Debt Doesn’t Have to be Your Normal

We’ve all seen the Lion King, right? You know that scene where the baboon hits Simba with a stick and tells him to face his past, and then Simba’s just like “whoa” and runs away to achieve his cartoon-liony-destiny?

Rafiki

I had my own Rafiki moment when I realized that I didn’t have to have debt. It sounds strange, right? It should be obvious, no one has to have debt. But if that’s the case, why do we have stats like these?

  • 73% of Canadians are currently in debt
  • 16% of Canadians 35 or younger have “a good deal or a lot of debt”
  • On average, most people with debt believe it will take them at least 8 years be debt-free
  • 23% of Canadians with debt believe they will never be debt free
  • 36% of Canadians believe that “debt is inevitable”

(Source) Continue reading “Debt Doesn’t Have to be Your Normal”

May Debt Update

WHOA. It’s already June. Which in addition to temperatures finally getting up into the 20s, which is about the only temperature in which I’m comfortable (#badCanadian), also means that it’s time for me to update you on my debt.

If you’re new to this blog, you can see where I first posted my confession about my debt here. Since I’m writing about ways to save money and pay down debt, I figured I needed to show how it actually works for me, if I had any hope of getting any personal finance street cred.

Even more than that, it keeps me accountable. If you’ve ever tried to pay off big amounts of debt, you know how hard it can be to keep at it – especially when patio season rolls around and there are other places you’d much rather put your money. Writing about it publicly and being accountable to the internet world means I have to stay committed.

So now that we’re all caught up, here’s what my debt looked like the last time I posted about it, one month ago: Continue reading “May Debt Update”

Are You Middle Class?

It seems that people are always talking about the middle class. Politicians target them for votes. Advertisers target them to buy products. We grew up watching them on TV (I’m looking at you, Tanners). And it might make sense, because when you hear people describe their economic situation, most people do tend to say that they are “middle class”. The thing is, in reality, they’re probably wrong.

saywhat

But then… what are they? Are they richer or poorer? Who is the mysterious middle class? Turns out, most of us are basically living one big financial identity crisis.

Complicating things is the fact that we don’t always agree on what “middle class” actually means. This is because there are actually a lot of different ways to measure what the middle class looks like. Our helpful friends at MoneySense pulled the stats, so that you can see some different ways to slice the data to find out where you sit in relation to your fellow Canadians, and whether or not you truly are the middle class Canuck you say you are. Continue reading “Are You Middle Class?”

April Debt Update

Another month, another update! Writing this down, seeing it on paper and actually owning my debt repayment has been really helpful to me from a kind of psychological perspective, if only for the reason that I am so tired of paying off debt that I am conditioning myself never to get into this situation again. It’s hard seeing hundreds or thousands of dollars a month going into that black hole of debt rather than contributing to savings.

If you’re in a debt situation, I encourage you to write it out too – not necessarily publicly online, but just in a journal or a Word document on your computer. Not only does it help to see the numbers go down, but you’ll be motivated to stay out of that red zone in the future. Continue reading “April Debt Update”

No-Spend February: Lessons Learned

I SURVIVED NO-SPEND FEBRUARY.

This is actually a pretty big deal for me. I don’t really have a big impulse buying problem and I don’t splurge on much, so I arrogantly thought that doing a no-spend month wouldn’t be that hard and I wouldn’t learn anything. But guys. IT WAS. I DID. Seriously. Mind blowing.

Continue reading “No-Spend February: Lessons Learned”

How to Use Excel to Predict Your (Debt) Future

Let me start by saying that I am not an Excel expert. I have a healthy respect for Excel, and I fully believe it could solve the world’s problems, if only we knew how to use it to its full capabilities, but I only ever venture into the shallow waters of the mysterious universe that is spreadsheets.

I assure you though, no matter what your skill level is in Excel, you can do this trick. 

Continue reading “How to Use Excel to Predict Your (Debt) Future”