The One Where I Talk About Debt Fatigue and What I Am Doing About It.

 

 

Debt fatigue occurs when a debtor becomes overwhelmed by the amount of debt incurred and the seeming futility of the debt repayment process, and it may result in a debtor giving up on making loan payments and beginning to overspend again.

This is for real and my life. DEBT FATIGUE. As of April 2019, I am feeling some serious debt fatigue. I have a few weeks of holidays right now. When I bid for these holidays, I actually had thought I was going to be in Asia for a few weeks. I am not in Asia – I am sitting on my friends couch hanging out with her cat listening to podcasts and writing this blog. I am not in Asia because I don’t have money to be in Asia. Since shit went down in my life in Montreal I have been very careful with my spending and hyper focused on paying off my debt. But the reality of focusing on paying off debt is that I have been feeling the debt fatigue for awhile.

The thing is I am not even sure if it is debt fatigue or if I am just not making enough money.

In the past I have made some really bad financial decisions. I bought into the student loan thing for a university degree then I bought into it again for a college diploma – and now I am working a full time job that I am not sure I even need post secondary for … I am now looking for a second job that is so far removed from either of those things just so that I can pay off students loans for a degree and a diploma that I am not using in the conventional sense.

About every 6 months debt fatigue happens to me. Everything goes to shit. I stop paying my bills, break free and do something financially stupid. Go on a trip or spend my entire payday on shit that I don’t need. Or just stop paying my bills. It gets so damn exhausting paying bills and putting everything towards my debt. I then feel guilty and spend like 6 months recovering from the financial mistakes that I made. The thing is sometimes it feels like I am not even making a dent in my overwhelming amount of student loans.

I have written about side hustles in the past. I have had 2 jobs many times in my life – I have no aversion to hard work, but I promised myself I wouldn’t work two jobs when I started flying. But after almost 2 years I think I am looking to restore a little bit of balance into my life. See I invest 20% of my payday, every payday into stocks. I am building a nest egg to pay off my loans – but that is leaving me with not so much money when its all said and done. – not so much for right now money. So, I end up flying more, then I am gone more and the cycle just keeps repeating itself. I need to be home a bit more and the only way I can do that is if I make money from another source. And here we are May 2019.

It is Wednesday night, May 1st and I am listening to Dave Ramsey and trying to refocus my priorities. I do realize that this might mean doing things that I don’t want to do. Manifesting debt reduction is happening. My plan is in place. I just need to keep pushing myself. It has come to my realization that I need to use my free time to make some more money – it doesn’t matter what it is just need to put cash in my bank account.

So what do I do about the debt fatigue??

• Stop, Breathe, Relax, Put my wallet and credit card away.
• Start applying for second jobs and ways that I can bring in extra income.
• Only drink free coffee on the airplane, drink free coffee in the hotel room, stop buying coffee out – goodbye Starbucks for a little while (yes, the latte affect)!
• Think about it, write about it, put my stress onto paper instead of on my waist line or my bank account.
• Look at the money growing in my stocks and see the nest egg I am building that is making it all worth it!!
• Remind myself how cool thrifting is and how wicked it is for the planet and how lucky I am that I have a uniform job, so I don’t need to invest in work suits and clothing that I would never wear in real life.
• Make a new budget that is more attainable.
• Talk money with my friends see what they are doing – how are they making ends meet?
• Realize I am not alone but also realize that everyone’s journey is different.
• Remind myself that future me will thank present me for getting a second job and getting my shit together!
• Breathe in some lavender and relax!
• Budget into my spending that this will probable happen again in 6 months time and plan for it, because making a financial plan to work through expected debt fatigue is probable the smartest thing I can do.

Have any tips for me on dealing with debt fatigue? I would love to hear them!

tell tale signs of impending change

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Fig.1:  When I need to clear my head, clear my thoughts, I go to the water.  Reykjavik Iceland. Greenland Sea.

 

I have a huge decision to make. HUGE. And while for some people that is super easy for some reason at this point in my life (or maybe all points) I am really struggling with decisions. I stress like an overthinking motherfucker, I lose sleep, I talk to everyone about, I even go as far as being physically unable to sleep, socialize or do anything normal because of it.

