I have completed step one to debt-free in 2013. I paid $814.46 to my debt yesterday. I sit
Was this the actual first step in my journey though?
Nope! Not by a long shot!
The actual first step to my journey happened moons ago when I acknowledged I had to take care of my finances.
I'll say that again...
The actual first step to my debt-free journey was when I acknowledged I had to take care of my finances.
Sure that seems like an obvious thing. Except, is it really? Actually acknowledging that my finances were a mess was a point in life when I had to stop feeding myself the kool-aid and start drinking the water.
It means making yourself uncomfortable, admitting you made a colossal mess and processing the guilt, anxiety, shame, embarrassment, and all of the other emotions that surface instead of pushing them away to fester silently in the background some more. A bunch of other things happened between yesterday and when I started as well.
My debt-free journey has been long. Longer than I ever intended it to be. I've made some great progress, and had some huge highs. I didn't realize I was experiencing a low until sometime around December 2012, when I looked back over my own posts and through my financial paperwork and realized that for 18 months I've been spinning my wheels in the sand making a giant pit and not really getting anywhere. Sure my debt climbed during that time. Sure some things in life may have catalyzed the change. Ultimately I made the choice to allow each and everything to happen, or not.
And so - while some of you have seen this record before - most recently from January to June 2011, when I got and gained traction on this debt of mine, many more of you have also played each record since then with me at some point in your life.
So here I am, 2013, making the first of 26 payments towards my debt.
I have tested some things along the way. First, I started reading Ramit Sethi and his pearls of wisdom, and no-nonsense speak on all things in life. I needed someone else that could kick me as well as Gail Vaz Oxlade. He is a wealth of information. However, he's the largest proponent for Do-It-Yourself and find out that I have come across. Because of this, I have been testing behaviours and ideas of my own on myself and found out that I have some interesting habits, and can be incredibly lazy. I am a visual person.
As such, I need and like to have a board upon which I post things that I can cross off and toss out as I go. I have a magnetic white board that I list my daily items and have a list for other things as well. That way, when I get something done I can walk to the board, use my nifty white board eraser and voila! Instant progress on my goals. I have my school readings broken out my class and chapter on there on one side right now. Everytime I finish I chapter it gets erased. There's a due date and everything there. I've also been life-hacking my chores around the house, doing 2 things every day so that come the weekend, I have a clean house faster and without the begrudged thoughts like I once did. Now I have less to do, and the house stays cleaner longer.
It also breaks up my evening to know that once I get my 2 things done I can move on to my reading for school and reward myself with a great program at the appropriate time. I used to spend 6 hours a night flipping channels without watching anything and without getting anything done.
I'll let you know how this is going in February, as it takes about 28 days to form habits, and only 2 to break them.
Tonight's tasks: Dishes and storing my Christmas stuff away. Added bonus - this cleans the kitchen completely, and cleans out more of the clutter from the dining room, so I can tackle my junk bag, and the remnants of life all over my dining room table.
Also up there - the numbers 1 through 26 (on my board). Each time a payment is made to my debt, one of those numbers come off. And, a little number that changes every day is the number of days until school is done...109 and counting.
Busy people get the most done...it's because we have to be anally organized so we don't drop one of the important balls we juggle through life. The first 4 months of this year are going to be the most whirlwind of my life to date.
On tap this weekend, starting after work tonight:
Massage therapy, dishes, Christmas stuff to storage, declutter junk bag and dining room, hot bath and sleep, early morning drive to curling bonspiel, home to do a load of laundry, dust the living and dining rooms, a hot bath and sleep, gather stuff to take to mom, sister and grandma, family afternoon and dinner for mom's birthday, read another chapter of chemistry, hot bath and sleep. I'm hoping to melt this cold out by Monday. It doesn't sound like a lot, however, I have the cold, so I'm tired faster, so the most important thing on the list, after making sure my chores get done is hot bath and sleep. I need as much as I can get right now.
I'm excited to have the first payment towards debt done. I'm happy to see that total come down...that reminds me - I'll be updating that little tracker bar ----------------------------------> over there to the right, at the end of each month.
This way everyone sees progress, and I only have to remember about it once a month.
Off to clear my head and figure out how to bring in more cash this week.