How This FinGym Client Regained Her Financial Confidence Despite Setbacks
Jessica Bee has lived in New York City for the past three years and joined the Financial Gym at the start of 2019. She loves photography, live music and life's small pleasures - like new socks and good coffee!
When it’s taken you a very long time to get on the horse in the first place, falling off can feel like more than just a setback, it can make you feel like giving up. I've never been someone to take my finances very seriously, and I've always had a strange relationship with money (read: no budget and no concept of saving).
So, joining the Financial Gym and putting myself on a financial fitness track was a huge step forward for me. I can’t even begin to describe the amount of anxiety I felt going into my first session with my trainer, Brenda.
Getting financially naked with a complete stranger was almost enough to put me off in the first place, but as a woman in her thirties, I had finally — FINALLY — reached a point where I realized that I needed to confront my financial situation and the truth was, I needed help. Another truth was that I really had no idea how good or bad I was doing.
I run in a circle of family and friends who never talk about their financial situations, and let’s be honest, I think that's a situation a lot of us find ourselves in, so I had absolutely no point of comparison. As it turns out, Brenda was brilliant, supportive, and knowledgeable and things weren’t nearly as bleak as I had conjured up in my mind.
Even if they had been, I know that Brenda would’ve had my back. She and I talked about my goals and put together a budget to set me on track to reaching them.
My biggest goal was to move out and live alone for the first time in my life. My current lease was ending on July 31, 2019, and both my roommate (who happens to be my sister) and I didn’t want to stay in our current apartment any longer for various reasons — it was an ideal time to get out on my own.
Of course, moving is always expensive in New York City, and despite trying to prepare for it, it’s always more expensive than you anticipated. And that’s where my setback hit. I had to move, and nothing was going to plan.
I found my perfect place two months before my current lease ended and couldn’t find anyone to take my place at my original apartment. I originally planned to move with the help of family which turned out to be unrealistic so I had to bring in the professionals at The Gym.
Despite getting a lot of hand-me-down furniture there were still some key pieces I needed to invest in. Do I even need to mention here that my savings took quite a substantial hit, it’s obvious, right?
I dreaded my quarterly review with Brenda following my move into my own place. I was disappointed I set myself back so much, financially, and was afraid that she'd be disappointed in me, too. However, I forced myself to push through the fear and was completely relieved when one of the first things she said was, “You moved!”
She was completely excited for me and asked how I thought I did during the last quarter. I immediately put myself down — I still hadn’t fully funded my emergency fund, I didn't have any no-spend days, and my weekly budget was completely shot.
Brenda was not only supportive of my move, but she also looked through my situation and found other positives that I completely overlooked because I was so worried about where I'd fallen off. For example, my credit score went up about 40 points in the last quarter!
Her support and belief in me to continue forward in rebuilding and working toward my goals really helped change my perspective about my financial situation. A meeting that I thought would make me feel like a failure, had the exact opposite outcome. I felt surer of myself and ready to continue tackling my financial fitness. It was at that moment that I truly realized I made the best decision joining The Financial Gym and that I totally got this.
Though I set myself back several months in accomplishing my other goals, the reality was that in doing so, I reached one, and a big one for me at that. With this change in my perspective, I felt much more confident in meeting my other goals now, too.
I’ve realized that there are going to be hiccups on the way to my ideal financial position, but that’s life. I am adaptable and confident enough to fall off, refocus, and get right back up on that horse.
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