This is the first time I feel like I need a disclaimer on a post. Money is hard. A lot of people don’t have enough of it, and they do what they can. I have made financial choices that I am not proud of, and that is why I am choosing to share. My situation is very likely not the same as yours, unless you’re related to me. Even then, probably not.
The primary goal of this project is to take control of my stuff, but I also have financial motives. I have friends who are working toward being debt-free, and this has always seemed so far out of reach for me. Debt and I have an easy relationship. A real give-and-take. Debt is like sweatpants: Overindulge, and then get comfy.
(I really like sweatpants, you guys.)
Since I’m not buying any new sweatpants, I roughed out a short list of financial milestones that I think I can hit this year:
1. Maintain a minimum Chequing balance of $1,000 after all monthly expenses.
2. Maintain a minimum Savings balance of $1,000 for unwelcome surprises.
3. Throw everything else at my consumer debt, highest interest rate first.
I toyed with the idea of contributing to my savings and paying down my debt concurrently, but I decided against it for the sake of simplicity. I like to quantify my goals, and focusing on one number is easier than focusing on two.
I’ll still be making regular payments where required, and covering the interest. I’ve decided that I am going to reduce my debt by an additional $10,000 by the end of August 2015.
I am pleased to report that after just one month of making do, I have met my first financial goal. The mortgage is out, the bills are paid, and I still have some breathing room before I dip below $1,000 in my Chequing account.
Are you like me, living within your means, if “your means” means your credit limit? Or are you one of those magical unicorns who doesn’t owe anyone anything?