Act 11

Say no.

I know it’s difficult. “Come for coffee. Let’s go for a drink. Meet me for lunch.” Spending money is a big part of socializing in our culture.

It’s okay to say no. And avoid making up excuses. Just tell the truth. “My heart says yes, my budget says no.” It’s okay. Your friends will appreciate your honesty.

The only thing worse than saying no is saying yes because you feel obligated to spend money you don’t have trying to have a good time when, truth be told, you can’t really afford to be there.

We often have friends over or visit friends out of town over skype. It’s fun. It’s free. And you laugh just as much wether you’re at the pub or in your living room.

Have a nice weekend.

Act 10

Don’t panic.

Sometimes I do. But it’s useless and distracts me from what’s important. Panic can be a sign of stress or fatigue or a lack of control. Just try to address one issue at a time. If you’re tired, have a nap. If you’re stressed, do one thing that will address the stress. And as for control, it’s a state of mind. We don’t control everything (thank heavens). It’s a blessing in disguise. Just breathe. It’ll pass.

Act 02

Make an appointment with your banker

I made an appointment with my financial institution for a “check up”. Like visits to the doctor or dentist, it’s important to check in with your bank or credit union regularly to ensure you’re getting good service and healthy advice.

Interest rates are at record lows and credit card debt is at record highs. Ironically, it’s much more difficult to access cost effective debt and it adds to the burden on Canadian families while Canadian financial institutions benefit from record profits.

I’ll let you know how I make out.

Act 01

Draft a personal budget

I drafted a personal budget for 2013. An honest one. Nothing fancy. Just a list of my revenue and my expenses so I can see where the money comes in and where the money goes out. I also did the same for my small business. Now I have a more realistic sense of exactly what lies ahead.

as seen on pinterest

as seen on pinterest

Gail Vaz Oxlade of  the television series Till Debt Do Us Part has great resources on her site Debt-Free Forever. Her budget work sheet and get out of debt worksheets were particularly helpful for me.