Is there a price tag on your freedom?

There is a lot swirling in my head today. I mean  – a lot. It’s like have a million tabs open and being so excited to dive into all of them but I can’t pay attention long enough to read a full article and I just keep opening new tabs. That’s how I feel today.

I slept in this morning; not on purpose. I have been finding it happening a lot lately. I’m losing interest in my job. I have also lost my gusto to work somewhere that I feel under appreciated. I’m exhausted. I work a lot, therefore I am tired a lot, but also I take on a lot of projects because I just feel like I need to create something. I am determined to create something. I am determined to have more. I do not have to let my past life define my current life.

I think it is super important to talk about freedom. Because right now, in my current life, I feel like I don’t have a lot of it. I feel like I am somewhat trapped in a place that I don’t really want to be. And, I just have a hard time accepting things because it is  something I am “supposed” to do.  I have never felt that in my life. I mean you don’t end up half way around the world camped out in a hostel without really living outside the box a bit.  Recently though, I discovered that there is a price tag on freedom. See a good friend of mine recently moved back to Korea. And while I realize that I could do that too, I also realized that my life wouldn’t be the same if I moved to Korea. It wouldn’t be the same because there is a price tag on my freedom. That prices tag is around $42,000.00 give or take a few dollars.

It is a huge burden. And, its holding me back. I have other friends in my life that moved abroad to teach and  obsessively talk about paying off there loans. I don’t know any one that successfully paid off there loans while living abroad teaching. (if you are one of those people – holla below!)  I knew it would never happen making minimum wage. And I know first hand 3 jobs can be a bit of a demon. Two is soul sucking enough and not really a long, long term plan.

I know nothing comes easy, there is no quick fix to all of this drama. There is no such thing as the 4 hour work week. we need to hustle – but I think it might be about picking the right hustle. Just for a moment in my adult life I want to feel what it is like I have some financial freedom?

Do you feel like there is a price tag on your freedom? How much is it?

What are you doing to change it?

 

What’s the actual cost?

Financial Literacy.

What – the actual – fuck?!

Do any of you even believe this phrase is a regular part of my vocabulary these days? Are you financially literate? Do your bill payments, car payment or mortgages own you? Or have you taken control and showed that ass who is boss? What the fuck does this phrase even mean?

Well Peoples, I had no clue what it meant to be financial literate so I googled the shit out of it. I figure since the actual truth is most of us are pretty goddamn illiterate when it comes to money we should learn a few things about of my journey to kick my student loans to the curb.

See here is the thing – I have had lots of conversations recently about money. People are offering me suggestions, people are telling me what works for them, people have just straight up told me they can’t budget because they don’t make enough money so there is no money to budget, I even had some tell me that their bank or credit card lists all the transaction so there was no need to really look at the spending.

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“Financial literacy is having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions. Knowledge refers to an understanding of personal and broader financial matters. Skills refer to the ability to apply that financial knowledge in everyday life.”

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There are a lot of resources online. The government of Canada has an entire section of there website dedicated to it. I mean there is also banks, financial advisors and I am sure we all know people that are killing it with their finances. I will openly admit that I have been a HUGE spender over the years, mostly on plane tickets and travel. But none the less spending money on things and not paying more than the minimum payment on my bills. I don’t regret it. I just want to focus on different things now.

So lets look at a couple basic things that you really need to be honest with yourself about:

Budgeting: This is a big one for me. I would always get my paydays, pay my bills and spend the rest on crap I don’t need. I make enough money to cover my costs so I just went with it.  For a few weeks now I have been writing down everything that goes in and out of my bank accounts and I am excited to see how much more money I can dedicate to paying off my loans. Your bank statements and credit card statements are probably not an accurate enough picture of where you are spending if you are wanting to cut cost and corners where you can. If you want to improve the numbers, you need to get real with the numbers. Even the daily coffee habits, iTunes purchases and everything in between.

Student Loans: Everyone says that this is “good” debt and that you shouldn’t worry about it. Debt is debt. You still need to pay this shit off. Taking a closer look at student loans you can see a low interest rate but for me it is on a large amount. So let say on my Canada Loans alone (not counting Alberta & Nova Scotia) – that loan is accruing interest at $4/day. That is costing me about $1460 extra/year times 10 years – now I am paying an extra $14600 on that loan alone. Guys, I could get a great vacation with that, a round-the-world plane ticket, a nice deposit on my dreamy container-ship home  – you get my point. What are the interests rate on you loans? Have you really taken a look? is a 15 year repayment plan really worth it?

