I had the opportunity to meet with Derek again yesterday. I feel very fortunate to be working with him! When I went in I couldn’t help but wonder, “What does a financial planner do when there are no finances to plan with?” I was prepared to hear him tell me all the ways in which I should cut back even further, but that wasn’t his approach at all.
He looked at it from a much bigger perspective: as life planning rather than just financial planning. We talked about how to make it through November and even December. He did point out one place where he thought I could cut: my PrePaid Legal membership that’s $30 per month. Logically, I see his point. Emotionally though, that’s a hard one for me. I’d started the membership when I was going through my divorce as an inexpensive way to get legal advice. I’m also able to get my will done for free, which means a lot to me in terms of making sure the kids are taken care of. Once the will is done though, do I still need it? I don’t know. I know I could easily sign back up again, and yet, the reasons I divorced in the first place may necessitate having legal help readily available even now. So having that membership is a psychological comfort. He gave me two weeks to give it some thought.
We did agree to cut back my “mad money,” the personal money for me. I was giving myself $25 per paycheck, or $50 per month. We decided to trim that down to $35 for the month. We talked briefly about taking it entirely out of the budget for now, but I’ve realized that having it – giving myself permission to take care of me in little ways – has really made a tremendous difference in helping me to feel good about sticking to the rest of my budget. That money, as small an amount as it might be, keeps me from falling into feeling deprived, and so it also curbs the needs to splurge. It’s a nice balance, and so we agreed to keep something there.
We talked again about school as well and agreed that my deadline to have the writing sample for my application complete would be Wed., November 11th, and everything would be mailed off on or before Friday, November 13th. I find myself looking forward to studying this weekend!!