They (don’t ask who ‘they’ are) always say the first step to any kind of recovery is to admit you have a problem. You follow that with defining your problems. This is what I hope to achieve with this post.
I blame(or credit, depending on which way you look at it) the following for bringing me to this stage:
I would like to tell you how big a procrastinator I am, but I think I’ll do it in my next post. (People have told me I’m funny. Yes, really.)
Lame jokes apart, procrastination has caused me quite a bit of grief in my life. Whether it is something as trivial as buying paper towel for the kitchen (I ended up using Kleenex as paper towel for a while) or something more serious like doing your taxes, I have procrastinated to great extents. If I can get out of this old and dirty habit, I believe my life will be easier, simpler, happier and more efficient.
This probably ties into the aforementioned point, but I felt it deserved it’s own spot in the sun mainly because it ruled most of my life. Take the elevator instead of climbing a single flight of stairs, eat out for lunch because I don’t want to make lunch and take it with me, don’t read my employer’s retirement savings and benefits guide, don’t exercise etc. Thankfully, I have got around most of these hindrances, and I think it mostly stemmed from the fact that I enjoyed running. Running gave me confidence, I found I was less tired, more active (both physically and mentally) and willing to take on more stuff that I was either too bored (read lazy) and too cool (read lazy) to do.
In this age, where pretty much everything is available, I think a majority of the population only has themselves to blame when they are unaware of common issues. I am 28 and up until a few weeks ago, knew next to nothing about investing. I thought just because my employer matched my RRSP contributions and also essentially provided me with one free share for every two that I purchased, I was way ahead of the game. I thought it meant I could retire in luxury and didn’t have to worry one bit about any other financial stuff. How wrong I was?! I am still learning every day, getting shocked every day with new information on topics ‘I thought I knew about’ and learning all about making your money work for you.
All of the above factors combined to me being unemployed for just over 6 months in 2011. It led to my savings being slashed by about 40-45% (mainly through sale of my employer’s stock), me being stressed every day and night, not to mention my fiancee and the rest of my family being worried about me. It was an eye-opener to say the least.
Even after the rocky year that was 2011, I feel I’m lucky. Through the support of my employer (I’m back working at the same company again), family and friends, I am gainfully employed once again. My gross income has increased by more than 23% since May, 2011. My girl-friend is now my fiancee, and life overall is great!
Now that I have covered everything that I think has played a part in me getting to this state, my next post will focus on what I plan to do to get me to a better financial position.