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The terror of now facing my financial state

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This morning I woke early and got out of bed to face the financial music. All week I have been moving between excitement and terror about this first meeting with Lisa and getting down to the detail. I was feeling a bit scared, embarrassed and nervous to be honest.

I was scared of revealing all my financial failings and sins to someone who is financially savvy and skilled. And embarrassed that here I am at my age in debt and with such a poor relationship with money. I knew going in we would be summarising my total debt and that was something I have avoided until today if I could. Finally I was also nervous about the impending changes to my behaviour and the budget I knew I’d now have to live on.

All these questions were running through my mind as I ate my cornflakes:

• Can I really pay all my debts off and live a life I will enjoy?

• What am I capable of creating for retirement when I start at this age?

• Will this be too hard?

• Am I in an extreme situation with my level of debt? (What is extreme?)

• Will people think I am a fool for getting myself into this state?

Wow this is turning out to be both easier and harder than I expected. This is like solving a riddle for me. It is not nearly as bad to confess my financial sins as I imagined. Lisa works in a very practical and pragmatic manner which is comforting to me as I take this big step towards my goal of getting on top of my finances. She took me through the big picture of what I need to do including how to lay out my new budget and what to do with my bank accounts and then gave me a list of tasks to complete before our next meeting. Having been able to ask heaps of questions and know where I am headed is new territory for me. I am quietly excited about this. My tasks include the following:

• Prepare my new budget

• Keep to my weekly spending limit for now until we finalise the budget

• Create a Credit Card/Debt payment register (get current figures)
• Remove my Credit Card from accessibility

• See if KiwiSaver can fit into my budget

• Create new bank accounts to fit the plan – day to day; debt repayment; spending; buffer/emergency fund; and business

• Send outstanding invoices to clients

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