Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finally, Another Post

Lucky for you, it's a rainy day!
While I may not be writing on here as often as I had initially set out to do, I am still able to report a level of progress in my debt repayment. When the seasons take a change for the better, it gets difficult for me to sit down in front of a computer and write something meaningful for my readers when I could be sitting outside in the sun and enjoying the weather. Fortunately for you guys, it's a rainy day so I am much more inclined to write something today!

There is a lot that has been going on in the past few months that I feel like I should be sharing with everyone so I hope you have a bit of time to read another long blog entry. The last time I wrote on here, I had just finished paying of my 2nd source of debt - my line of credit. I'm really starting to notice how good it feels to only have two debtors left to pay. Imagine if all of a sudden you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, that's what it has been like for me! My debts are going to disappear rapidly since I am no longer spreading all of my payments across 4 different debts. The best part is, I have tackled my highest interest (or most expensive) debt first which is really freeing up more money for me to put toward the principal of my other debts.

Where I am beginning to struggle however, is that I am more inclined to spend money on myself to go out, eat dinners, have drinks, do trips, etc. and I feel that I am becoming less focussed on what it is that I set out to achieve which was to not have to worry about money and whether or not I was paying all my bills on time. Lately, I am making my budget so tight that I don't have a lot of flexibility if something comes up that I need at the last minute, such as contact lens solution, massage therapy, a birthday present, and so on, so now I get down to $8 left in my chequing account and I end up taking money out of my savings to pay for drinks at the bar or something that I used to easily be able to say no to. Now it's fair to say that none of those things I mentioned really are 'needs' because I could simply wear my glasses and lower my spending when it comes to gifts and save the money, but because I have progressed so quickly with my debt repayment, I have found that I am telling myself the story that it's ok to spoil myself with lavish trips to Montreal, or expensive meals out, $80 at the bar, and so on.  Yes, I deserve a break; yes, I am doing incredibly well with my payments; but yet I still feel stuck because of my debt. There is nothing I want more than to be able to say that I am debt free, so I guess that's where I need to check in and remind myself that this is something important for me to do.

Can you picture me and Gail hanging out at the office?
Speaking of overspending, I had an amazing time in Montreal with my boyfriend, but we definitely spent way too much money for only one weekend! I finally got all the bills in for the car rental, hotel, and all that other stuff and the numbers are nuts! I'm sure that we spent well over $1,000 on 2 days of celebrating. It was worth every penny, but now I have less than $100 in my savings account! I completely understand why Gail talks about the importance of a savings account and I am happy that I didn't have to use credit to pay for everything, but it is certainly disappointing when I look at my horrendous balance in savings.

Even with dismal savings, I will continue to try to put enough away to get my savings back up for a trip to Saskatoon to see my family sometime this year, but it could be a challenge since my sister and her boyfriend are coming for a visit in less than 2 weeks and I will be on another spending binge. This is the problem I have; when something fun is coming up, I really neglect savings in favour of having fun. So we'll see how I fare when they're in town. If I can stay focussed and try to make sure we eat the majority of our meals  here at home, I think we'll be just fine. I'm just really excited to see her again and finally get a chance to show her around town.

Now I have some more news that may affect my savings and debt repayment! My employment status is changing. I am currently acting in a job where I get paid a little more than I used to, but now that is changing in July when the person I am replacing comes back. This means that I am going to go back to my old job (most likely).  It's kind of a good thing in the sense that I will get to go back and work with the people that I enjoy working with, but I will lose some pay and may end up bored out of my mind. But what is more exciting is that I found a second job working at the yoga studio that I volunteer at! I will be a front desk person a couple times a month and I will still get all the free yoga I want while getting put on the payroll! I am super pumped that I will now have another source of money and I will be able to put all that into my savings account. I can now save for vacations and other fun things that I really want to do!

Lots of hearts for Kelly Clarkson! ♥♥
Ok, I just listened to a little Kelly Clarkson to spark a bit of "I'm down on myself but shouldn't be because I am doing pretty darn awesome", so with all that being said, I am still doing incredibly well with my debt repayment. I'm over 60% paid off now and if I can somehow manage to pay $1,500 every month from this point forward, I will be debt free in about 9 months!! Can you believe this? If any of you have been doing the math along the way with my progression, that means that I will have paid almost $40,000 worth of debt off (on my own) in 2 years and 3 months! I cannot believe that I have been able to progress this quickly through this process.

I really want to reemphasise to all my readers that debt keeps you limited. When you can't get out of it, you can get really stressed and frustrated which can leave you feeling helpless. By taking control of your situation, everything from your health to your relationships can be improve by removing the pressure that debt adds. Financial planning can set you up for a life of freedom to do all the things that you want to do in the most optimal way. If you have a good plan, then you don't have to stress about what you are going to do in the future. The whole point of this blog is to tell you about how I am freeing myself from the burden of debt. In the future I may want to move to another apartment or even another city, I might want to buy a home or a car (I'm still trying to figure out the "what next") but as long as I have debt, it makes it difficult to imagine what the next chapter will be.

At this point, I am proud of my accomplishments but I still am dying to meet Gail Vaz-Oxlade and I'm not talking about shaking her hand at a book signing, I'm talking about actually sitting down and having coffee to really and truly thank her for helping me get my life back. One day I hope that I can be that inspiration for someone else in this kind of situation.


  1. You are an inspiration John! Truly. Also, Gail tweeted you and that is worth every penny of your savings and penny pinching. Woo!

  2. You’re almost there, John! I do hope that you would be out of debt really really soon! I can see that you have learned from your experience in being in debt, so now you are managing your expenses and savings well. I can’t believe that you used to have $40,000 worth of debt! You did a really good job for being able to pay that much in a short time on your own!

    Jaden Allred

  3. This is great news, John! You are already so near in paying off your debt. It is very admirable that you were able to pay almost $40,000. I see that you have changed your ways in spending your money. I would like to congratulate you this early already. I am very happy and proud that you will be out of debt real soon.

    Armandina Skerl

  4. Slowly but surely, you’ll be out of debt sooner. You must be very excited for that day to come. Just continue what you’re doing and stick to your budget. This experience you had is a lesson learned for you. In case you end up in the same situation again, you already know what to do. I’m looking forward to reading a blog post about you being debt free! @ Paddon + Yorke