I’ve been on this kick about setbacks and challenges as you’re growing and also setting realistic expectations for people. Because when you want to do really big things in the world, you are going to be challenged.
When you want to grow, you are going to be challenged. I think a lot of people out there make it seem way too easy. And then people get discouraged easily because the expectations were not really set out. So, I’m on this kick about that recently because I’m tired of people lying to you. What I want to talk about today is an experience I had in my own life. So here are my financial setbacks then versus now.
My Financial Setbacks (Then)
So I had this moment recently where I realized just how far I’ve come. And I was like, “Okay, so what’s the difference between now and the last time I had to go through this?” So a lot of you know that several years ago, I woke up one morning and I had an infection, basically, on my back gums, both of them. And I ran to the orthodontist and I’m like, “I don’t know what’s going on.” And my orthodontist was basically like, “You have an infection back there and you need surgery, like, now. If that gets into your jaw and your bloodstream it’s going to be bad…”
You know, mouth things are actually really scary. I don’t think people realize how dangerous it is when you don’t take care of your mouth. Within 24 hours, I’m at a periodontist’s and basically, I didn’t have insurance back then. This was about a year into running my business full time. And I hadn’t even thought about dental insurance back then. On top of that, I only had $1,000 in emergency savings. And I really wasn’t making that much money from my business.
I had to negotiate to afford it.
I negotiated with them, but at first, it was like $2,000 per side of my mouth. It makes me cry just thinking about it. And even if I had insurance, it wouldn’t have covered the whole thing anyway, and I know that now.
So I’m like, “Oh, shit.” But, I think I got them down to like $2,500 for the whole thing, which then made me wonder “Who makes up these fucking prices for medical and dental stuff? If I just got you to do that, how does this all work?” Anyway, I digress. I had to slap that on a credit card. Because I only had $1,000 in emergency savings at the time, I wiped out all my emergency savings and then I had $1,500 of credit card debt.
My Financial Setbacks and Lessons
And back then, I wasn’t as financially empowered as I am now. Because back then, that scared me. I’m just being honest. And it was the first time I think that I ever carried that much debt on a credit card and had that much responsibility. And I came to certain conclusions. One, you better save a shit ton more money in emergency savings than $1,000. This whole thousand dollar crap that some people talk, you need a hell of a lot more than that.
And number two, you’ve got to be consistently making more money. So it was kind of a wakeup call and it was kind of a shock. Now, a few years later, I have to go back for another procedure. But it’s not an emergency and I have insurance this time, even though insurance will only cover $1,000. And this time I’m not worried about it. The money is sitting in the bank, so I don’t have to worry about that. And I’ve got consistent income coming in and my income is consistently increasing. These days, I’m just not worried about it as much anymore.
And the worry didn’t really come from having insurance because like I said, the insurance only covered $1,000, so I still have to shell out a lot of money out of my own pocket. I mean, dental insurance is basically just a discount plan anyway. The confidence came from the fact that I know how to make money.
Financial Lessons That Everyone Should Know
Due to everything I’ve been through, I wanted to be honest with you on the two main things I believe financially.
- Save more than you think you’ll need, and
- Consistently make money, even if you think you’re in a good place.
This will make a huge difference in how set up you are financially. You never know what could happen, but you could at least prepare for it and keep yourself from being stressed out.