Tuesday 5 December 2023

Ten Years On This Journey To Total Debt Freedom (And Beyond)

Today, marks exactly ten years since I have started this journey to Total Debt Freedom and beyond. 

It was ten years ago today, after work, that I had the realization that I had to somehow get my debts done or I would never get them done . . . yet still face retirement . . . with nothing to show for it but a pile of debts.

I was treading water financially; paying my bills, paying the minimum payments on my credit cards but little else. Then again, I have been in economic survival mode all of my working life (up until now).

In the days before that fateful day, I had been forced to wonder what would happen if I was suddenly unemployed (the boss had mused about shutting the company down).

I knew that if that happened, that I would have no choice but to immediately radically downgrade my lifestyle in order to meet the new financial realities of unemployment.

I decided to radically downgrade my lifestyle whilst I was still employed, and use the freed-up cash in my monthly budget to get my debts paid off.

I didn’t know exactly how I was going to do that, but I knew that I had to do something radical and live really cheaply: live in a camper or rent a room.

My original goal was to get, “Credit Card Debt Free.” I thought that my truck loan would end on its own, in time. 

It took a few years, but in late November of 2015 I paid off my last credit card and became Credit Card Debt Free.

As I look back on the credit card debts that were crushing me, I say, “that’s it?”

I have to remind myself that when you are also paying so many other bills, both large and small every month, that even small credit card debt can be crushing and take a long time to get rid of.

Fun fact is that my income is the same now as it was back then. I have recently got a pay-raise (this past Sept) . . . first one since July of 2014.

Yet that raise was not really a raise, as it was, “give with one hand but take away with the other.” So, in essence, I am no better than I was before that, “raise” . . . maybe a bit worse off.  

(Don’t get me started . . . seriously.)

Anyways, I continued to pay down debt and on October, 22, 2017 I became Totally Debt Free.

Since then, I have been: saving, investing and gathering up: tools, books, and supplies that I would need when I do get either that cabin or parcel of land on which to build.

My dreams are scalable, from a cabin somewhere, to building a town. 

That means that I want somewhere between a few acres to a Quarter Section (160 Acres) yet without debt . . . somehow.

In my mad rush to get the: tools, books, and supplies that I would need (the essential ones) and do so before inflation really kicked in or such supplies were no longer available, I have run up another pile of debt.

Fear not, that debt will be done by April of this next year, after which I can look to seriously work towards getting that . . . something . . . somewhere.

So, I will be in Wanda for at least one more winter . . . hopefully my last but who knows.

I am in a much better place than I was ten years ago, and I am so very close to getting that little patch of somewhere that will be mine.

At least, that is the plan. 

As we all know, many things can happen to upend those plans, but I will dream, plan and work towards that dream anyways.

As always: Dream for the future, Plan for the mid-term, but Work on the now.

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