The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2: 46 Things I DIDN’T Do But Still Very Much WANT To.

So somewhere in my crazy mind, I’d convinced myself it’d be a good idea to write my wrap-up for The 2016 100 all as one post, because I’m always so curt with my posts, of course. A few days of working on it quickly killed that idea, and here were are with the second part of my wrap-up, covering the things I didn’t get around to in 2016, but still plan to manage this year, as well as my reasons why.

(Note: You will see these in some form in The 2017 100, so you know—don’t be too surprised.)


What I Didn’t Do, But Still Want to Do Next Year

7) Stop biting my nails — Ugh. What I probably need to do first is reduce the amount of stress in my life to get a better chance of dropping this disgusting habit. I had a good run early in the year, but hey. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time!
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent — I don’t think those past thank you’s are getting sent. It’s just… not something I’m doing. Instead, I think I’d love to start sending Christmas letters with some personalisation. I’m not a complete jackass, guys, but there needs to be a point where we agree to move on.
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP — Any outstanding finances in general, really: part of being an adult is knowing how much your insurance will pay out. What your benefits cover. What’s in your stock portfolio. 2017 Casey Palmer needs a better handle on all this kind of stuff!

14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad — I mean, you don’t see the magic happening, but my desk and dining room table are plastered with pages of notes as I draft out my posts. Will it happen? Maybe. Do I want it to? Oh heck yes ?

Let’s make this a quickie.

Alright, it’s come to my attention that managing finances might not be something everyone’s well-versed in, here. I’m hoping to do a series of blog posts on financial management, but I’ll need everyone’s help.

A little about me before we start:

  • worked at TD Canada Trust for 6.5 years, finishing up as a Financial Sales Representative
  • have an Honours Bachelor of Arts from York University, majoring in Business & Society with a focus in the Economics and Mathematics/Statistics streams
  • spent two years as a Business/Financial Planning intern for the Government of Ontario, currently employed there as a Project Planning Coordinator

With all that said, please fire off your questions, concerns and ideas for financial management. What do you want to know more about? Where can I help?

Let me know so I can start writing to help you!

Thanks,

–case p.

Day 1: Admitting that there’s a problem.

Good evening, one and all – my name is Casey Palmer, and I have debt.

Granted, it could be a lot worse – as I used to work for a bank, I’ve seen tons of people who’re way in over their heads when it comes to the credit beast, but it should’ve never come to this.

I suppose you could say that I grew up as a very naïve young man.

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I was given my first credit card at the age of 18, when I was still finishing my last year of high school. What it meant to me then was that I had a no-strings attached method of being able to buy all the food, clothes, video games and such that I wanted. I was having a great time as I went on trips to other provinces and out with friends after school. I had no problem paying off more than the minimum payments and generally staying out of financial woe.

But then university came about and changed things up.

Having spent so much time in high school focusing on everything but school work, I got accepted to York University with no offer of a scholarship, something I could have likely attained if I’d just focused. So here I was with my dismal savings habits and tuition to pay for the next whoever knew how long.

So in came limit increases, overdraft protection on my chequing account and the introduction to the magic of the student line of credit. Really, this would all have been fine…

…if I’d been more conscientious of my spending habits.

If I remember correctly, I bought my laptop on a Future Shop card.

I know I had a Best Buy card.

There was a Sears card somewhere in the mix.

I have a Macy’s card and I barely ever go over the border into the United States.

And so on and so forth…

The years of school would progress, and though I would always be in the midst of a good job – nay, a BANK job which gave me access to low interest rates, for some reason, I always believed myself invincible and never having to worry about tomorrow. The next bill. Or anything that was coming.

Upon recently graduating, I was left with:

  • A student loan, locked because I was no longer a full-time student (and hadn’t been for some time – I was taking part-time courses)
  • A TD Gold Select Visa with a very shameful amount racked up on it for no decent reason
  • Overdraft on my chequing account
  • A Henry’s card for several pieces of camera equipment I’d bought over time

A month or so after this, I sat down and really started to look at my finances. With the job I had at the time as an intern for the Government of Ontario, the monthly minimum payment for the Visa ALONE was eating up somewhere around 15-20% of my take-home pay per month! And even my monthly expenses were getting ridiculous:

  • $100 for a monthly pass for the subway
  • $90 for passes for the train in from the suburbs
  • $220 to my parents for “rent” (one should note I’m rarely at home)
  • $270 tithe to my church (though I only started in November)

Plus food and entertainment.

Something had to give and give QUICK.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the fact that I’d reconsidered a trip to Africa in 2009 due to the fact that I had all of this debt and it seriously needed paying off. After severely disappointing my girlfriend with this news, I decided that serious action needed to happen. I’d been working on a new plan for about a month before said discussion, but now it was time to commit to an approach to get rid of this issue. The three things I’ve committed to doing are as follows:

  • Taking a more aggressive stance to monthly payments – I plan to use a larger percentage of my pay cheque to pay down my debt — especially the Visa, so that there’s less interest to set me back
  • Thinking up new ways to generate secondary income to go towards paying off the debts – whether I have to sell my stuff on eBay, draw commissions like a fiend or find another avenue
  • Change my spending habits so that there’s less to worry about at month end when the charges come and it’s time to pay the piper

I hope you choose to follow my journey and I also hope that I present you all with a better situation as time passes.

Thanks, y’all.

–case p.