About a year ago I had almost $3800 in debt. Of course it was in my line of credit – which has a lower interest rate than a credit card. None the less, it was a debt and I owed it. Mom, if you are reading this – no comments. I know that’s hard to do because I have a daughter too, and I make too many comments to her. Just saying that I know what’s on the tip of your tongue.
To be honest, I’ve been working on the debt issue for several years – especially motivated by Dave Ramsey and his Debt Snowball and the blog, Get Rich Slowly – and I finally managed to get rid of the whole kit and kaboodle this summer. I’d been steadily whittling away at the sum, paying a chunk every pay cheque, observing the total diminishing, as did the amount of interest I was paying on the debt. It felt good. Finally, this summer I had to make another work adjustment at Co-op and they paid out my vacation pay!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a huge chunk of change and enough to bring the figure under $400. By September it was done.
Now in theory the amount of money I was no longer feeding to my debt account should have gone into a savings account. I mean, after all, the next savings step is 3 – 6 months of expenses, right? Well, let me tell you that it didn’t and probably for many people doesn’t go quite as planned. There’s a sense of freedom and release when everything is in the black – and somehow saving gets forgotten – or at least it did by me. And then this picture started making the rounds on Facebook:
It’s pretty basic and it’s been shared by several blogs, but I got this image from Survival Mom. Several of my friends posted it, and I sure hope they follow through. There is a lot less stress when you have savings – even when you are in debt. However, I wanted to crank up my savings rate just a little, so about two weeks ago I opened another savings account. (I bank with President’s Choice so this is pretty easy to set up online). And because I am fortunate not to have any debts at the moment, no young children at home, and no major expenses in the future, I am starting at the top of the chart and staying there. $52 per paycheque gets transferred to my “pay yourself first” fund and because I usually have a payday every Friday, I can do this every week.
I am sure that many people want to save more money than they are currently saving. Starting small and working your way up is a great way to start. Maybe I should even start adding a dollar a week in the new year. Just thinking of saving $100 per week is a little scary for me at the moment- I need to think about that. On the other hand we could just keep increasing that dollar a week or paycheque until it was just too hard and stay at that number for a while.
I’ve set a goal of saving $5000 this year – and flying to Toronto twice. I’ll keep you posted.
I wonder if I could add a savings thermometer to this blog!
Have a wonderful day! And a Happy New Year!