In my later years I have noticed patterns or things I do when a massive change in my life is about to occur:

  1. Anxiety. My anxiety reaches an all encompassing level.  I literally walk around in days in a full blown anxiety attack. I even wish I had friends these days with Xanax or something of that nature. I have an inability to focus, to have conversations, to just be a normal person doing normal things.
  2. I buy hair dye. Currently at home I have lavender and pastel pink, both wash out in 6 washed but nonetheless I bought the hair dye – lots of hair dye. I then do something stupid to my hair. I usually then spend 6 months repairing said stupid hair decision.
  3. UNSUBSCRIBE.  This time I unsubscribed to all the YouTubers I was following who weren’t aligned with my current mission. I also deleted Facebook and YouTube from my phone. In the past I have deleted social media apps – take away all social influence.  I also turned off notifications to everything on my phone so I am not getting 5000 little icons telling me to watch videos, pay attention to traffic, weather pop ups and everything else. I shut off.
  4. Clean out my closet and donate. This will inevitably be a weekend project. But I have so many things that I don’t wear, don’t fit or are just not right. Get rid of old me stuff.
  5. Eat up all the things in my freezer. I am a meal prep machine. Often I make extra so I can freeze them. But every now and again my freezer goes all crazy and I need to eat up everything and start fresh.
  6. Clean out my cupboards. Same concepts. Clean out and regroup.
  7. Drink tea. Tea is so relaxing and it makes you think. I forget to attempt to shut everything off.
  8. Think about it to a point that I can no longer write about it.
  9. Finally reach a point that I can write  – hello blog post?!@
  10. Agonize over every possible life solution and try to make what I deems is a sound, grown up decision.

The truth is since I moved to Edmonton. Life hasn’t been that much fun. I have had fun times but over all I feel low most of the time. I have consistently worked 50-60 hours a weeks to at first catch up on bills and now to pay for my life.  In the last year I have dabbled on and off with weight watchers in hopes to get back to my healthy self. However, it has proven to be incredible difficult with working so much. So a few months ago I decided I needed a better paying job. I needed to change things up. I needed something different.  So my decision is contemplating a shift. Choosing me and health before choosing a job and money.

 

I got offered something that isn’t in my field that I would be a perfect fit for. I accepted it instantly doing all the things I need to do to make it happen. Then I realized my current life with all my bills that the perks of this job  wouldn’t be perks because I would never be able to actually use them making me wonder if it really is worth it. Enter Crisis.

So now I am about a few weeks out and I need to make decisions. I need to wake up, smell the coffee and get all grown up about what my actual needs, desire and wants are. What the fuck do I want my life to look like?

As I savagely tear apart my apartment I wonder what the universe has in store of me. See I have known for a long time there are no right or wrong decisions just choices. And with every choice there are pros and cons and you just have to fucking deal with the consequences of your choices. How do you make a decision knowing all those things? I am proposing a plan. I am just going to throw it out in the universe and if it is meant to be, it’ll happen. Nothing else I can do about it.

How do you deal with impending change? What are you go to decision making solution? What do you do when you really want something but road blocks are there?

 

Money Diaries. #1

Sometimes money runs through my fingers like sand in a sieve … you know how it goes – it’s like all your shoes wear out in the same month. You need new (or new to you) clothing and everything (perceptions, glasses, shirts, bras – life stuff) all at the same impossible time. It is incredible frustrating. I read all sorts of how to handle your money but sometimes I think those articles are meant for people that maintain a certain level of affluence. I think it is called the latte something something

It has been awhile since we talked about money. The reality for me is that money sucks. Actually gracefully accepting my place in the financial scale makes it easier for me to figure out what I need to do to move forward. As you might know I took a few weeks off of Starbucks in April because I needed a break. I needed to push pause for a minute and catch my breath; align my expectations of myself and figure out what I want to do next.

Taking time off means less money – my budget has gone to shit. I stopped tracking my money. It is the same concept as weight watchers – you gotta track your bites or you don’t lose the weight. I need to track my spending or shit goes crazy.  And, Friends, shit has gone crazy. I need to plan my spending or things get out of control right quick. Some days I wonder if I will ever see the end to my student loan nightmare. The truth is I got tired of it and got distracted because it’s hard to build a life on no dollars.

So in financial news aka pending expenses: I got hit with an amount owing on my income tax. A couple of traffic violations and I need to update my address on my license and insurance. My wisdom teeth will be costing anything my insurance doesn’t cover. I need new glasses, contacts and an eye exam and last but not least I am getting another laser treatment this week on my tattoo. I am mega excited for getting a new tattoo for my birthday this coming December that will cover the spot I am lasering. So I will not make any of my targets for paying off my Alberta student loan any time soon. Gah. I step forward – 3 steps back. I have been good with my no buy with the exceptions of things I really needed.

