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Dear Olga: Commission slowdown

Dear Olga,

I bought a fixer-upper home when I was making 6 figures (salary + commission) but now that the commission has slowed, I ran up my credit cards and feel I am in a mess even though I stopped using them. I have no savings and am fearful of what to do.

Please help!



Dear Lin,

Sometimes life moves so quickly, by the time we realize something isn't right it's a lot to handle. I have definitely been there myself.

The first thing that may seem the scariest but will give you a peace of mind is creating a budget.

Think of your money goals as your map and your budget as your compass. A budget allows you to see where you are today and plan how to get to your goals.

If you've never created a budget before you can find a few templates on the resources page of my website. You may also find this "Dear Olga" post that lists the budget process step-by-step.

Consider splitting up any large costs, like mortgage payments, equally in each paycheck. Most people wait until the last paycheck of the month to may a large payment and then are left with no cash until they get paid next time. Read this blog post about splitting costs evenly and how it can improve your position.

Next, commit to not adding any new debt moving forward. If you're spending more than what you make, work on cutting costs where you can. This may take you some time of trial and error to get to your sweet spot, so don't get discouraged if it takes a month or two to get to this point.

Now let's tackle your debt now that you've made a commitment to not adding new debt. List your debt so that you know what you have to pay back. Consider putting together a debt snapshot, which allows you to see where you are today and what you're working with.

My favorite debt repayment plan is Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball Plan, where you focus on the smallest debt first and combine payments on the next debt as you move through each debt account. You can find the detailed steps to using this for your debt strategy in this blog post.

I hope this outlines some of the steps you can take to help you with feeling overwhelmed. If you need more guidance, I would be happy to have a quick call with you, here's a link to my calendar 🗓

Good luck!



If you have a money question, submit it here for a chance to be featured in the "Dear Olga" column!

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