Whenever I am feeling judgemental about my current financial situation, I remind myself that where I am is largely due to cause and effect. My younger self didn’t plan for financial stability and so it only makes sense that her future self—me, right now—ended up without it.
Back then I was doing the best that I could with what I had to stay alive. After almost committing suicide just after my 20th birthday, I took life day by day. I thought that making it to 30 would be nothing short of a miracle and, doubtful that I’d get there, didn’lan for the future.
I never even considered choosing a career until I was 28. I had done a lot of different jobs by then and couldn’t imagine picking just one vocation. This meant that I was always starting over and, by my late 20s, didn’t have much to show cumulatively for my efforts.
Not only did I have an eclectic resume, I frequently lived off my credit card or convinced family members to loan me money. My lifestyle was that of feast or famine. I was perpetually stressed about my finances and tried to pay down my debt in fits and starts. I thought that it was okay that my bank account was always at zero by the end of the month.
It’s no wonder that when—at 30—I found myself in yet another financial crisis, I finally had to acknowledge that cleaning up my finances was my top priority. While I could empathize with my 20-something self for spending money the way that she did, I didn’t want to bring those behaviours and beliefs forward with me into the next 10 years of my life.
Despite my 20-year-old self’s doubts, I had made it to 30. A future was something I got to have and so I needed to plan for it. I started by creating a budget, opening up a Retirement Savings Plan, and putting money into an emergency fund.
I also began thinking long-term about the type of work I want to be doing. This led me to quit marketing and turn my efforts towards coaching and building out a business that helps creatives create the financial stability they need to do their best work.
Most importantly, I was able to look ahead and make clearer, more aligned choices to help me get where I want to go. And while I still stumble as I figure out what these choices need to be, my future looks much different than it did before I realized I needed to prioritize my financial wellbeing.
So, what can you do today to move closer to the future you want?