I have a confession to make. In December, when I was looking at apartments and saving for a deposit and my first month’s rent, I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could save enough for January 1st, or for February’s rent, and I definitely didn’t think I’d have any extra money to put on my credit card debt.
I couldn’t stop worrying about what I’d be moving away from. For six months before, I had been putting an average of approx. $1,666 per month on my debt. Fearing that I’d only be able to pay the minimums, once I was forking out for rent and utilities, I almost didn’t want to move. I knew I wanted my own space again but I was paralyzed with the fear that I would once again move, go on a spending rampage to fill my home, and wind up with more debt.
If you’re new to my blog, you may not know that that’s exactly how I racked up my credit cards. In 2008, I went through a breakup that quite literally broke me. I moved out on my own for the first time and made myself feel better by buying all new furniture, accents, etc. for my home. Despite then having a beautiful home to entertain in, I went out and partied. A lot. Then I took a trip to Toronto and Montreal, moved to Toronto for a few months, and finally came back home completely maxed out.
Rather than spinning my broken record (you know, the one that talks about how being maxed out changed me), I’ll just say this: instead of being scared to move out, I should have recognized how different I am now compared to that girl. I don’t party every weekend, I never visit shopping malls, and I even avoid Amazon (which used to be my biggest addiction).
This isn’t to say that I don’t have a list of things I’d love to buy. I know I want a mirror hanging in my front hallway, a cream-coloured rug and new coffee tables in my living room, and artwork for every room in the apartment. But I don’t need it. Wiping out my credit card is much more important than buying a new surface to put my laptop on.
Because of this attitude, I’ve survived my first month. My cash budget has stopped me from swiping my credit card and from having any more fun than I can afford to have. And it has also helped me put just over $400 on my credit card debt; that’s on top of the $532 I make in other loan payments. What a great start to 2012!
How was January for you?