Monday, September 24, 2018

The Week of the 20th

This is my 4th week of not working, and I've adjusted rather nicely to my new routine. I've been going out to enjoy the city almost every day, and I haven't really felt the impact on my wallet. I've come across a multitude of places offering inexpensive, or even complimentary, food, merchandise, workshops, and experiences. As I was planning for life after my nine-to-five, I thought I would really miss my regular paycheque, but I haven't really noticed it... until today.

The week of the 20th is when I pay all my bills. A few years ago, I would write separate dates in my agenda and pay each bill as it became due; however, this process broke down from time to time, which made me feel anxious about missing a payment. I decided to review all my recurring bills to figure out the best time in each month to pay them all at once, and I found that the week of the 20th was the ideal time for me. My agenda is set up with weekly to-do lists (which I referenced in this post), and when I see the reminder on the week of the 20th, I pay all my bills in a single session. It was a lot more efficient to batch the process, and it has worked out great.

This was the first "week of the 20th" since I left my job. When I paid my bills today, I felt a pang of anxiety. I knew it was irrational, because I have money saved up and my bills are a lot lower than they once were, but the fear was still there. As I went through the motions of checking my credit card expenses against my finances spreadsheet and reconciling each account, my fear mounted. Then I noticed a couple pending transactions on one of my credit cards, and my fear spiked. When did I use this card? What did I spend money on? How could I have been so stupid to leave my full-time job?

Another pending transaction came in as I was doing my monthly reconciliation, and suddenly the fear went away. The light went on. Someone was making unauthorized transactions on my card right before my eyes! I was annoyed at the thief, but also thankful, because this discovery snapped me back to the present and propelled me to action, instead of continuing with the downward spiral of self-doubt. I called the credit card company and another transaction was attempted when we were on the phone. As we spoke and dealt with the issue, my confidence and rational mind came back. Fear quashed. I know my fear will surface again at some point, but I also know I need to learn to trust myself more.

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