The other day I read an article the average Canadian has $8,500 of consumer debt.
That is non- mortgage and non-student loans and that is me.
When you exclude student loans from the image you will see below I do fall into that category. This is why it is so important to tackle this in 2018, when I should have tackled it in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014…. The biggest difference is that I decided that I need to settle, can’t try to be a CPA anymore, it’s just not going to happen, so stop spending the money on courses and especially I did not spend $600 this year to renew my student membership, I withdrew and it feels like a huge relief.
December was a challenging month as last minute Christmas shopping ate a
little lot of progress. Adding ~$500 of additional debt was the biggest letdown. See the image below. SO not happy with myself. Overall I only paid down $730, not cool.
Therefore in January I will be doubling down and using credit cards sparingly. As much as I want to be perfect I am not so admitting fault and taking action is needed. With that I am now not going to include my OSAP (Student Loans) balance in my overall debt to eliminate because I have always been able to report the interest paid on my income taxes. Also I will omit my VISA card as I always pay the balance every month in the middle of the month for it’s 27th of the month due date.
5 habits that will need to be carried to the end of the 13 months:
- Use only the low limit card
- Use found money to pay debt
- Don’t use cards for food purchases
- Don’t use cards at the dollar store
- Don’t use cards for charitable donations
Point 5 is a good strategy, I have a lot of cheques to use, need to increase donations for my 2018 tax return and don’t need points badly enough to use cards to contribute charitable donations.
Here are some wins I had this month:
- Sold an item on Kijiji for $5, this money went to the Toys for Tots fundraiser at my child’s daycare.
- Sold a Barbie on eBay for $40 (this was before both eBay and PayPal took their cuts but some money is better than no money)
- Sold a movie on Amazon for $10 (before they took their cut and before I had to pay for mailing, some money better than no money)
- Received a $20 Leger survey cheque.
Challenge in store for January and February is that my driver’s licence and plates are up for renewal in March and have to shell out $210 to get it done. This cost always seems to go higher and higher every year.
Along with this challenge is always looking for revenue streams and continuing to beat myself up for taking a lower paying job almost 3 months ago instead of staying and having this paid off. This is what I get for being impulsive and not having my priorities straight.
To see where I started check out 13 Month Debt Elimination Challenge Month #1
There is no one solution to getting rid of debt but we can all learn from each other and aim to be in the black instead of being in the red.