A couple of weeks ago I decided to pilfer my TFSA in 2010, and apply the $1130 or so to my $3500 credit card balance. I want this card paid OFF, ASAP. I know I'll be losing out on compound interest but I think I'm making the right decision. I will continue to snowflake back into it with each paycheque, but I probably won't get it back up to $1000 by the end of 2010. That's ok, because I desperately want to have the CC and LOC paid off in 2011.
I have my 2010 budget spreadsheet all ready to go, with all the modifications I could think of based on spending in 2009. Reaching the final column of the 2009 spreadsheet has been a relief, and a real achievement, because I made through the entire year tracking my expenses and debt payments.
Here's a bit of a postmortem:
After-tax income, including pay, child tax credit, child support, GST rebates, and gifts and miscellaneous sales $35 841
Rent and Food $11 496
Debt re-payments, including interest charges $8209
Car, including gas, oil changes, repairs, insurance $4325
Stupid Telus mobile phone $1155
Life insurance $633
TOTAL $28 727
Miscellaneous Expenses (most interesting to me):
Lunch/Dinner out $571
Trips to the big city $1042
Clothes, music, furniture $1051
Uncategorized expenses $1281
TOTAL MISC $7114
Finally, I made arrangements to deduct $18 from each monthly paycheque for a Canada Savings Bond. I know I can get more interest in a personal savings account, but it is easier for me to save when the balance is "out of sight, out of mind."