What are you dreaming about today?
Mara at The Mother of all Trips encourages her readers to share their big dreams on Mondays. My dreams are often about travel but, as I revealed here, our focus this year will be turned inward, towards living a richer life in our home-city of Bangkok.
Today I am dreaming about being completely debt-free by June 2011. By the end of this school year I will have eliminated both my grad school student loan and all of my consumer debt. Seriously!
How, exactly, am I going to do this?
1. Rethink our travel-habit
Although travel is one of the greatest perks of teaching abroad, we have decided that, for one year, we will travel less frequently and that when we do travel, we’ll stay closer to home. (Thailand is a big and beautiful country!) We’ll also be opting to spend some of our vacations at home in Bangkok; we’re becoming full-time tourists in our own city. Speaking of travel, we have already ear-marked the money we received from our final Spanish tax return as vacation money.
2. Rethink our spending habits
We’ve already begun paying greater attention to how much money we spend ordering in and eating out. Groceries at our local grocery store are very expensive so it’s probably not a reasonable goal to cook all of our meals at home. We could, however, spend less money on food by making wiser choices.
3. Pay ourselves first
At the beginning of this school year, I added up my total debt and calculated how much I would need to pay, each month, in order to eradicate my loan and credit card debt by June of 2011. The number is manageable and we can live fairly comfortably on the amount that’s left over each month. What’s even better is that doing so does not deprive us of our favourite treats… like movies. I am committed to sticking to my repayment plan.
Although these actions do not constitute a revolution, they are small and important steps towards greater financial freedom. Like most people, I take my financial obligations very seriously but this is the first time in my working life that I have been able to see the light at the end of the debt-tunnel. From time to time, here in this blog-space, I’ll be providing updates about my efforts to eradicate my personal debt.
Long have I fantasized about the day that I am utterly debt-free… when all of the stuff I own is, in fact, my own. In fact, I’ll be throwing a party to celebrate this momentous occasion. You’re all invited! Details to follow…
Tell us a money story with a happy ending. What good financial decisions have you made? What strategies have you employed to get your financial house in order?