Welcome to another #3NoMoreThan5in5, The Business of Life series. In this addition, i’d like to spend a couple of minutes reflecting on and hopefully offering some thoughts around my mid career progression.
When we spoke last, I shared with you how I didn’t know how to manage my paychecks very well as a new employee at Enterprise, specifically with the transition from a hourly employee, where I kind of knew what I was going to get every paycheck, to a salary plus profit based bonus employee. That profit based bonus fluctuated quite a bit and I was ill prepared to fill the gaps when the profits weren’t great. It took time, probably 6 to 8 months. As my career evolved, I got much better at making sure I have enough in my checking account for my bills and setting aside a rainy day fund, that was Savings Account #1, for any unexpected emergencies where I need a chunk of money, and Savings Account #2, my slush fund that would help fill that gap when we had slower business months, smaller profit months. This way, I could manage through those dips in my income because I knew I had money sed aside.
I know everyone knows to sed aside money in their 401K, take advantage of whatever other types of savings components are out there. I am not a financial advisor, but if I were to give my 25 to 30 year old self some advice, I would say, increase your contributions to your 401K or savings account with every promotion. I didn’t do that, I was pretty stable and steady in my contribution amount and I know there are limits of how much you can actually put in to your 401K, but even if I had increased by 1%, how much I put into that 401K every time I got a promotion/how much I set aside, may be 12% away into that rainy day fund and 11% away into my slush fund, who knows where I could be today! Please don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have built a nice little nest and able to do all this in terms of blogging and exploring things in my retirement, but if I were to give myself some advice, that’d be something I would offer.
I would also advice my younger self to seek out expert help sooner rather than later. Easy to invest in 401K because many companies offer them, but did I really understand what was happening with my 401K? No. Did I really know what to do with that rainy day fund? Once it hit a substantial amount in that 5 digit window? That’s a significant amount of cash sitting there, could I have invested that into something earlier? I probably could have, but I didn’t know to do that because I hadn’t sought out the advice of an expert, a financial advisor, a fiduciary, someone who is required and is held to an ethics accountability level that whatever advice they give them if for my best interest. Not just because they sell me a stock, they make money! But because they are truly looking out for longterm best interest of their client.
In my mid career, I probably didn’t leverage the potential to save more as my income grew. I hope you think of doing that! I was also probably a little late in the game getting specific advice from an expert. Hopefully you will think of doing that as well! And when we come back together for the next evolution of this series, let’s talk a bit about maturing and responsibilities that come with aging parents and as your career evolves into senior levels. Until next time, thanks for visiting at #3NoMoreThan5in5. Talk to you soon, cheers!