Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sometimes you have to lose to win

The last few months we've learned a hard lesson. I good one though. My husband has been blessed with a good stable job since we moved back down to Kitchener in January of this year.The transition was awful and nail-biting, but now things are beginning to level out.

We took the first decent looking apartment we could find. It was small, a little exposed for our usual taste, but after a day of seeing horrible apartments one after the next, we took it.

After the spring thaw, the bugs came. Now, I'm a practical girl--my dream is to own a small farm after all. But loads of house ants in everything freaks me out. One morning as I was drinking my tea and sifting through yesterday's emails, an ant crawled across my lap top screen. I lost it. Immediately I messaged the property management and demanded that the lease be terminated on the grounds that we just could not live in this condition. Nearly two months of red tape later and we're on our way out. Thank goodness.

The point of me telling you this is that the place we found to move into doesn't require a rent deposit. You know what? That's just the kind of break a family like ours needs. All of a sudden we're up nearly nine hundred dollars. Immediately it made sense to look over our (dreary) finances and find a home for this cash. We have some serious debt that's holding us back from our move.When we first decided to leave Ontario we were convinced that dragging the debt with us was an okay thing to do. After a lot of consideration, and some logical opposition from friends and family, we decided to wait until we could get this debt paid off and start fresh.

Until finding this new apartment and realizing that we have this extra cash, we were honest-to-goodness not sure how we'd ever pay off these credit cards and get ahead enough to start saving money for the move. It's amazing what 900 dollars can do to list of debt.

We had four credit cards open and one really big debt from our wedding. We made some seriously immature financial decisions years ago that we're still paying for now. I hardly believe we're unique though. I think that there's a whole generation of young kids getting offered credit cards on campus in exchange for a cheap clock (true story--here kid, you want a 1000 limit credit card for this alarm clock?). The important thing is that we're learning now. In the last two years we've slowing transitioned to a type of minimalism that is really working. We don't buy things that we don't need now, we buy used if possible, and we've drastically downsized. The funny thing is that we're all much happier this way.

With the 900 we paid off two credit cards. We were elated to see them gone with a snap, after months and months of paying them down. Normally we would throw this kind of money at the big debt that we have but it doesn't make sense. Getting these smaller debts out of the way is allowing us to to amass a larger amount of free cash every month.  Just last week we went to visit my husband's mother. She's been storing our new washer and dryer in her basement ever since we attempted our move to Bracebridge. She offered to buy them off of us for 500. This was really good news for us. We came home and immediately paid a chunk off of another credit card and purchased a much needed car seat for our daughter --something we had been worried about being able to do for a while.

So, while the whole debt problem isn't solved, it has been lit in a new light. We're down to just two credit cards now, and they're really manageable. We are in a position to have those paid off and be putting 600-800 a month onto our big debt by the fall. And that's not even if I manage to secure a part-time job (fingers crossed!). We also have that big ol' RV that we bought thinking we were going to hop into it and drive across the country last year. We've decided to sell it, despite the work we've put into it. That five to six grand could wipe out our big debt and put us into a position to be funneling all of those extra monies straight into savings. If we don't sell the RV though, it would take us 14-15 months from Sepetember to be consumer debt free. Still, that's not so bad. I'd rather sell the thing and watch the savings grow.  We've looked at our budget and with some discipline and honesty, we're aiming to put 1000 a month straight into savings every month once this debt is paid.

B.C, we're coming. Some days that west coast seems like a distant planet. We had given up on it for some time,  thinking that we'd never get things rolling. It's amazing what paying off a couple of small debts can do.

I'd like write more now that I have a little hope.


1 comment:

  1. Glad to read things are looking up :). My husband and I are going to be doing the same once I go back to work.