Car Loans: The interest on my car loan is even higher than my student loans. I needed a car. I also had to factor in I had zero budget for repairs and I have no one to borrow from if something were to happen to my car. So I bought a used car, that had 5000kms on it when I bought it. And it still had some factory warranty. It is fuel efficient and in my price range. My point, are you driving an affordable vehicle? I have been told that if you can’t buy it out right you shouldn’t be driving it. I get that. Not possible for me.

Credit Cards: These are a holy hell of nasty. I know. I have a balance on my credit card (don’t worry it’s in my budget to pay off) but credit card interest rates are anywhere from 19-33% depending on the card. You really should not be spending on this if you can’t pay it in full at the end of every month. On time. Leave that shit at home. It is not money to be spent. It is a high interest loan that fools you into easy money.

If you want to get serious about paying off some bills, you need to be brutally honest with yourself about your spending habits.

You need to be honest about where you can cut corners and what can work for you. I knew I was bringing in enough to be paying my bills I just really needed to restructure how I was spending. I think it is incredibly important to have realistic goals, a budget that allows for treats, clothes and weekends away. If you don’t budget with a vengeance you will experience debt fatigue and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Have you taken a look at what you are spending your money on? or how much interest you are paying? What is motivating you get get real with your money?

xoxo,

C

 

Mo’Money #1

Okay since my initial (but actually I bitch about this all the time) post I have realized I want to be one of those crazy fools that power through paying of my loans. It might happen, it might not – but right now I am feeling hopefully as fuck.

This is an update of things that I am doing to propel myself forward:

  1. Bitch about it social media hoping a Sugar Daddy will pay for my student loans – JK’s but actually I just wanted to see if anybody had any suggestions for things they did in order to pay off their own personal loans.  Some suggestions were obvious, some were not, some just not even a thing – but I appreciated some input. (comment below with more ideas!)
  2. Call student Loan and get real with some numbers. How much do I actually fucking owe? What are the hard numbers? What do I think could be a realistic paying off goal for 2017? Can I get any sort of interest relief or paying off of loans in 2017? You guys will be happy to know – I thought I owed 1000’s more than I do, I guess this is a good thing.
  3. Start logging everything I spend my money on. GUYS – THIS HAS ACTUALLY BEEN TERRIFYING BUT SO SO SO SO SO SO USEFUL. I successfully tracked everything I spent last week and kept all my receipts. I used one of my pretty lavender notebooks and started a weekly logging system. I broke it down into categories so I could see where I am spending. I need to do this for a few more weeks before I can start making some serious changes in my spending. But it was a scary eye opener,  a reality check, and something I plan on continuing because when you can’t account for a couple G’s a month – that is a problem.
  4. I fucking crunched some numbers. I looked at what my over-all coming in from both jobs, the mandatory going out and then realized I needed a vacation to India.
  5. Realized that I likely was not being successful at weight loss because of a Diet Coke addiction – it’s my last vice – but its got a death grip – this isn’t a thing but it is … because of a weekly spending habit of the drink it is costing in $100’s/month. Overall picture, People!
  6. Made a no-buy and a to-buy list – I think I have enough shower gels and soaps to last me until Christmas. Unreal, right?! A no-buy is needed to curb my spending and make use of that money in other areas – budgeting perhaps …
  7. Started listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts and instead of watching TV watching YouTube ’til debt do us part – to get some ideas on how budgeting, finances and over all how can I get better with my money
  8. Start reading other financial blogs on how people conquered their Canada Student Loans.
  9. Downloaded a spread sheet to track  debt repayment progress – still need to fill it out. But working on it. Cuz car loan also people
  10. Last but not least I have decided that it is okay to discuss numbers with people and instead of hiding behind my crippling student loan debt see what actually works for people.

 

With that guys –  I am unsure if I want to publish actual numbers on this blog for privacy reasons, that might change later on. But I will share that I currently have 3 student loans: Canada Loan (which is the largest), Nova Scotia Student Loans (Resolve) and Alberta Student Loan (the smallest and the loan I want to pay off first).

My very first debt repayment challenge is simple: Every time I spend money on Diet Coke for the month of February, I must then pay an equivalent payment onto my Alberta Student!

For example – I bought a medium diet coke from McDonald this AM – when I got back to the office I made a $2.40 payment to AB Student Loans. If I bought a diet coke everyday at an average of 30/month, that is $72.00/month and $864.00/year ( Just doing the math now has made me realize the 1000’s a spend a year on soda) – So February challenge launched. Which me luck!

 

And with that people – I will get an update to you next week with the progress of this journey. Till then I will be trying really hard to curb a Diet Coke habit and maybe start spending my free time in the gym.

So many 2017 goals!

All my Love,

C