We're back from our week long vacation at the cottage we rent at Ipperwash beach. We had a blast! The weather was fantastic and the only one to get a sunburn was Daddy. We managed to keep our spending under control too.
During the holidays, I used some of my time to sit and think about our financial situation. Where we are, where we were, and where we want to be. Sort of a financial autopsy on what has worked for us in the past, and what hasn't. I spent time thinking about goals, and how to achieve them. I put items into perspective and listed (mentally) priorities.
We have come so very far in the last few years. Our consumer debt is almost finished being paid off, and we are learning, albeit slowly, to set aside money for our future selves and for our kids educations. We have formed new habits with spending, and are still struggling with others. We have incurred different types of debt as we learn how to manage all of our financial matters and have pledged to keep on fighting the good fight.
We dream of things we want, like owning a home, knowing that we are no where near ready for that type of financial commitment just yet. We talk about fabulous vacations we would like to take, concerts we would love to see, experiences we would like to have and places we would like to visit. But until we win a lottery, and we rarely purchase tickets, those things will remain just dreams; a mental escape from time to time.
We live in the here and now. We make purchases now with a clear conscience of the financial obligations that we have to ourselves and others. We have learned to use coupons and sales to stockpile items we use for our leaner financial months. We have both taken on extra jobs to earn money to pay off our obligations and debts. From time to time, we take a look at our overall financial picture to make sure we are still heading in the right direction. We have sacrificed things that bring us personal enjoyment for the betterment of our family. We are no longer ostriches, with our heads in the sand, hopeful that things will get better all on their own.
We've made mistakes, but we have learned from them.
I want to personally thank Ms. Gail Vaz-Oxlade for doing what she does, showing common folks a better way to live. I've had the pleasure of meeting her, and bending her ear a bit. She's offered encouragement as well as the occasional butt-kicking when needed. I'm sure we would have worked our way out of the mess we were in eventually, but she provided us the education and the tools to do it much more quickly. Thanks Gail, for being an inspiration to us all.