I have realized now that in order to be financially successful through a curveball, you have to have prepared before that curveball was even thrown. My first preparation started with my first full time job where I decided to put away my bare minimum expenses every month into an account as my emergency fund. To date, I can go about ten months while paying all of my basic bills without tapping into any other money.
My second preparation was tracking expenses. It can be tedious, but every cent I spend gets recorded somewhere and I look at it frequently. This allows me to see where my money goes and when I need to, cut expenses quickly. It also helps me push back the pressures of consumerism. For example, last year I spent roughly $85 on clothes and accessories. I bought two items: new winter boots because my old boots had holes, and a nice head covering to hide my chemo hair. What other 25 year old woman do you know spending that little on clothes?
My third preparation was simply paying my bills on time so I have a good credit score. A good credit score can open up the world. It allowed me to open up a 0% interest credit card for 15 months to help me float money. I opened it before I got sick to pay tuition for my Master’s program and it’s a reward credit card so I can use those points or cash back later. Now that I’m not able to attend classes, I can pay my medical bills with this card and pay a little bit every month without paying interest. If there is any advice I could give anyone about credit cards, it is to never pay interest.
The fourth preparation is to pay yourself first. I save money from every paycheck into my 401k and then I save a little bit more into a savings account.
So that’s the short version of how I prepared for a curveball before it was even in my sights. This preparation allows me to comfortably sit at home, not working, paying all of my medical bills, and not having to worry about money.