Feeling positive

Speaking of milestones, as I was the other day, my site has passed 1000 visitors this week. Thanks guys! I remember my first few weeks of posting, when I doubted anybody would care what I had to say. Thanks for keeping me motivated!

I was watching the advertisements for Financial Peace University on the Dave Ramsey website (we don’t have it here in Australia). It looked pretty good. One thing that struck me about it though was all the testimonials ie `we paid off $18,000 in debt in less than a year’. I was listening to that and thinking … wow. I wonder what if feels like to do that.

Then I felt really stupid.

Since June this year, we have:

– paid off nearly $7000 owing on our credit card;

– eliminated more than $3000 owed to our family (not counting the amount we exchanged for labour);

– reduced the balance owing on our vehicle by almost $3000; and

– built a $1000 emergency fund.

So we’ve paid off at least $13,000 in debt in less than 6 months, and saved a little bit as well! And we’ve done this on one (relatively good) income, and one casual income.

While living rent-free is a huge advantage for us that I have to acknowledge, I also see this as an achievement in itself. It’s not easy supporting a family member to stay in their own home, and living with an older generation can be difficult at times (as I’m sure it is difficult living with us sometimes!). So while we are doing this primarily to support my father-in-law, reducing debt has been a big driver for us staying here, and we have `paid’ for those debt reductions in other ways ie loss of privacy etc.

However, thinking about this has made me feel so much better, and I realise now that my attitude is sometimes very `poor me’, when in fact I really need to recognise how lucky we have been to be able to stay on track so well.

 We have a few things that we would like to plan ahead for in the next year or so, including a joint birthday party for me and my hubby and a specific gift for another person having a milestone birthday within our family. While we don’t intend to spend a huge amount on either of these, they will come at the worst time of year for us, so they will require a bit of early planning.

I also have the opportunity to do an 8-week placement in a remote location next year (in fact, it’s a requirement of my course), and I would like to do it on one of the islands on the northernmost tip of Australia. This would be a fantastic experience for my family and I, but it will take some funds for all of us to go up there for that long. So we will start planning that soon too. When I get back from that trip, I will almost be a full-time wage earner! This is an astonishing proposition for someone who feels like a perpetual student!

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