I’m finally consumer DEBT FREE & can now save 50% of my income but still feel poor!

I became consumer debt free last Friday due to it being a three paycheque month (I get paid bi-weekly). While I am absolutely ecstatic, I still feel poor. I still feel like I am in debt and need to be in austerity mode. I think it is due to being in debt for about 10 years. This is something I know I need to work on.

Now that I am consumer debt free (still have my pesky mortgage so not completely debt free), I can allocate half of my paycheque to savings which is about $2,100 per month. One thing I’m struggling with is how much to save for retirement and savings (house down payment, TFSA, etc.). I don’t get a company pension anymore or RRSP matching so this is all up to me. I read articles saying you should save 10% of gross income and other articles that say 10% of net income. Can you see why I was confused as to what to do?

I was planning on saving $1000/month for RRSPs to aim for early retirement at 55 but then I realized I am now part of a team. I will soon have a husband to help out with retirement savings and I also have CPP and OAS benefits to rely on in retirement. So I’ve decided to halve that amount to $500/month for now and see what happens. Part of me worries if I don’t put $1000/month away for retirement that I’ll end up spending the money.  I’ve been obsessively plugging in numbers for different scenarios on the Canadian Retirement Income Calculator and $500/month seems like a good place to start for now given that I have under $100K in my RRSP/LIRA already.

What am I going to do with the rest of my money? I’ve decided to start paying back my family. While I am consumer debt free, I am not technically debt free. I still owe them for lending me money to make stupid decisions with The Ex. My plan was to give them the proceeds from the sale of my condo but I won’t be selling for 3-4 years. In the meantime, I’ll be paying them $500/month. I’ll be saving the remaining $1100/month in a high interest savings account such as EQ Bank. I can always give my family or RRSP a lump sum payment whenever I feel comfortable.

These saving streams are just new “payments” to me and that’s why I still feel poor. Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely happy to be in this situation now. I have never had an opportunity to save this much money before and it’s all new to me. I am so excited to learn so much more and am looking forward to what the future holds!

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June 2018 Goals

This month is exciting for me because I’m getting married at the end of the month. It’s also the month where I will finally be consumer debt free since it’s a three paycheque month! I thought this day would never come! Now onto this month’s goals:

  • Pay off remaining consumer debt and finally be debt free!
  • Workout 20 times
  • 15 no spend days
  • Contact my mortgage broker to renew mortgage. I can’t wait for this because my credit score is finally decent!
  • Figure out how much to allocate towards RRSP and savings. I have no fucking clue what to do with this extra money I’ll be saving every month. Do I aim for early retirement or aggressively save for a house down payment? Or balance both?

May 2018 Goals Review

  • 21 no spend days Fail! I only had 13 no spend days. I didn’t even try to achieve this goal this month.
  • Work out 20 days Fail! So close! I worked out 19 days.
  • Fit into wedding dress better. I’ve been indulging in too much fried chicken. Pass! I’ve always fit in it but wanted it to fit better without having to do alterations.
  • Get accepted into health care program I applied to Fail! Literally got word 1 min after posting that I didn’t get in.
  • Bring down line of credit by $1500 Fail! I paid off a credit card that I used to book wedding stuff with
  • Stick to $180 budget for gas and restaurant Fail! Gas prices went up so it costs me more than ever to fill up plus it was my fiancé‘s birthday and we went out for a nice dinner. I’ll need to adjust this goal.

Man, that’s a lot of red. Oh well. Onto the next month. Next month will be exciting because we’re eloping!

May 2018 Goals

  • 21 no spend days
  • Work out 20 days
  • Fit into wedding dress better. I’ve been indulging in too much fried chicken.
  • Get accepted into health care program I applied to Fail! Literally got word 1 min after posting that I didn’t get in.
  • Bring down line of credit by $1500
  • Stick to $180 budget for gas and restaurant

April 2018 Goals Review

  • 24 no spend days Fail! This goal is always ambitious but I had 17 no spend days
  • Work out 20 days Fail! I worked out 17 days.
  • Ace health care program interview on April 1 I’ll hear back any day now. 
  • Apply for that job I’ve been eyeing up and receive an interview Pass!I haven’t heard back yet and doubt I will. I missed a couple calls. I don’t have voicemail. Oh well!
  • Bring down line of credit by $1500 Pass!
  • Stick to $250 budget for gas and my share of groceries Technical pass! I need to re-visit this since my fiance has been paying for groceries

I was a boomerang kid…. twice!

I moved out of my parents’ home when I was 25 into The Ex’s home that was technically owned by his mother. From what I understood, she lived upstairs and he lived downstairs. He had owned the house at one time before tragic circumstances occurred. His mom bought the house from The Ex afterwards and then spent the proceeds of the sale on material things and trips. That should have been a huge red flag but hindsight is 20/20. Everyone has a story and this is mine.

When things went to shit after his mental breakdown, I found myself packing my stuff into my tiny hatchback and driving 1.5 hours home; home to my parents where I was always welcome with loving arms. Although I knew my parents disapproved of my relationship, they let me live my life. When things went to shit, they were there to pick up the pieces. They were my parents after all. It’s not like I was expecting them to fix me but it was an unspoken pact that we had.

The thing with Asian families is that we don’t show our emotions. I don’t hug my parents regularly (only on their birthdays) and we never say I love you. All of this is implied, just like the fact that I was welcomed back after leaving The Ex. There was no judgment; only love.

The Ex was jealous of this fact. He told me he had told his friends that I had run home to mommy and daddy. Yes, I did. So what? I was a grown ass woman who had been emotionally abused and manipulated. I was raised in a loving home. What else were my parents and I supposed to do? He threw it in my face so many times but I had failed to remember that his own mother had bailed him out of the mortgage he’d be saddled with after his wife was murdered.  He refused to hold a full-time job since the tragedy so it’s a good thing his mother saved his house. Why was he taking out his frustrations on me?

I lived in my old room, sleeping on a foam mattress on the floor for about four months before I moved back into my condo that I owned. My tenants had moved out. I lived in my condo for about 3 months before a devastating fire forced me to move back into my parents’ home… again. And there was The Ex yammering away about me running home to mommy and daddy. Let me put it in perspective for you. I live two minutes by car from my parents. I had my dog and my purse when I walked out of the fire. Where else was I supposed to go if not my parents’? I walked to my parents’ home and I’m grateful for that. I put all the insurance cheques from the fire towards my debt. It helped put a dent in my debt.

Do I regret moving back to my parents’ home? No, I don’t. My parents don’t either. They loved having me home just like the old times. I even snuck home a couple times after some late nights out. Haha! I feel no shame in doing moving home and I’m so grateful that my parents welcomed me back.

There’s a negative stigma surrounding boomerang kids. Yes, some of them do take advantage of their parents but many of them, myself included, just wanted to get back on their feet again and our parents were willing to help. If/when I have kids, I plan to do the same for them should they need a helping hand.

April 2018 Goals

  • 24 no spend days
  • Work out 20 days
  • Ace health care program interview on April 1
  • Apply for that job I’ve been eyeing up and receive an interview
  • Bring down line of credit by $1500
  • Stick to $250 budget for gas and my share of groceries