and making more money, and it’s also partially due to the fact that I’m sharing the load with someone else. I’m also spending less on things that don’t matter, and spending more on things that do. But the number one reason it’s improved so much is that I’ve taken responsibility for my financial life.

Perhaps this is TMI. But here’s the deal, if I open up about my financial life…it gives you permission to open up about yours. Not neccessarily to me. (Although if you’re feeling emboldened by my admissions, you can comment about where you’re at or you can email me.) You can also spill to someone you love or a professional. Trust me, talking about it makes it 1,000 times better.

Sure, you may think about your finances. You may spend hours dreaming up horrific scenarios about your house of cards (or debt) collapsing all around you. I know that’s how I used to live. I remember going to see a comedy movie with friends, and spending the entire hour and a half OBSESSING about my credit card debt. I sat there faking laughter when everyone else laughed, but on the inside I was having a panic attack thinking: “how am I ever going to pay this thing off?!?!”

I did, but only because I faced my financial fears. And you can too.

I still don’t think money can buy happiness, but I know it’s a lot easier to seek happiness when you’re not terrified about money all the time.

~HS

This was a lot like one of those memory shows that sitcoms used to do. I always hated those. Sorry.

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