This article was written by Sara Freitas-Maltaverne, a French to English translator. She specializes in high-quality translating, training and copywriting and works with a team of translators to provide the same service in the major European languages. You can find her blog here. This is part four, of a four part series.
My own story
My own story started around ten years ago. I was just out of grad school, flat broke (I had about $300 in cash to my name) and up to my ears in student loan and credit card debt (around $30K). When I got married in 1998, my husband was just out of the army and was unemployed and I was working as a teacher. We had a potluck wedding and took a bus to our honeymoon destination! Things have turned around quite a bit since then. Through careful planning, we were able to pay off my debt, set up an emergency fund, and start saving for retirement. We were also able to buy our own home and invest in a second rental property. But today it is time to reassess. After some unexpected expenses this year, our emergency fund is practically at zero. Most of our savings are now tied up in high-risk investments made on the spur of the moment for immediate tax relief (Oops, I hadn’t anticipated the whopping income tax payments in France…time to revise my plan) or other investments that are locked in for ten years with huge penalties for early withdrawal. Right now I find myself coming up short at the end of the month without a lot of maneuvering room. So, it is time to get back to basics, rebuild our emergency fund, start living within a budget again, and start putting money aside on a regular basis rather than throwing huge chunks into risky investments on a whim. In short, it is time to re-deversify my investments. These days I am not feeling very good about my financial situation, and, like many people, when I am feeling stressed about money, I have to resist the urge to spend even more (that faulty logic that a new pair of shoes or that new set of golf clubs-or whatever it is that men buy on impulse-will somehow make me feel better…many of us have been there before!).
If this story has a moral, then it is if I can do it, then anyone can. It is just a matter of getting informed, getting started, and sticking with your plan-or revising it after a setback.