Although this is based on a more personal note, I wanted to write about debt. Debt is something that a lot of us have and a lot of us suffer with. Debt is a word that most of us cringe over and wish to forget about… unfortunately it’s not something we can run from. It follows us until it is paid off and even then, the fear of going back into debt looms over us like a black cloud.
I want to share my story. I never thought I’d be sharing this on a public forum but I think I have some great ideas on how to get out of debt so I feel like I need to set the stage first. A few years ago I was in over my head in debt. I was working as an administrative assistant making very little in terms of a salary. Combine that with only getting paid once a month and I started down the terrible road of debt. I opened one credit card, then another and then a third… I had a student line of credit from college that I couldn’t get paid down… I purchased a brand new car that I couldn’t really afford and worst of all, I had no savings.
I was one paycheck away from bankruptcy.
So, I did what my logical brain told me to do. I set up a plan. I created a spreadsheet that listed every single thing I needed to pay for each month and then I listed out the pay periods. Every time I would get paid, I would open up my spreadsheet, cross off the items I had paid and then use the rest for my “fun” money. I did this for four years.
During those four years, I moved up in my career which provided me with extra income. Every time my income would rise, I would add that to my spreadsheet and increase the payments on the items I was trying to pay off. Within those four years, I paid off my debt and began saving money in an RRSP. Now, I am debt-free and have the freedom to save for the things I want - vacation, a new home, etc.
So, how did I do it?
(1) I set a plan for myself which mapped out my income and my spending. I then stuck to this plan.
(2) I took the steps to advance in my career which then increased my income levels and helped me to pay more on my debts.
(3) I paid the items with the higher interest rates first.
(4) I never missed a payment and I always paid a little more than what was required. For example, if my credit card payment asked for $98 I would pay $118 or $128.
(5) I believed in myself.
So why am I sharing this? I think there are many, many people who are in debt and may be in denial over it or may not know how to “attack” it. I hope this helps in some way… Getting yourself debt-free provides more freedom than you could ever imagine.
- About the Author -
Erin Blaskie is the owner of Business Services, ETC (http://www.bsetc.ca ). BSETC is a virtual assistance company that gives freedom to small business owners, coaches and speakers by managing the BS, etc.
- For More Information -
Erin has a blog located on the main page of her website in which she provides advice on small businesses and running a virtual assistance company. She has recently started a free bi-weekly telecall for virtual assistants where they can come together with other VAs and get support. You can find out more on the website at http://www.bsetc.ca.
If you want to know more about our services, please contact Erin at erin. blaskie@bsetc. ca.
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