Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

Approaching 50% of Credit Card Debt Paid Off

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

A milestone is near.

I will soon be halfway there: halfway to credit-card-debt-free that is!

When I began this journey, I was more than $30K in debt. And that is if you only counted my credit cards. I also have student loans, a car loan, and a mortgage that don’t get included in my debt tally – yet. Once my line of credit VISA is paid off, you will see them added into my debt repayment plan.

In only 19 months (since May 2009) I have cut that number in half. The official anticipated date for paying off Credit Card #2 will be December 10, 2010, and I will be down to one credit card balance on my line of credit at a measly rate of 5.65%. Though the remaining balance is the highest, this card has the lowest interest rate. I’m looking very forward to seeing quick progress on its repayment once I’m paying more than the minimum.

I owe all of my debt repayment calculations and motivation to this Debt Reduction Calculator. If you are only just now beginning your journey to debt free, or would even just like to see how long it really will take to pay off your mortgage, I highly suggest you go download this free Excel spreadsheet now.

I’ve got some other things I would like to give credit to for my debt repayment plan working, but I’ll save them for a separate post. 🙂

Making More Money

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

One of the things Gail Vaz-Oxlade always insists on when she helps people on her show Til Debt Do Us Part (my long-time TV show crush) is that to help get yourself out of debt, you need to make more money.

I’ve known this for as long as I’ve had my debt repayment plan in place. It makes sense. You want to pay off your debt as soon as possible, as fast as possible, so you pay the least in interest and get to your DEBT FREE DAY sooner.

Well, I’ve done it!

I will be contributing an extra $400 a month to my debt. My income increased!

It just goes to show that you CAN get what you want, but you do sometimes have to suck it up and ASK for it. I sucked it up, and I asked for it, and I got exactly what I wanted.

My salary is substantially higher now, and it fits into the bracket I was at 2 years ago when I left my old job to start a new career.

Two years to climb back to where I was? Not bad!

If you recall, I posted about my D-Day back in October 2009. Back then, I was hoping I would be getting this raise, and with those hopes in place, the plan I had would have me free of debt by November 2011. You’ll see below that I have moved my debt free day up to August of 2011: a whole 3 months sooner than planned! This was as a result of the aggressive payments I made to clear Credit Card #3, and the negotiation of a lower interest rate for Credit Card #2 (from 18.5% down to 11%), and now the increase in my salary.

Credit Card #2:
Old Repayment Date: January 2011
New Repayment Date: August 2010

Credit Card #4:
Old Repayment Date: October 2012
New Repayment Date: August 2011

Old Debt Free Day: February 2012
New Debt Free Day: August 2011 – less than 17 months away!

Eating ‘Clean’ and Frugality

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2010 at 8:00 am

We are trying out a new fad around our house: eating clean. We tossed the idea around of trying a detox, but they seem just a bit too extreme for us. Our bodies are made to cleanse themselves of toxins, I’m not sure I need to drink only cayenne pepper and maple syrup in water to help that along!

From the Eat Clean Diet website:

Eating Clean is eating the way nature intended. You eat the foods our bodies evolved to function best on, and that makes you feel – and look – fantastic. When you Eat Clean you eat more often. You will eat lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. These practices keep your blood-sugar levels stable and keep you satisfied. The best part is that if you need to lose weight it will happen almost without you having to try. And yes, you can have a treat now and again.

Best of all, Eating Clean keeps you feeling great and full of energy. In fact, you can forget all about the days when “dieting” meant feelings of hunger, lethargy or deprivation.

Eating Clean is not a fad; it’s a way of life. When you Eat Clean your body will react by losing weight if you need to lose, maintaining a healthy weight if that’s where you are, and even gaining weight if you are too skinny. But regardless of whether you want to lose, maintain or gain, you will feel better than you ever have before.

What I wonder is how cost effective this will be to our grocery bill? We don’t spend a lot on food because we are excellent shoppers and love to cook gourmet meals on a budget. I think we are successful at this. What I’m interested to see is how we’ll do with the prescription of foods offered by the Eat Clean Diet.

Has anyone tried this? Or does anyone follow it and have recommendations on what to keep in mind while we try it out?

Savings Update

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2010 at 8:00 am

I’ve got just a couple of savings accounts for short term goals. I’ve yet to start my RRSPs, I know, I know, so this is what I have so far. My savings sits as such:

Emergency Fund is at $579.37 of the $1,000 I would like to have set aside.

My Baby Fund (a new fund I started) sits at $155.87 of the $2,500 I’d like to have set aside.

My goals are to have the Emergency Fund maxed by April 2010.

The Baby Fund should be funded by January 2011 – its a slow process, with only $25 a month getting deposited automatically and extra money will be added as it comes in as gifts, refunds, etc.

