This morning at 7:50, my phone rang. It was a 514 area code. I panicked a bit. I don’t often get calls from back east first thing in the morning. So I assumed it was important I answered. And I’m glad that I did.
On the end of the line was a lovely reporter writing this story for the National Post and asking about this blog. It’s been a while since I’ve checked in here. Mostly because after 365 days of debt defying acts, I was ready to move on. That was a year and a half ago. I’m delighted it still resonates with those concerned with the debt load of Canadian families. I still share that concern.
I thought it worthwhile to provide a quick update on what’s happened since December 31, 2013.
1) I still have debt – less of it – but it’s still there.
2) I feel as though I own it now rather than the other way around.
3) I earn more income. It took time to make that happen but it’s happened.
4) I have more cash flow and a healthier bank balance.
5) I still only use my credit card for work. If I can’t make money using it, I don’t use it.
6) I’m a much better cook
7) My wardrobe is more eclectic as I curate most of my outfits from thrift stores.
8) I don’t really enjoy shopping anymore. And I don’t miss it either.
9) I rarely go out for meals. I enjoy cooking at home much more.
10) In June, I’ll re-sign my mortgage for about half the rate. I’ll delight in that and all the extra money will go straight to the debt.
So if this is your first visit as a result of the piece in the Financial Post, thanks for stopping by. Please know that you can do it. One dollar at a time. One decision at a time. One commitment at a time.
If you have too much debt, you likely don’t have enough money. Not always the case, but more or less the norm. So forget about money and remember that what you do have, what we all have, is the same amount of time. So use your time wisely. Forget about convenience foods, drive-thrus, low interest cards, buy now pay later schemes, getting ahead or keeping up with the neighbours. Just stop.
Make a budget. Learn to cook again. Do it yourself. Re-use it. Repair it. Mend it. Buy it second-hand.
Plan your escape from the busy trap. A simple life is more meaningful and much cheaper. Seek out an experience rather than an expense. Experience adds value. Most expenses do not.
In this economy, and this society, we always talk about price, profit and return. Somewhere in that important equation was lost the importance of value and equilibrium. That’s what we need to seek. That’s what debt defying taught me and I’m the better for it.
Commit a debt defying act. It might be the most valuable thing you do. Plus, it won’t cost you a dime.
If you need to chat, comment on this blog or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’ve been there and I’m happy to help if I can.