I pulled the band aid off… Actually, it was more like I had run out of band aids and was forced to cover my imaginary wound with a roll of duct tape. So yeah, I ripped that business off (with loads of trepidation mind you) with my first ever visit to a financial planner.
Side note – when I say I talked with a financial planner, I feel transported to the 1960’s ultra rich country club scene. You know, where I have a martini in one hand and there is some guy named Chet who is giving me shady stock tips and there is a game of cricket happening in front of me. Oh and I’m rocking some retro sunglasses fo’ sho’.
Anyway, it’s been detailed how I love the blissful world of denial. Well, this certainly extends to my future finances (ha! and some of my current ones!). First of all, I knew I had some retirement. When I started working at my current institution, part of the benefit package was they put 11% into my retirement. My contribution – nada. Yep, there is this magical 11% out there that was created by very nice wizards. And I love it. (Unfortunately for the poor souls who started work a few years ago, they don’t get this same benefit package – lucky me, I was grandfathered in!) So, I wasn’t on as shaky ground but I also wasn’t sure what else we would be discussing and I was frightened.
But it was a good experience. My friend’s beau is a new employee with Edward Jones so he is roughly my age and can explain the lingo. I gave him a variety of panic attacks: 1. I have NEVER opened one of my retirement account statements. My thought was, “I’m not going to understand it anyway, what’s the point?”. 2. When I divulged I keep my tax return in my car (well, I had been so any perspective robbers out there – it’s GONE!). He asked me, “what if someone broke in and stole your identity?” One part of me thought this would be a-okay since they could have my student loans. But I explained no one breaks into orange bugs – they just aren’t burglar magnets
Please don’t say I just jinxed myself…
Anyway, we went through the types of investments and where I could put some of my funds if I so choose. We also opened up the statement and *SURPRISE!* I have a nice little nest egg for when I retire. He asked me when I wanted to retire and I decided 63 was a solid age. Now, I need to figure out if I want to put some money in other types of investments or continue on my merry way. Such decisions.
First a pot roast and now a financial planner – last week was a big adult week for me.
When I got back, I decided to figure out where my monies have been high-tailing it to. Once upon a time, I was all, “I’m going to budget, ya, ya, ya” – for some reason I said this in a German accent. No idea. But a plan never came to fruition since I figured I could just do the math in my brain. You know, because this works and all. So, the next day, I printed out a budget sheet along with last month’s statement to see what I’ve been spending.
I found some leaky pipes for sure so for this month, I’m tracking every purchase as I make ’em. It’s kind of daunting so I have fine point colorful sharpies to help me through it. Being Nov, I got to drop $517.00 on a plane ticket back to the great state of WA for the holidaze, so that will be an impressive blip on the budget radar. Nevertheless, I’m sticking to it. Must. Track. All. The. Budget. Things.
I’ll keep you posted. In my mind, I’ve created this budget utopia (I don’t really know what this is) but I have quite the vivid imagination so we’ll see. I’m committed though.