The Baby Fund will be used for topping up my EI benefits while I’m on mat leave. I’ve calculated what I will need to have in addition to what EI brings in during my time off if/when we are expecting our little one. The reason I’ll be topping myself up will be to stay on track with my debt payments (both credit card and other) while off on leave.

If between now and then I happen to somehow land a fantastic job that will top me up, I will use the fund as an RRSP contribution. Until then, I need to have this amount fluid enough that it can be accessed for regular transfers into my chequing account for those 8-12 months off work. I’ve got it all calculated so I’ll add a picture of the spreadsheet soon.

Debt Update

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2010 at 11:19 am

It’s been awhile since I updated my debt, and this blog. For that I apologize. I don’t have any reason to give you other than that I’ve been busy (typical excuse) and that I have not been motivated to write.

My current credit card debt sits as such:

Starting Amount (April 2009):
Paid Off: $9,155.12
Current Amount (January 2010): $20,877.35

I’ve paid off $9,155.12 of my debt in 9 months, or reduced my debt by 30%, on a salary of $42,000. I also contribute to our mortgage and housing costs (50%) and make regular payments on my car and student loan in addition to contributing to savings.

That makes me feel good.

Update: November Goals

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm

How did I do for November goals last month? Not too bad. Not amazing either. Here’s the November Goals post.

My goals were
– Make 50% of my Christmas gifts by November 30th.
– Decrease debt by $1000.
– Come under budget this month.
– Save money into tax account for small business.

Here’s how I did:

– Make 50% of my Christmas gifts by November 30th.
Nope, did not make half of my gifts. I still have about 80% to go!

– Decrease debt by $1000.
This might have been an ambitious goal. I reduced my total debt by $724.31 and my credit card debt by $526.78.

– Come under budget this month.
I did come under budget, but I haven’t formatted my budget to a way that allows me to share the exact numbers. I promise I will be setting this up for the new year so you can see where my money goes.

– Save money into tax account for small business.
Saved $627.97 into a tax account for my business taxes once I get around to doing them. I will be adding $150 to that this week.

I think I can improve upon my goals from November as well as add a couple small financial goals to them for December. Primarily my goals will centre around Christmas spending and travel since our families are both out of town.

Student Loan Debt in Ontario

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm

So, not included in my huge credit card debt is my student loan debt. The reason I don’t include it is because the interest on it is tax deductible, and it is not a high priority for me to pay off. Plus, the total amount of debt to my name would be so large I think it would scare some of you off. Ha! It scares me when I see it.

When I first graduated and OSAP (the Ontario Student Assistance Program – but more like the Ontario Student Ass-whooping Program) contacted me after my six month ‘grace’ period to start repaying my loans, I was making a measly $11/hr and commuting. Needless to say, an additional $300/mth payment was just not going to work. I extended my due date and got a lower monthly payment. Easy peasy.

Looking into my student loans is something I allow myself to do once a year because the principal takes forever to go down. It is depressing. This week I logged in and checked it out. The National Student Loan Service Centre actually improved their website immensely. It is very easy to use, and has some really useful calculators that allow you to punch in how much you want to pay per month and it divides the payment amongst your loans, showing you your months left to D-day. Or when you will be free of your student loan debt. Cool.

While playing around with the numbers, I realized if I could contribute an extra $288 per month to my student loans I would be free of them in less than 5 years. Hey, that actually fits into a foreseeable future financial plan. Not bad. But, since at this point in time my financial focus is on repaying my high interest credit card debt that keeps me up at night, I will revisit this topic again in a year’s time.

In the meantime though, I changed my monthly payments to bi-weekly. I had no idea that was even an option, but it was easy to do with a quick call to the NSLSC and no paperwork was required. Sweet! See you later student loan.

November Goals

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2009 at 10:49 am

I’ve got to post an update on my No Spend Month for October and where I failed to keep to those goals, or where I succeeded, but I’ll have to do that once I tally everything up. I just haven’t had enough free minutes to do it yet.

In the meantime, I thought I would post a few goals I have for this month. Most are financial, since I’m trying to keep this blog directed in that realm of my life.

November Financial Goals:

– Make 50% of my Christmas gifts by November 30th.
– Decrease debt by $1000.
– Come under budget this month.
– Save money into tax account for small business.

There are only four goals, but I think I can reach them all. I’ve included making my Christmas gifts under financial goals because it really is a financial goal for me. By making my Christmas gifts, I am keeping out of the malls and stores and will be saving overall on my Christmas spending. I’ve gotten a bit sentimental in the last little while and making everyone individualized gifts really means something to me. I want my loved ones to have something thoughtful and useful as their gift this year. This season is about giving, and for me it is about giving time to our loved ones as well. Being together and cherishing the memories will be my focus for Christmas this year instead of the material items. Handmade gifts will hopefully have more meaning to everyone on my list.

This post got a little sidetracked from ‘financial goals’ to ‘Christmas’ but hey, there are only 50 days left!