If you’re new here, welcome! My name is Cait Flanders and this is my digital home. I originally started this blog (formerly titled Blonde on a Budget) to document my debt repayment journey, but this space has morphed into so much more than that for me.
My Debt Repayment Story
In June 2011, I was maxed out. After years of swiping for anything I dreamed of owning or doing, my bad spending habits had finally caught up with me and I was left with more than $28,000 of debt to pay off. To try and stay accountable throughout my debt repayment journey, I started this blog.
Since then, I have evolved from being a girl who wanted to be smart with her money into a woman who cares passionately about every penny that goes in and out of her hands. I paid off $10,000 of debt in 2011, $11,000 of debt in 2012, and I made my final debt repayment on May 21, 2013.
- How to Create a Monthly Budget
- Why I Budget Monthly, Semi-Monthly and Weekly
- How I Paid Off $30,000 of Debt in Two Years
- You Weren’t Born to Pay Off Debt and Die
Life After Debt
Since making my final payment, I’ve experienced what I like to call “life after debt“. I’ve built up an emergency fund, made regular contributions to my retirement savings and travelled all over North America. There’s no denying that life is better when you’re not weighed down by debt.
On the other hand, I also experienced lifestyle inflation, spent too much money and, as a result, put myself on a two-year shopping ban (ended July 6, 2016). The goal was to become a more mindful consumer; the result far surpassed that expectation and took me down an entirely new path.
- The Rules for My Yearlong Shopping Ban / Second Yearlong Shopping Ban
- The Year I Embraced Minimalism and Completed a Yearlong Shopping Ban
- Two Years Without Shopping: What I Bought, Donated and Learned to Be True
- The Ultimate Shopping Ban Guide (Free PDF Download)
My Decision to Embrace Minimalism
At the same time I started my shopping ban, I decided to embrace minimalism, and kicked off the year by doing a massive declutter around my home. In total, I tossed/donated 75% of my belongings, and I haven’t missed a single item. (Truthfully, I don’t even remember what most of it was.)
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’ve learned how to live a good life with less “stuff”. My debt repayment journey taught me what matters most in life, and I promise you it can’t be found in a store. The result of this all has been a happier life filled with more time and energy, and even more money.
- How I Let Go of 60% of My Belongings and Learned to Accept 100% of Myself
- 3 Truths About Minimalism (and the 30-Day Challenge to Get Started)
- I Own 28 Items of Clothing (and Only Wear 9 Regularly)
- Why I (Kinda, Sorta, Sometimes) Hate Calling Myself a Minimalist
Each Monday, I share stories and lessons I’m learning in my pursuit to become a more mindful consumer. I am also writing a book about my experiments with consuming less of everything, in a self-help memoir titled The Year of Less. I am so excited to be working with Hay House on this project and I can’t wait to share it with you. <3