Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Kick in the Pants

Gal-pal and BFF, Gail
When I went to the book store today to buy my book for the book club, I saw Gail’s book “Debt Free Forever” at the till and I instantly gushed to the teller about how that book had changed my life. Can you believe the progress that I have made? I’m really enjoying 2012 so far and I can only see things getting better! As of now I have less than $20,000 of debt left to pay off and it’s only been 1 year and 3 months since I started this process. That figure is truly mind-blowing for me being the guy who could have spent that kind of money in one year normally to become the guy who is giving financial advice at parties. Thank you so much Gail Vaz-Oxlade!

A nice kick in the pants!
This week has been full of great conversations and activities. On Wednesday I met with my friend ‘L’ for lunch which she graciously paid for. She and her husband were in a similar situation as I was with debt up to their eyeballs but they managed to find a way to get back on track and fix up their credit. Listening to her story was a great motivator for me to keep this up and to continue to look for ways that I can save. Not only do she and her husband manage to stay out of debt, on top of it all they raise two adorable children without trying to keep up with the Jones’. I feel like she is a great example of someone who figured out that you need to step back and really look at what it is that you need and try to live within your means. That lunch was certainly a nice kick in the pants.

I’m continuing on with my resolution to not drink for the month of January and it has definitely been a challenge. It’s so funny how people got used to me being that guy who always had a beer in his hand at a party and how they react to me as a result. I think that some people think that there may be something wrong with my health, but I’m here to tell you, there isn’t. The biggest motivation to quit drinking is to get myself back into shape, which it is definitely doing (hello flatter stomach). Secondly, I am getting to save a lot of money from my entertainment budget. I was at the bar on Friday and I spent only $12. That’s pretty ridiculous for me since usually a few beers will bring me up into the $30-$40 range. Since I am on the subject of being sober at the bar, I’d like to ask all the non-drinkers how they do it! Sure, I had a great time being with my friends and dancing to horrible remixes to horrible songs, but I couldn’t believe how much people make out – and with multiple people! It was really quite astonishing and disgusting.

Crayon Art - Cheap and Beautiful!
Speaking of entertainment, I want to share some great low-cost ideas with you that I have participated in recently. The first was a really great idea to make artwork using crayons and some canvas from the dollar store. My friend Eric hosted me and some friends to make some crayon art by melting crayons onto canvas and it turned out really well! The best part is that it was really inexpensive and a super fun idea. Search the internet for some how-to instructions and go to town! The next cheap as free activitiy is to get out and enjoy winter. Yes, I know that it’s colder than a witch’s tit out there, but when you strap on (lol) some skates and hit up the rink, you get to have some fun for free and enjoy winter at the same time. Yes, the winter can be $hitty sometimes, but as with all things, sometimes you just need to say “eff it” and make your bad situation into a good one.

I have really noticed lately that I am becoming more positive with my outlook on life. When I get asked how I am doing, I don’t even flinch when I say that I am truly doing well and I think that my healthy financials are living proof of this. Looking back, I always sort of had an understanding of how money works and I don’t recall being taught specifically how savings, RRSPs, loans, credit cards, and all what all that other financial jargon meant, but I took some initiative and got myself informed about finances. Now I know that there are some of you out there who are pledging to get your debt paid down this year, so if you are struggling, take the time to get informed because the resources are plentiful. My methods are not going to work for everyone, but there is a way to go about this if you just commit to working hard at getting on track. Trust in yourself and there is no limit to what you can do in this world. 

1 comment:

  1. "L" here....thanks for the shout out!! I think what you are doing is so important and inspiring. Keep it up!
    Living debt free feels better than any new car parked in the driveway or address you cannot afford!