Sometimes, even when you're doing everything right, life throws you a curve ball straight out of left field.
Lets face it, no matter how great we think we're doing, we're not always prepared for those kinks in the road. I found this out just this week.
I've spent the better majority of the last 12 years cleaning up the mess I made of the first 16 years of my adult life. I'm talking mostly financially. I made bad decisions, didn't budget, didn't save and my credit was horrible by the time I was 31.
I sat down 11 years ago with my current banker (and friend now) and started fixing it. I have worked my ass of during this time to pay off every debt I had, from collections to a judgement, etc. You get the idea. I have worked so hard that I got to the point I was able to buy a house and an almost new truck. I could have bought new, but I couldn't justify the hit you take driving a new vehicle off the lot.
My credit report is beautiful. A handful of cards/loans with low balances and on time payments. No derogatory accounts. I ‘thought' I was doing great. Until Thursday afternoon. Some account out of the past (14 years ago) had levied my bank accounts and I was clueless. No notification, no clue what it was, anxiety took over. I freaked out!
Come to find out, something I thought was taken care of back then, wasn't. They tried to get ahold of me via old phone numbers/addresses and then chose to levy my accounts. This account didn't show up on my credit report AT ALL for years and years. My banker and I looked through all of them again, multiple times, to see if we missed it somehow. Nope, not there, nada.
After some reworking of accounts and creative thinking, it's been taken care of, but the weight of it is still there. So, do I have anything else that I thought was taken care of or forgot about that will crop up in the future?
Writing about this is a way to tell you to keep track of everything. Even if you think something is taken care of, get that confirmation in writing. Keep that in a file. Hopefully, you can avoid being blindsided, like I was this week. After this happened, I've gone through and made sure I've updated my list of accounts/balances/etc. I am not going to let this happen again. I'm just glad I was able to swiftly rectify the situation.
While I'm at it, start a savings for emergencies. Even if you don't think you can, you should. Make sure you're updating your budget regularly and making changes as needed to keep yourself out of the red. If you have a problem spending your savings, put it in a Christmas club at your bank or credit union. Typically, you can't touch it until right before Christmas that year.
If you're like me, you're working towards financial freedom and maybe wanting to work towards retiring early. Sadie Smiley has a great list of books to start reading. I'm just starting on them, myself. I may be 46, but I'm hoping to not work a day past 55. At least, not at my day job.