Big Changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Angel Poon has been part of the Snowball coaching community since 2018. She is the co-founder of a recruiting tech startup, and in her free time she enjoys arts & crafts, alternative medicine, photography, and binge watching Anime. Now that we’ve been working together for a bit, I asked Angel to write about her first Snowball Coaching call. Angel did not receive compensation for writing this post.
I knew 2018 was the year I wanted a fresh start with my finances - I had been so focused on launching our startup and being part of a rigorous accelerator, that I had neglected that part of my life. I met Pearl a while ago and found out about what she was doing through their Instagram. Similar to the founders, I was a 1st generation college graduate with immigrant parents and really resonated with what they stood for. Though I had carved out a successful career in technology, I had never been taught the right financial moves to make. I’m a true believer in taking charge of your success, so when I saw that they were offering a free 15 minute beta call I jumped at the chance.
I scheduled a 15 minute beta call with Tanya and immediately felt a sense of vulnerability. They sent over an intake form to “get to know me and my finances”, and as I filled out the short questionnaire it felt more real. I had never really talked openly about my finances to anyone, and secretly I was a bit embarrassed that I still had student debt from college and grad school. When the day came for my beta call, I debated just cancelling it, but knew this was just the first step to a better me. I grabbed one of the phone booths at my coworking office, took a deep breath, and got ready to hop on with Tanya.
When I hopped on the video call with Tanya, I immediately felt warm energy and comfortable around her. She gave a pretty quick intro on why the team created Snowball (to solve her own problems!), and then spent the next 15 minutes figuring out my needs. Her first question was “What is your biggest financial concern?” I had so many things in mind when she asked that question! What’s the best way to pay down my student debt and should I look into a refinancing? How should I think about allocating each paycheck? How should I think about caring for my parents in the future? I know I need to invest more, but how can I learn the basics of investing?
We only had a 15 minute call, so Tanya walked me through one of my questions on student debt. I was curious what a refinancing was, and whether it would make sense for me. It was reassuring when she talked about the Snowball values of only giving advice that you would give to a close friend, and laying out all the options (not just the easiest one). After that, she shared the Snowball coaching program which provides 1x1 coaching (either through video or text) to help me reach my financial goals (through advice, support, learning modules, and more!).
When I ended the call, I wanted a chance to think it through before I signed up (after all, it was a monthly subscription and I would need to commit some of my time). I was browsing through my ClassPass settings one day and checking my billing, when it hit me that if I could spend that amount on my health, I should just as easily spend it on my financial wellness. I ended up signing up for the higher tier video call plan, because I wanted a bit of hand holding in the beginning. As I got more comfortable with where I was going, I decided to downgrade to the text plan a few months later. Luckily, it still provides access to my financial coach, and we often have our monthly “chat storms” to make sure I’m on the right track.
Since that first call, I have opened up to Snowball and created a budget, found the best way to pay down my student debt, started to learn about investing, and increased my net worth (for those who don’t know, it’s how much you have after you take out how much you owe). Unfortunately, I’ve tried a financial plan and it simply doesn’t work for me - I hate looking at long documents in PDF and can’t really visualize a goal that’s a few years out. I like clearly defined small steps, so it’s been amazing to set goals with my coach each month (that work towards my bigger goals).