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Transforming FOMO into Financial Freedom: A Budget-Friendly Social Solution (Mia’s Story)

Meet Mia, a new mom facing the challenges of maintaining a social life on a limited budget during her maternity leave. Despite financial constraints, she was determined not to lose her connection with friends, especially the monthly get-togethers that often strained her budget.

Client Background

Mia is in her early 30s, and lives in King City, ON with her husband Mark. They have recently welcomed their first baby girl, Emma. Mia works as a Marketing Coordinator in Toronto, earning $65,000 per year. Since going on maternity leave, Mia has been receiving around $600 in EI per week, which is a reduction on her usual salary.

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The Challenge

Mia and her husband, Mark, were grappling with the dilemma of wanting social engagement with the financial realities of their reduced income during maternity leave. The monthly dinners with friends were becoming a significant financial strain, including the cost of dining out, entertainment, and arranging a babysitter. Each dinner would cost them around $300 for a nice restaurant meal, and sometimes going to a show or a hockey match afterwards. Mia knew it wasn’t in their budget to continue going out, but she had real FOMO (fear of missing out) on the social aspect of her life, and was embarrassed to discuss her financial challenges with her friends.

Solution

When Mia reached out to address their financial concerns, Spergel, the ‘get rid of debt’ people, stepped in to help, emphasizing the importance of finding a sustainable solution that allowed Mia and Mark to maintain social connections without compromising their financial stability. Our expert counsellor at Spergel discussed the expenses and provided some suggestions. They discussed turning the expensive nights out for a night in – taking turns hosting, sharing the cost of bringing food, and even having a game night or watching a movie at home with the same group. Although Mia was very hesitant initially to suggest this idea to her friend group, she finally decided it was worth a try. Either she’d need to eventually cut out the expensive evenings each month and miss out altogether, or she’d need to find a different solution.

Implementation

During counselling sessions with Spergel, the suggestion was made to transition the monthly dinners from expensive outings to more affordable and intimate gatherings at home. The proposal included taking turns hosting, sharing the cost of food, and enjoying activities like game nights or movie evenings.

Results

At the second counselling call with Spergel, Mia revealed that she had successfully suggested the night-in concept to her friend group. Surprisingly, most couples were willing to give it a try. The group started hosting gatherings at each other’s homes, leading to more open conversations about their financial situations. Mia even found out that others were also struggling financially with the expensive night out, but hadn’t wanted to be the ones to bring it up. They have now begun getting together at each other’s houses more often than going out – or the girls go out and the guys all get together at one house and watch the kids, or vice versa to reduce costs. Now, when they do all get together and go out for a nice dinner, they all appreciate the outing more as it is a treat and included as part of their budget without breaking the bank.

Conclusion

Mia’s success story highlights the power of adapting your social habits to align with your financial goals. Spergel’s guidance not only helped her maintain friendships but also fostered more open discussions about financial challenges within her friendship group.

Client Testimonial

Choosing a night in over an expensive night out with our friends was a game-changer. Spergel’s advice helped us maintain our social life without breaking the bank. Now, when we do go out, it’s a treat we appreciate, and it’s well within our budget.” – Mia

How Spergel can help you

At Spergel, the ‘get rid of debt’ people, our expert Licensed Insolvency Trustees have been helping Canadians to gain debt relief for over thirty years. We help individuals in various ways to improve your financial wellbeing. In this scenario, our approach focused on detailed spending tracking in order to budget and live within your means. Here are some ways we can help you:

  • Debt consolidation and management – making debt easier to handle and reducing overall interest payments.
  • Budgeting – we help to create realistic budgets and financial plans tailored to your needs.
  • Credit counselling – we offer guidance on improving and maintaining a healthy credit score. 
  • Debt relief – for any individuals facing significant financial challenges, we provide advice on your options including bankruptcy and consumer proposals, guiding you through the process and helping you make informed decisions.

By offering a range of services and expertise, we aim to empower individuals to gain financial freedom and to take control of their finances to build a more secure future.

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