“You already know the right person…”
That was the subject line of an e-mail I received from my bank last month – offering a free meeting with the “Relationship Banker” for my area. I looked the guy up on brokercheck (as you should always do when someone wants to deal with your money!) and he’s a new financial advisor.
As you may have guessed by now based on this blog, I am obsessed with trying to figure out what to do with my debt and how to take care of it the fastest.
I scheduled a meeting to meet with the guy at 9:30am on Saturday morning. I erred on the side of TMI and spent Friday night printing the most recent versions of the following:
- 2015 Taxes
- Retirement Account Statements
- Credit Card Statement
- Student Loan Statement
- Mortgage Statement
- Insurance Policy Summary
- 2016 Expenses – exported from Mint.com
It was an hour of relaxed conversation that gave the RB a better understading of my situation and he was able to give me a gameplan. Here were my key takeaways:
ONE: The majority of my debt are investments
Aside from $1,700 on a 0% interest balance transfer card – my debt are student loans and a mortgage. I wouldn’t be making the salary I’m making or in the field I’m in without that Master’s – even if it’s not what I went to school for. I once asked my supervisor if she thought I’d be able to pass the insurance license exam and she looked at me when I was crazy and said “Uh, yeah, you got a Master’s!”so I need to think of this debt as an investment and accomplishment and that it is something tangible. He pointed out the window and said “there are guys out there right now with $76,000 in CREDIT CARD DEBT”
TWO: Calm down about my student loans
I’m on the Income-Based Repayment plan so as long as I make on-time monthly payments, they will be forgiven in 25 years. I can’t see myself getting such a raise in income that I will no longer qualify for these so I was advised to make my monthly minimum payments and not really worry about them right now.
THREE: Do something you love and always be open to new opportunities
He strongly suggested that I get back into art and creating and try to find some profit in it – he even suggested blogging! And I’ve felt it recently and may have even flat-out told my boyfriend that I wanted Windsor & Newton Oil Paints for my birthday next week.
He also mentioned that I should always keep my resume updated and be open to new opportunities because the only way to make more money in our industry is to move around.
FOUR: “Don’t just micro-save, macro-save”
An exact quote form my Relationship Banker on my way out after explaining how Digit and Qapital work and how I’ve been trying to use them for savings. He also said I should hold off as long as possible on the kitchen remodel.
Instead of throwing all of my money into all of my debts I should be putting my extra money into savings and my mortgage. Instead of keeping myself poor trying to pay these off I should be building savings so I don’t have to use credit cards when emergencies crop up. He told me to build up my savings and then look at everything in August and start allocating some of the savings into different debts. I have until October to pay off that $1,700 before it accrues interest so there’s no rush. There’s no rush! Just stop accumulating credit card debt and this will be handled!
This guy is available to me via phone or e-mail anytime I have a question and has a file ready for when we meet again in a year. I feel renewed and excited for the new year with a new gameplan.
Have you ever met with a financial advisor? If not, would you?