Double-handed fist pump.
DH = Dear Husband
A six-figure milestone
DH and I went to the bank this morning to deposit the cheque for our November debt-reduction. Our business debt has been undergoing a steady assault over the last several months: $5,000 in August; $4,000 in September; $2,500 in October; and now $3,000 for November. I almost never accompany DH on these monthly visits to the bank, but this time was special. And after making the deposit, we walked across the parking lot to Tim Hortons for a celebratory breakfast . November’s number has brought us to a milestone. We have paid off $100,000 in debt!
Here is our 5th semi-annual report:
June 1, 2012
Debt #1: New car debt – $8,600
Debt #2: Old car & course & dog debt – $12,800
Debt #3: Business debt – $80,800
Debt #4: Mortgage – $155,000
Grand Total: $257,200
December 6, 2014
Debt #1: New car debt – $0
Debt #2: Old car & course & dog debt – $0
Debt #3: Business debt – $23,500
Debt #4: Mortgage – $133,500
Grand Total: $157,000
First 5 Semi-Annual Totals:
June 2012 – November 2012: $26,000
December 2012 – May 2013: $24,000
June 2013 – November 2013: $16,000
December 2013 – May 2014: $11,200
June 2014 – November 2013: $23,000
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might have been struck by the fact that October and November’s debt-repayments were quite low for this time of year. DH runs a home business, and by far his busiest time takes place through the weeks leading up to Christmas. Sometimes as early as September, the phone starts to ring more often, and e-mail inquiries pile up. By late November, it can be punishing, our excitement about brisk business giving way to a sense of overwhelmed exhaustion. Last year, in 2013, we paid off a total of $12,000 for the months of October and November. In 2012, we paid off slightly more. So while a total of $5,500 for October and November this year is good, it’s not what I was hoping for.
Variable income & expenses with home business
If you run a home business, you might know just how irregular and unpredictable things can be. Sometimes, you hit a sweet spot where business is great, expenses are low, and there are no accounting surprises. At other times, business is slow just when you need to buy expensive new equipment, and the accountant makes a suggestion that, while great for the long-term, involves a few thousand immediately. October and November were months of high expenses, accounting surprises, as well as slower business than normal for this time of year. As we approached the end of November, I kept hoping for that Christmas rush to kick in full force. But it didn’t. DH was hoping that he would be able to meet all expenses without reversing the debt. I resigned myself to a $0 debt-repayment for the month.
Elusive steadiness through the ups & downs of debt journey
As the days leading up to this semi-annual report went by, I formulated in my mind the post I would write about short-term disappointments and the need to take them in stride in order to succeed in the long-term quest of debt-freedom. I felt heartened by the fact that DH was indeed getting Christmas rush business Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. “Do you think we can pay something off the debt after all?” I asked him yesterday morning before I headed off to work. “No,” he answered. “It’s been a good week, but let’s just wait for the end of December.”
Logically, I think it shouldn’t matter to me whether or not we make a repayment every single month. But there is more than logic going on in this journey out of debt. I feel a real letdown, a discouragement, a loss of momentum when we can’t manage to repay anything. And so I went off to work battling the blahs and doing a little logical self-talk. DH’s business is picking up. It’s great that he was able to pay off all of those expenses. Last year, November was high and December was low. Maybe this year, it will be reversed . . .
When I came home from work, DH’s first words to me were, “You’re going to want to kiss me.” Then he hugged me and whispered in my ear. “3,300. Today.” (Believe me. That’s not a typical daily total.) I kissed him.
I really hope I will develop that steady patience which will see me through the good and bad months with equal serenity. As I’ve come to realize, my emotions have had too much negative sway over our finances through the years. But right now, as I process the sudden switch from an expected $0 repayment to unexpectedly hitting the $100,000 milestone, I’m soaking in the encouragement and catching new momentum. On to the next $100,000!
Have you managed to attain a steadiness despite the ups and downs of your journey out of debt? Is it even possible to be above it all?
Comments are welcome.