It's time to lay it out.
Reading everyone's blogs for months pushed me on to the path of creating my own. For many reasons. Including accountability. But to be accountable, I have to say it out loud, don't !?
Here it is:
Yes, we have debt!!
I am the type of person who does not, outside of my house, complain about how expensive life can be. I tend to keep it private. While my workmates or friends obsess about their latest cell phone bill or how expensive food is, I quietly work away at how to keep our finances in check.
We've had many, many lean years.
That came from choice not circumstance.
Why would we choose a life of frugality?
It was important to us when our children were young that they had a parent at home. I was home for 20 years & then my husband took time off & was home for the last 6 years when I secured a phenomenal job. Now he's back in the corporate field & we're learning to juggle 2 paychecks & 2 schedules.
I think we do pretty good but of course, we could always do better. It helps that my first career, before children, was working in a bank. You learn alot about life working in a bank. I watched people fret about paying bills, growing debt & living paycheque to paycheque. I vowed we'd try to do better. And we have for the most part. We used what I observed with my clients as our basis for "nope, not going there."
Not to give away my age too quickly, but this was before internet! So we had to figure things out on our own. Couldn't just google. And figure it out we did.
In 1989, we bought a book that we still have & it has become like a bible for our financial life. Some things we couldn't do at the time, like max out our RRSP's (hard to do when you have small children who need to eat) but many we could & looking back, I'm glad we scrimped & had priorities. We did contribute to our RRSP's that we started at age 18 but realized early on, our real estate & our savings were more important then. Now, if we wanted to, we can max them out but we're looking now at real estate as a better option for a healthier return. David, the author, recently talked about the value of TFSA's accounts instead of RRSP's because of the tax implications of withdrawing from the RRSP's once we retire. Hmmm. Glad we have our TFSA's & will continue to contribute there for now.
Here's the book that has guided our journey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealthy_Barber. He has just this fall released a sequel that I haven't read yet but is getting rave reviews.
Now that I've taken the first step & admitted out loud that we have debt, I'm exhausted & will need to take a break from posting anymore right now. Laying out our debt will be next but ouch, I ache from my admission!