Tag Archives: Income

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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My one-year (super boring) challenge: fiscal responsibility

At the start of 2013, I read several stories about one-year (and somewhat gimmicky) challenges.

There’s the mom who only plans to eat Starbucks. (Gross.) And the mom who plans to spend $0 on her child. (Love her, and I totally approve.)

I love the concept of a one-year personal challenge. It’s long enough to make a difference in your life, but it’s not a life sentence. Plus, it gives you an out. You’re not saying: I’m changing my life forever. You’re saying: I’m changing my life for now. What ultimately ends up happening is that you do change your life. How can you not?

A year ago, I told myself I’d spend one year blogging about money, and talking about money. The idea was that if I was completely open about my financial life, then that life would improve. I believe that hiding stuff only makes it worse, and that talking about something opens it up for growth and (so sorry, about to drop an Oprahism, here) healing (bleech! sorry!).

So…I opened up about my personal finances. I TMIed about my debts, and I pontificated (OK, bragged) about my savings. Disposable income and debt repayment suddenly became part of my vernacular. And…

It worked!

I can’t even believe it. I went on vacations last year. Yes, that’s plural. I went on more than one vacation. In more than one year. WITHOUT putting them on credit. I can’t even tell you how amazing this is. It’s nothing short of a damn miracle.

It’s all so unreal to me, that I’m secretly terrified it’s not real. I am suspicious of this financial wellness. Sometimes, it doesn’t sit right. I will have money left over at the end of the month, or enough money to buy, say, groceries, and it will astound me.

But I’m going to take it while I can. Anything could change, and I want to enjoy it while it lasts. I have the tools now to move forward, but I know that I’m not always in control of the outcome. Stuff happens. I was saving money for new flooring to replace the stained and worn carpet in my condo. Then, my 16-year-old water heater started leaking. The sexy, sleek vinyl flooring I’d fantasized about (yes, I aim love in life) will have to wait.

That’s OK. My one year of fiscal responsibility has taught me patience. It’s taught me that good things can come to those who wait. And save.

~HS

Photo: stock.xchng/RAWKU5

Photo: stock.xchng/RAWKU5

PS I told myself when I started writing this blog a year ago that I’d revisit whether or not I wanted to continue in February, 2013. I’ve published 55 posts so far (my goal was 52), and I didn’t abandon it after a few posts like so many other blogs I’ve started. I achieved my blogging goal, as well as my financial goals. Yay! Even though my initial idea was that I’d give it up after a year, I think I’m going to continue. I won’t write as often as I did last year, but I will still be here. Thanks to those who read, and commented. You made it more like a conversation for me. And that’s all I ever wanted. XO

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