What to do when Facing a Personal Finance Do-Over

Jeff Curran shares his PeerStory and how he overcame a personal finance do-over when moving to a new city.

Jeff and I worked as Labor Market Research Economists helping to get the state’s workforce back on track after the financial meltdown.

This is his story about getting a financial do-over and getting his finances in order ahead of his new life on the East Coast.

I recently had a near total restart in my personal finances. It’s not that I was necessarily starting from scratch, but rather that I was entering a situation where I had no baseline and no idea where to start.

 I just got a graduate degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City and packed up to move to Boston, Massachusetts for a job. All of a sudden I had to address budgeting in a city that I knew very little about and determining savings.

Next, I made assumptions and set a basic budget. I kept my categories broad with the idea that I would overestimate some parts of the budget and overestimate others.

This basic budget allowed me to see the tradeoffs that I could make in my budget and the places in the budget that had a little wiggle room. I ended up opting for an apartment that was under my maximum and used that money for investing and savings.

Jeff’s budget is a great example of the fact that budgeting and setting financial goals doesn’t have to be a complicated and painful process. Focus on the important things and work from there. 

I love Jeff’s statement about starting from the assumption that the worst thing to do is nothing. It’s not just Jeff but many people procrastinate setting any kind of financial plan well into their later years. 

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