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Lessons from the not-so-distant past

Are we still in a pandemic? It's so hard to tell now, but it was REALLY obvious in early 2020. Everything shut down. We stayed home. And no one knew what the next day would hold. Then, something crazy happened....interest rates dropped to historic lows and practically everyone in the country decided to refinance their mortgage. Cha Ching! Notaries were KILLING IT, and making money hand over fist. It was literally like business was falling out of the sky. There was so much business, we were turning jobs down because we simply didn't have the time. Ahhhhh.....the good ol' days. I joke about it now and tell people that if you were a notary in 2020 and 2021 you could wake up, roll out of bed, not even brush your teeth and still make an easy $10k each month.

If you started out as a Notary Signing Agent in the pandemic years, let me be the first to tell you that it was not normal. Now that business is stabilizing, I hear a lot of notaries saying that the "business is dead." It's not. It never will be....people will always need homes and they will purchase homes no matter the interest rate. My parents first home mortgage was 19%, and that was standard back in the late 1970's. The notaries that established relationships with title & escrow companies will be just fine. The volume isn't a great as it was the previous 2 years, but it's very likely it never will be again. Those of us who focused on building relationships to grow our businesses will be the ones left standing after the "pandemic notaries" move on to another get-rich-quick opportunity.

I don't say that to be harsh....I actually do have a point to this rant and here it is: learn from the lessons of the near past and be sure you're saving a portion of your income every month for when the market dips again.

Today is National Savings Day, and it really got me to thinking about money habits. Most people spend what they make, but when you work on commission (and as notaries, we do work on "commission") you have to plan for the future that isn't always guaranteed. When times are good, be sure you're taking a larger than usual portion of your income and put it away for when times are a bit more lean. Imagine if you had done that over the last 2 years. Would you be as concerned about finances right now? Don't let that get you can start saving immediately. Just commit to putting some money aside from every notary job you accept. Even if that means putting a few dollars in an envelope and hiding it from yourself (a trick I used to employ in my 30's).

One of my friends, Selecia Young-Jones, owner of Rainbow Wedding Chapel in Jacksonville, FL has a trick that she uses to pay for the conferences she attends and any learning opportunities that interest her. Every week, she sets aside at least $25 no matter what so when something comes up she wants to be a part of, she has the money available to her.

Another friend of mine takes 50% of every notary job and puts it into her savings account automatically. She pays herself first before anyone else, which is a money hack that Suze

Orman recommends.

Personally, I invest at least 30% of my income and put the other 70% into a joint account that pays our bills. I know that once the 3 kids I have in college right now have graduated, I'll be able to significantly increase that investment amount. I reevaluate my savings percentage every January. What works for me one year, may not work the next so flexibility is important, but so is being determined to save my money. Sure, I'd love to purchase all kinds of things but I know deep down that "stuff" doesn't make me happy. Not stressing over money makes me happy.

So on National Savings Day, I encourage you to learn from the not so distant past and think about a money plan that fits your life, and be sure to include how to save your money in that plan. The smallest amounts add up over time with consistency and dedication.

If you have a money hack that works for you, I'd love to hear about it! Just respond to this email!

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