It seems that more and more people are living under financial stress and strain than ever before. And in Canada, at the end of 2015, ‘households held more than $1.65 in debt for every dollar of annual disposable income.’ (source). More and more Canadians are relying on credit to stay afloat and if you look at the graph at the end of the article, you’ll see that it’s rising dramatically since the early 2000s. This debt ratio is credit-market debt and does not include mortgage debt. It’s no wonder everyone is feeling the financial crunch!
Gratitude Tip: The first step in reducing financial stress is your gratitude practice. The more you are grateful for the money you do have, the more will come your way. The second step is to believe that there is a way out and that your situation can improve (instead of getting worse). Affirmations of abundance can be very helpful for this as well. And the third step is looking at different ways to create income.
Today, my family and I don’t have financial stress. About 2 years ago, we were in a very challenging financial situation (for the second time since my husband and I have been together). I’m sharing our story for the first time, hopefully to inspire you that no matter how difficult your situation is, you can turn it around in just a few years.
On Dec 27, 2013, my husband was laid off from his job. Completely unexpectedly. We hadn’t been paying attention to the signs that the company was in trouble, and as the lowest seniority in the IT department, he was the first to go. He had been working there for 5 years. It was a real shock. And like most people, we had less than $1000 in savings. My USANA business was doing well, but certainly not well enough to cover his loss of income, or even the gap left once Employment Insurance would start to pay.
The month of January 2014 was incredibly cold and very stressful. Due to an administrative error, his EI application was not processed and instead of getting his first payment in 4 weeks, it was delayed by almost 8. For me, working on my business in a state financial stress was not great energy. We absolutely had to focus on our gratitude daily in order to get through this. Our credit cards were already close to the max from the year before when I had lost some business that I thought was very solid (common in our industry to lose a ‘leg’). We were on the edge and even had to borrow from friends in order to make it through the first few months. Thank goodness we have amazing friends. Throughout this difficult time I continued to invest in myself and my business, which seems counter-intuitive, but I knew that if I stopped working on myself, we would be in deeper trouble. We had a strict budget, we cut back on some of our USANA product use and found really creative ways to make things works. We kept a positive attitude of gratitude and focused on my husband getting a new job as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, he did get a new role only 3 months after he had been laid off. The financial impact of those three months were devastating for us – and that was only 3 months. I know that many of you know people who have been out of work for much longer. That summer, I knew I would have to be creative in order to get to USANA’s International Convention (a non-negotiable) and that I would have to create more revenue in my business, as well as find creative ways to quickly raise the cash I needed. Our credit cards were constantly maxed out, so in order to book flights and hotel, I had to find the cash to put on the cards and make room. I’m sure some of you can relate to this. And I did. Only a few people in our lives knew the stress we were under, we kept it very private because as a leader in USANA, I didn’t want people to know that we were going through such a hard time (even though I was making a solid income in the business). I did make it to Convention that year. And when it came time to pay for our hotel room at the end of the week, I had accidentally paid my (large) cell phone bill twice and no longer had room on my card. I broke down in front of my roommates and admitted how tough this year had been for us and how sick and tired I was of being stressed about our finances.
Unfortunately, the story doesn’t turn around just yet. In the fall of 2014, we were on our way to a vacation (paid for by my parent’s time share) in Myrtle Beach, and we hit a deer at 100 km/h. Thankfully, my husband was driving and he saved our lives. His beloved Buick however, did not survive and we had to write it off. The challenge was that both our vehicles were paid in full and now we had to buy a new car. The gratitude was not only that we all survived this accident completely unharmed but we ended up getting almost 7 times what we would have on a trade in from the insurance payout. ‘Un mal pour un bien’ as we were say in French.
And finally the most challenging part of that year. The day we were going to pick up our new vehicle, I had a miscarriage and had to have a D&C. I ended up with a very rare bacterial infection that almost took my life. I was hospitalized for almost two weeks, and spent 7 days in a medically induced coma in December 2014. Amazingly, out of this most challenge time of our year came the greatest gift. I was unable to work for the month of December 2014, yet my business grew and I earned more that month than I had for the entire year of 2014. I truly felt the immense value of a residual income and the leverage of an amazing team.
In 2015, things turned around for us. My husband found another job, close to home, that he loves. I advanced to the next level in my USANA business in April 2015, which solidified our income. We were still living close to the edge, but started to have more money to spend on travel, which is were we love to use our disposable income for. Also, thanks to an amazing housing market, and our great credit rating, we were able to use a refinance for our home to pay off the large debt we had incurred and finally get the breathing room we needed to move ahead. This is a one-time only debt solution and we are very blessed that we were able to make this happen (we have an amazing mortgage broker). I continued to focus on my gratitude practice and daily abundance affirmations.
This spring, as many of your know, I advanced to the next level in my USANA business, Ruby Director. This was something I had been wanting to accomplish for years and as a team, we finally made it happen. Now that my business has grown again, we are in the most comfortable position financially that we have been in since we met over 8 years ago. No longer do we have to ‘wait til the next paycheck’ to buy something, or put off fixing or updating something in our home. We can pay cash for all of our plane tickets 🙂 – yes, we still love to travel – and have money in a savings account. We are still being cautious with our spending as we want to make intelligent buying decisions. We have been able to do projects that we never had the money for before. The feeling of not being stressed about money truly is priceless. It took us two years to get here, and I’ve been in business for a decade.
Why bother sharing this with you? What does this have to do with you? My point is this: you have options and no matter where you are today, there is a way out. Networking marketing is the best way that I have found, and if you’ve got another way to turn your financial situation around in two years, I’m always open to hearing about it. I want you to know that I know how you feel cause I’ve been there. I know what it’s like not to have room on my credit card to make a purchase. I know what it feels like to not have an extra $1000 to invest in a business or invest in myself. And I also know there is a way out. And if you already knew how to get out of your current situation, you’d be on your way out, instead of further in deep. If you’re ready to take a closer look at what we do, please complete the application on my mentorship page. And if you’re already a part of our USANA tribe and you’re ready to take it to the next level – simply message me and we’re create a plan for action over the next 90 days together.