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Debt and Dating

I felt so alone when I began our debt free journey at the end of 2008. I was exhausted from going to work every day and the evenings felt excruciatingly long while I was at home on my own with my two year old. Up until that point I had my old friend Ebay to keep me company, but when the VISA bill came in with a balance over $20 000 and the minimum payment was $250 (which I could pay, but then not pay the hydro bill), I broke down and admitted to myself that everything had to change.

A few months later we were settled into our apartment and I started dating a man I met at work. As I got to know him I became extremely self conscious about my financial situation. He came from an upper middle class family, and his parents paid for his post-secondary school tuition, up to his Master's degree. When he received scholarships for his PhD, they gave him the rest of the saved education funds to buy a house. By the time I was getting to know him, his house was sold at a profit and he was livi…
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Keeping it real - the parentals

Originally written in 2009:

I was going to wait a few days to think about this some more, but I changed my mind and decided to jump into the topic of parental contributions to my financial views and life practices. Fabulously Broke and Debt Chronicles did it, among others, and I will too.

Like always, I am going to try to focus on the positive (it's gonna be a challenge though).

As a young child I remember having it all. Both my parents worked and we had a house and a nice car and lots of toys, food and music. My parents liked to have a good time and I spent a lot of time at my (maternal) grandparents', who also lived comfortably and free from want.

During the recession of the early 1980s my dad made some investment mistakes and lost our house. My mom left him for this and other reasons and moved us into an apartment near her parents' place. We left our lower-middle class, multi-cultural neighbourhood for one that was primarily white and upper-middle class. I felt out of p…

Nine Year Review

Near the end of 2008 I finally figured out that my spending was out of control. I was 34 years old and I was going to end up bankrupt. My lifestyle was inflated compared to my earnings, and all I wanted was what everyone else wants: a home, a car, some stuff. My car at the time was an old beater on its last wheels, but my home was a rental house that I couldn't afford. I had a huge student debt at the time which began in 1996 and looked like it was going nowhere. My credit card debt was almost as huge, and I still couldn't stop shopping.

I gave notice on the house and moved myself and then 2.5 year old son into a one-bedroom apartment. I went car-free periodically whenever the beaters left us stranded. I stopped buying daily coffee and meals out. I stopped pick-me-up treatments for my hair and toenails. I still made stupid spending mistakes, but I managed to pay off the credit card debt in 2.5 years in 2011.

At the end of 2014 I cashed in my small retirement savings account to…

Dig a little hole

Hello! Happy New Year! Happy Easter!

Like usual, I've been updating my sidebars but not any actual content with this blog. Everything is still going swimmingly, as we just keep swimming, just keep swimming, further into middle age (me), adolescence (Bean) and adult kittyhood (Baxter and Link).

Bean is turning eleven at the end of this month! I know! I started this blog when he was three - although you wouldn't know I've been at it for eight years judging by the sound of crickets around here. He is very much a "tween" with his headphones on and his jeans showing his ankles since his legs are growing out of them.

I was very fortunate when he was little, since his great-aunt handed down all the clothes her grandson - two years older - outgrew. But for the past couple of years this source dried up, and luckily I now make a little bit more money than I did when we were younger. We found a pair of jeans that he loved at The Children's Place and would buy three or f…

Updates

I just updated the side bars and I noticed - unless I made an error previously - that my student loan balance is going UP instead of DOWN. I have read about this happening to other people, but because I have diligently applied and been accepted for the Repayment Assistance program every six months, I thought my balance was actually going down.

This puts the pressure on me to shift my fast-track payment from the car loan to the student loans. This is starting to feel right, because the student loans are old, so old, from 1996 - 2005 and I don't want to deal with them anymore.

I am making an extra $20 a month car payment and now I am going to increase the student loan payments. I haven't increased the mortgage payment yet.

The big news is that I started a full-time job in August, and I saw my first, full, real paycheque on Oct. 28. I saw an increase of $588 in my take-home pay, which is nothing to sneeze at, but our expenses for before and after-school care will increase dramati…

Mid-year review

It took me half a year to figure out that I might run out of money before year-end.

According to my spreadsheet, overspending and indulging has left me with only $1300 to cover groceries, gas, and spending money for the next five months (Aug - Dec).

It shocked me to see this, since I don't feel like I live an extravagant lifestyle at all. I haven't bought any new clothes or shoes for myself in 2016, and I last had a cheap haircut in August 2015.

I still haven't called the plumber in to fix the leak in the bathtub / kitchen sink either.

I did move $1000 from a savings account onto the car loan back in April. And I plan to do so again in August. I really want to get rid of the car loan.

Some expenses have gone up, such as house and car insurance, property taxes, and hydro but heating gas has gone down by half to make up for it.

I have my 2017 spreadsheet all set up and if I stick with it properly, everything will be covered, including savings goals AND I will still have $1…

In three years

In three years I will be 44. Bean will be 13.

In three years our car will be paid off. As soon as Bean's legs are long enough, I will teach him to drive it, and we will share it until it no longer runs. I don't plan to buy another car.

In three years I will owe less than $10 000 on my student loans.

In three years I will owe just over $110 000 on the mortgage.

In three years I will either be working full-time, or I will take the leap and reduce my work hours and practice living minimally and mindfully.

In three years we will be thinking about which high school Bean will attend. Will he go into the international baccalaureate program at our local school, or will he commute to the other end of town to continue French Immersion? We will have another year to decide.

In three years I will have hopefully reached my savings goal.

In three years I will have struck another couple of items off my bucket list in the sidebar.