My 3 big lessons are:

  1. Budget like a motherfucker.
  2. Track your Gawddamn Spending.
  3. Take Control.

In other news that affects my finances. I am trying to brush up on my English grammar because I am thinking about taking my CELTA so I can teach English in Canada.  And then replace Starbucks with teaching. This will cost money but likely make me more money in the long run (also allow me to consider a bit of a Bali teaching situation that has been on the bucket list for years). I am looking for higher paying full time jobs – albeit not that hard. August is my two year work-aversary … so perfect timing. Change is in the air but sadly this time not in my hair.

Anyway – the reason I write this out is in the hopes that you will take a step back  from your financial situation and realize that we all struggle with finances. It’s expensive as fuck to live in the Western world. People have debt and the truth is – none of it is good and the only way out is to plan it out, pay it off and show yourself some love. I have thought about selling everything and moving abroad again but I’m not there yet.

So with that friends, happy saving, happy spending and thankfully it is almost nice enough for picnics and strolls in the parks.

Good vibes,

C

What keeps you HAPPY?

I recently started reading the book Pivot by Jenny Blake. One of those interesting reads that forces you to look within to figure out to where to go next.

This last little while I have been feeling stagnant in my life:  work, sleep, eat, sleep, go on a date, have it not work, go for a coffee with friends, realize I’m on a different page, sleep, chat with my sisters, visit the shopping store, buy shit, attempt to be fulfilled … blah, blah … I like all those things but it lacks adventure.  I have been feeling stagnant at my job because there is no where for me to advance and in Edmonton as a city as a whole. I feel bored. Boredom to the extent that it is causing me headaches from not being challenged enough.

Normally my next move would be to move. Country hop. Lifestyle hop. Do something that challenges me. However, I am trying to adult. Hardcore. I am trying to get a stronghold on paying off my loans. I promised myself that I wouldn’t move abroad again until I have paid down 20K off my student loans (hint – that is at like 19k and change away OR at very least I need to have paid of my Alberta and Nova Scotia Loans)

And then this came up in my Instagram feed this AM:

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And it hit me hard with the wonderment of this existence in my life. You know, happiness. What is missing? What is lacking? Am I happy with my life here in Edmonton?

With all this information smacked together – I have come to this vortex of knowledge.  The Oprah light bulb moment or “AH-HA” rang its bell. My intentions for Edmonton was money. Pure and simple. I moved to this city out of a place of desperation. I left Montreal crumbled, beaten down and exhausted. I moved back to Alberta and specifically Edmonton because I needed a fresh start, I needed a job in my field and I needed to crush some immediate debt that I acquired living in Montreal.  I was over extended everywhere.

 

However, since I now have paid those debts. Had my debt fatigue trips. And have re-budgeted for student loan payments. I am thinking, what’s next? I am month two into this and I just feel drained. I lack a drive and desire to do things. Be social. Have fun. I feel like everything goes back to money. I don’t want to drink because I don’t have money. I don’t want to drink because  am on a diet.  I don’t have money because I am spending $1000 a month on debt repayment. I want to be skinny but can be fucked to eat right buuuut my weight is wearing on my self confidence. There is always fucking something that limits me … and you know what guys, that something is me. That something is my intentions. That something is an unwillingness to go it alone and explore Edmonton for what it really has to offer.

In light of signing my lease for another year. And officially staying in Edmonton for awhile – I have decided to give it my all.  Because I know that debt repayment is happening I can now set my intentions on other things like – weigh-loss, building a social community, developing my creative space online via this blog, Instagram and twitter and just being here. This is a huge shift. This means maybe reworking my schedule, maybe feeling uncomfortable, maybe learning to not let my anxiety take over my life. But there is only one person that can change things and that person is me. Sometimes you need to change up the routine, apply for new jobs, work on your passion projects and really see the fruits of your labor.

With that in mind I want to know from you:

Are you in love with your life? How did you make that happen? Could you have more? How are you challenge yourself to be happier?

LEAVE ME SOME LOVE IN THE COMMENTS &

PLEASE FOLLOW ME – HELP ME GROW MY COMMUNITY!

XOXO,

C

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