Wednesday, May 27, 2009

can I get a high five?

We've paid off our line of credit! I made the last payment this morning (we had the money to pay it yesterday, but the bank wouldn't let me make THAT BIG of a payment at once). See the graph in the side bar?? It feels awesome to have that thing paid off and no longer hanging over our heads, all the more so because of how hard we worked to get it done.

It definitely helped to have received some big chunks of unexpected money these last five months: a larger than anticipated income tax return, a huge retroactive payment for Quebec child tax that we didn't know existed so hadn't applied for, and a lump sum payment for Peter's Collective Agreement having been re-signed.

All that money could've easily (EASILY) been spent on other -ie. more fun- things. How bout a little family vacation? A few new camera lenses and an external flash? A new vehicle when we needed to upgrade? A new kitchen (oh for a new kitchen!)? The deck we'd like to build in our backyard?

Believe me, there's a list.

In addition to having to exercise A LOT of self-control when those cheques came, we also really cut back on expenses. Reeeeally cut back. As in, cut back in every area possible.
- no eating out
- no shopping (if we absolutely needed something, we looked second-hand first)
- no renting movies (maybe one every other month... if we had a coupon)
- smallest cell plans possible (because we were in a contract and couldn't cancel completely)
- basic cable (which we could've cut too, but we needed something)
- buying a three year old van when we needed to upgrade to something that would fit three car seats
- keeping our grocery bill under or around $400 a month (NOT EASY!)
- and cutting down on other household expenses: cloth diapers instead of disposables, homemade cleaning supplies, baking bread, winter temperature set at 15C (59F) at night, 17C (62.5F) during the day and 21C (70F) at night (I'm nothing if not a benevolent dictator), etc.

Basically, we lived as frugally as we possibly could. Our moto became:

Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do
Or do without.

And it worked. Thirteen thousand dollars in less than five months, is no small feat. We're excited and proud of ourselves. Next on the chopping block is our van payment. It's supposed to take another 4 1/2 years to pay off... think we can do it in one year??

Living frugally to pay off
debt definitely Works For Me.


  1. Congratulations to you! That is amazing, truly. I could seriously never do that. Seriously. It would be the biggest challenge of my life to get rid of my (huge) debt. You have a lot to be proud of Amy!

  2. Great news, congrats! You must be so relieved - what a great accomplishment!

  3. Congratulations, that is a huge accomplishment. Hope that next year you can turn your heat up a bit, those are frigtening low temperatures.

  4. AWESOME!! Congrats! that is a huge endeavor!! EVERYONE can do it and you just showed them how!

  5. Way to go!! That is such an awesome feeling, I know. I love your motto too!

  6. That is fantastic and a huge goal to meet! Congratulations!!

    We should so that with our van payment too...then the house, then we could be debt free. I don't know if I have your self control though :)

  7. I'm giving you a HUGE high five from here!


    I am also certain that you will be writing similar post in LESS than a year about that van payment!

  8. WOooooo!
    Good Job Amy (And Peter!!) You done it really have something to be proud of!


  9. Awesome! Living within your means...such a hot topic these days with the economy. Way to set the example!! What gets me is thinking about how much money we could SAVE if we were willing to use that kind of self-control!

  10. LOVE the motto!!

  11. wow... wow wow wow. HUGE high five to all of you. I am so impressed! Now that you accomplished your goal, do you get to go out and buy yourself a "treat"? :)
    - Sara

  12. Amy and Peter, You did it and SO FAST! This is very impressive and a wonderful example of what can be done when determination sets in!!! High Fives to the 5 of you!!!! I doubt it made a whole lot of difference to the boys. They still had all the care and love of the 2 of you and obviously ate very well--as you show us your menus. I'm thinking a book authored by Amy Bundy is in the making here!:) Love ya, A. Dianne

  13. Amy, great blog. I've just gotten around to reading a few posts. Congratulations on removing your debt. We did this about four years ago. And shortly after Hannah was born, 2 1/2 years ago we bought a used van with CASH. So much fun! Good luck!

  14. Hey Amy, Just an FYI- your S.I.L. Sara and Isabella are up on our company's blog today as our "Daily Darlings" Thougth you and your readers would A. enjoy the picture and B. enjoy the blog.

    Kristin D (APU Grad)

  15. Congratulations! That is awesome! I don't think I'd have been able to do it (we had a similar debt and it took 4 years to pay off with our one man income).

    Now your money can go towards things like that new kitchen, right? ;)

  16. Congratulations! We've been living like you mentioned, only no cable (and no going out to eat).

    And I love the tulips! Apparently comments are not allowed on that thread. I have always wanted to go to a tulip festival; tulips have to be prechilled here (the ground doesn't freeze and snow is pretty uncommon).

    Good luck paying off the car! It is amazing how we can see how fulfilled we've been, living on less, and realize that we can continue it. It's also nice when you have the money to purchase a few needed items as well. I hope you have found a great local source for goat's milk.


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