You know how they say it gets worse before it gets better? Seems like “they” can often be right. However there’s good news in that adage – it does eventually get better.
I have sadly gone backwards since my last roundup. I had a tax reassessment and the result wasn’t pretty. I don’t want to make an issue out of it because I am truly grateful that I live in a safe place with a high quality of life, but I think I’m allowed to say it can really sting when your employer takes the wrong tax amount and you get a very unwelcome letter from the CRA in the mail. What a punch to the gut.
So here’s my new round up:
- Visa: $5,300 (19.99%)
- Line of Credit 1: $12,000 (8.8%)
- Line of Credit 2: $13,924 (9%)
- Line of Credit 3: $10,700 (9%)
Total Commercial Debt: $41,924.00
- Loan from a family member: $20,000
Debt Grand Total: $61,924.00
Gah. That’s an amount I would have loved to be putting towards my debt per month.
I wasn’t perfect this year, but I did do a lot to change my life: I changed my habits, obliterated my social life, went through bouts of loneliness, didn’t indulge in things I enjoyed (all the food! All the cheese!)…to only be better off by $1,346 over the course of a year. Deep sigh. Clearly there is a lot more work to do.
It’s really tempting to want to throw in the towel and say screw it, this is going nowhere. But then I calm down and remember that has absolutely zero logic. None whatsoever.I know some people can live with debt just fine and think it’s a part of life (which is messed up thinking to begin with, in my humble opinion) but time has proven I’m not one of those people and debt keeps me up at night, so giving up will not make this any better. I just need to dust myself off, lick my wounds and keep going.
I’m sure if you’ve been following my blog it must be tiring to only hear bad news bears from my neck of the woods. However I want to post all the highs and the lows on here as it’s simply the truth – my truth – and I know this is often how it goes for those trying to climb out of debt. I absolutely love coming across debt-payoff success stories online, but sometimes I feel disheartened that my story isn’t looking like the makings of a success tale yet. So far there have been more valleys than peaks, more lows than highs.
I think the tough part is that we all know that hard work pays off, so it’s tough putting in the work when you can’t see the payoff yet. Getting out of debt is not an instant gratification exercise; it takes regular incremental effort over an often long period of time to really make some headway. To add a monkey wrench into the equation, falling backwards in the journey is also a very real threat; whether it be from unexpected expenses to the grips of a shopping addiction – or for those not struggling with spending as an addiction, it could just take one indulgent day online or in the mall with a credit card! – to reverse months worth of work.
Seeing this is not a point in my journey I want to be in, the only solution is to move forward. So how does one do this? I’ve been thinking about theses following points the last few days:
- If something is not working, it means I’m not working hard enough/smart enough. First step is always to accept responsibility. I got myself into this mess, and I’m the one who will pull herself up by the bootstraps to get herself out. Time to get tough, realize there’s a lot more work to put in and a lot more time to go, but I can/will do this.
- I mentioned it takes regular small increments over a period of time. Those increments can become larger by spending less and earning more. My spend less plan is already in place with my Spending Ban; the make more part is something I need to continue with. In the past month I successfully got an additional licensing certification after a year-long self-study course, finally got my full driver’s license (yes, embarassing, I know. I’m a cyclist and have always lived downtown, I never wanted a car!) and went to two informational interviews for the next role I want. There are no availabilities yet but need to keep in contact for when there is, and think about what other courses I can take to keep making myself into an attractive prospect for promotion.
- Back to tracking every penny spent. Today is the first day of a new month, so will be easier to get a clear picture of what a typical month looks like for me. I’ll make sure nothing slips between the cracks this way
- Knowing things will get better. So maybe my first year was a rough one. Maybe this was just the brunt stage of laying down the groundwork so that things will flourish later on. You can go from rubble to a beautiful garden overnight; I just went through the process of de-weeding and getting rid of the rocks so I can plant the seeds. With constant care, I should be able to see my efforts blossom in the months and years to come.
So here you have it, my financial picture as of December 1st, 2016. Come hell or high water, I will show progress every month. No more going backwards, no more reversal of my hard work. I’m committing to doing what it takes to make some real, tangible progress monthly.
I know I’ll be sharing good news with you from this point forward!
Anyone else have a fiscal goal they have in mind for the end of the year?