Secret confession, I’m probably not the best candidate to talk about money or getting out of debt. Why? I’ve never had any (debt) and have also never had any real money troubles as an adult.
This does not mean that I’m 100% safe or financially secure. I could lose my job, or get injured or sick, or have my place burn down…but so far (knock on wood) I’ve been ok. But the fact that anything can happen is never far from my mind and I’ve always tried to be prepared for things.
My first recollection of planning for the future was my mom
making forcing me to save all my tooth fairy money for university which was a lot cheaper then it is today. (Side note, I’m not THAT old, but the cost of education was much smaller back in the days.) Now, I only had so many teeth that fell out but I learned on how to put money away into my piggybank from a very young age. I started working as much as I could at the age of ten, and with the small income I pulled in I managed to save even more. Due to low living costs (I lived at home until I left for Asia at the age 23) and high paying jobs (university and waitressing gigs) I always had money in my account. There were other factors involved though as well. No drinking, smoking, driving and not wanting a lot of “stuff” saved me in a huge way. I was also very fortunate for the fact that my mom paid half my tuition. I never used her money though, I just invested it and used all my tips to put me through school. Yes, you heard that right, tips. When you know how to talk to men, you can rake it in big time.
When I graduated I moved to Korea like most people. I had free rent, a free return ticket home, and a salary that I would have been stupid to pass up on. I walked out with enough money for a downpayment (25%+) on a house.
Fast forward to the present day.
I’ve always paid all my credit cards off on time and in full, have a credit score of 800+ and know how to balance a budget in my sleep. I currently have no mortgage (and will probably never have one) and have never tapped into my line of credit.
I also max out my TFSA’s and RSP’s every year. This year I managed to do it by January 1st for TFSA’s…although I haven’t had time to go to the bank to change the money over yet. Currently it’s just sitting in an account.
I still feel slightly fraudulent though.
Last year I was teaching finance and budgeting through a non-profit. I was hired before I even handed in my resume. (Lesson of the day people, sit and each lunch with whoever is guest speaking for the day.) Better budgeting/money skills was something i believed in and enjoyed doing but still felt a small disconnect. It’s hard to talk about something to someone unless you’ve walked down that path yourself.
The slogan at my place is “we lean by doing” so this year I decided to give myself debt in the form of $10 000 owed to…myself. Tahdah, because why not? If I know what it’s like to owe money then I’ll be able to figure out the appropriate measures I need to take.
$10, 000 on the clock to be paid off by the end of the year. Will it be possible? Will I be able to go over and above that? With 363 days to go, it’s possible. What I’m looking forward to (even more than the money) is the learning that comes with it .