The Journey So Far…
Like many students, I graduated University in early 2012 already in the negative. I had student loans as well as a loan on a brand new vehicle (which I co-owned with my future husband). All totaled, we owed around $50,000. Later that year, we got married and by the winter we had become first-time homeowners. 2012 was an exciting year for us!
The next two years were fairly routine. We made some good financial decisions like setting up regular contributions to an emergency fund and RRSP accounts. The balances on the loans were slowly declining and our net worth was rising.
But a revolving credit card balance and not tracking every dollar we spent, meant that for every step we took forward, we were also taking one back.
It took a short encounter with unpaid sick time to jolt us back to reality. We went back to basics and starting using a cheque register to track all of our transactions in and out. Being engrossed in the nitty-gritty details meant that we knew exactly where our disposable income was being spent, and it wasn’t on things that made our life better.
I had been saving a small amount from each paycheck for a dream trip to Paris. Every time the credit card balance got too high for comfort I would pull that money out and make a large credit card payment. I felt defeated, and I realized that we needed to start budgeting for the life we wanted, a life that inspired us.
I made a plan and we got to work. By the middle of 2016, we had made some great progress and had cut our debt in half. At the same time, we also saved up the cash and took that trip to Paris.
Now in 2017, we are aggressively attacking the remainder of our debt with a renewed focus. We have had a taste of inspiration, and there is no going back.
Stick around, and I’ll share the things that have been working for us.
I wish you the best on your own financial journey!