Knowing What IS

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Knowing What IS

 “It depends on your definition of the word, “is.”

As a student of the English language, I had to agree with that statement.  As a student of change management, I heard it again.  We cannot change what “IS” until we know what that is. 

None of us is starting this 7 year journey at the starting gate called “zero” – our baselines are all going to be where we are at this moment in time.

A few months ago, Adrian introduced (most of) us to Networth IQ which helped us determine our net worth at that time.  It’s a kind of baseline of “what is” as well, but simply the financial aspect. 

Another important aspect is where we are emotionally and intellectually – where our heads are.

Here’s where I am:

1.  It’s time to update my Networth IQ

  • I should have updated it last month, but deadlines at work and trying to divest my house of unnecessary things contributed to a major shortage of time, and while I saw the data on my computer, I never consolidated it completely nor put it on NetIQ. 

2.  I’m continuing to work Adrian’s Making Money 101 – debt reduction. 

  • Have a litte mess with Chase Credit Cards going-on and they have about reached my last straw.  (Verizon did that last month after almost a year (similar to Chase) of different aggravating conditions coming up.
  • I still like Verizon’s access, but the hassles now with service aren’t worth it. 
  • Same for Chase.  Bills by them aren’t accessible online to my bank, dont’ always show up in the mail, and therefore trying to pay the minimum monthly and on-time has been problemmatic. 
  • They recently reduced credit limits – which wouldn’t be a problem, but they raised my rate so that my next payment, being the “old” minimum, would now make me late on the payment and additional fees can take me over the new limit , thereby allowing Chase can tack on new charges for being “over limit.”  Games, games, games. 
  • I’m tired of chasing my tail with them.  But, they have one last chance to fix things and that is to return my rate on one card back to what it was. 
  • I’ve paid off another card and will transfer this card’s balance if Chase won’t work with me.

3.  I’m combining debt snowball with avalance right now.  (Here‘s AJC’s take on that.)

  • Typically, I work on the largest interest first (since I work with numbers, this was logical to me). 
  • Because of what Chase has been doing, I decided to pay off the smallest. 
  • I just finished that and freed up a card for re-use.  This was Capital One and they have always played fair by me.  (Discover Card is another one that has always been good at this as well, so I’m happy to see another card showing the same honesty in its dealings with me. (Can’t speak for anyone else’s.))

4.  I’m looking ahead to Making Money 201 – future investments. 

  • I’ve stopped my 401k temporarily as it was losing money lately and I am using that to pay down debt that will free up the ability to make future investments less stressful for me (I still have plenty of credit).
  • Started reading about real estate investments.  Adrian had recommended some books on his blog and I picked up a couple of them and am studying them. 
  • Since time is not plentiful, I have set aside to read 1 chapter or 30 minutes a day, whichever is the most logical break.  I want to give myself time to think about what I am reading and not merely to skim it.  I note to myself that I will probably want to read these again and again – they are that good.

5.  I’m looking at some of Adrian’s suggestions about e-businesses

  • From that, I have recognized that I have something similar to offer others who, like me, struggled with weight/diets after children or “just because” and that I can probably organize my personal blog on that better and offer it to others in an e-book format as well.  It would be a good learning experience for me, as well as help others (which is why I started that blog in the first place).

From this above, I’ve attempted to assess “where I AM” and define “what IS” for me. 

My next step will be to look at where I want to be (Adrian’s Rear Deck Speech and my $/Yrs goal) and start organizing the steps I’m taking NOW (notes above) and see if they are moving me in the direction or not (that would be called a “value-added assessment, btw”). 

  • I should also brainstorm other ideas, not limiting myself but seeing if I know other options that are better than what I am doing now.  (Like, is there something Adrian can help me understand better? or, Can he turn me in a better direction than where I am headed? ….)

In order to get to A from B, you first have to define A and B – so, where are YOU and where do you want to be?

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Reader Comments

This kind of organized “where I am” and “where I want to be” seems like a great exercise to do on a regular basis.

I’m doing good on the Money 101 front but it’s time to step it up and start making the money I’m saving work for me. In the short term, I think that means I need to start researching and planning to start a business.

Now that we have defined A and B, I hope we are in the right train going to B. Good luck Diane!

@ Rachel – sounds great! Share with us all as you go along … and, don’t be afraid to ask/give advice right here at it’s a resource for everybody!

@ Mark – Thanks! Looking forward to your first post, with picture of Trevi fountain!

Thanks, Mark!

Rachel, I think you are looking at the right train, too. Have you read the 4-hour work week? One thing the author did that is very helpful to me is show how to break the kinds of tasks we’re looking at now (the Elephant) into bite-size chunks. I found that really helpful.
Good luck to you both as well!

Great post Diane! Good reminder that we all have to know where we are and where we want to go if we want to be on the right track to get there!

Thanks, Scott!

To All – Chase wouldn’t cooperate this time, so I’ve transferred most of that balance over to Discover Card at a much lower rate (12% lower) and paid off the remainder. It’s a limited-time lower rate, so I am going to put most of my bucks against eliminating that debt next.

@ Di – My wife spent quite a bit of time on the phone with Chase today and we pay off our cards (believe me we have plenty!) every month in full! Not happy … 🙁

@ Adrian – I’m still trying to eliminate Chase from my life, but the remaining debt and card I have with them (they bought up all the cards I have it seems) are fixed rates and lower than my mortgages even (both of them). My life is a complicated spreadsheet based on what’s possible in what time frame more than “full steam ahead” but “we’ll get ‘er done!”