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

 November’s story

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.



Join the Conversation


    1. That is definitely saying something! It’s a training ground for when the income starts to go up, and since you’ve learned to manage a little well, you’ll manage a lot with plenty to spare and be one of those super-investors. Thanks for the comment, Tonya!

  1. Congratulations of paying off six figures and counting! I am glad that you alluding to the feelings of letdown when you don’t achieve a debt payment amount, or pay below what you were targeting. I experienced that a few times but that’s when I decided to look back and remind myself of just how much progress I had made. That helped to “soften” the blow so to speak. 🙂

    1. It’s very important to have that perspective! I actually looked back at the year before we started our journey out of debt, and we had only paid less than 1/3 of what we managed to pay off in a year once we got intentional. Our debt used to yo-yo up and down too. Since June 2012, it has only gone down – sometimes very slowly – but never up. Thanks for commenting, Kassandra.

  2. 6 figures! Congratulations! I like that your big celebration was breakfast at Tim’s. What’s a bagel, there, $1? Sounds like a perfect way to commemorate such a big event!

    Some months will be up and others will be down, but annually you’ll be doing awesome, so try not to sweat it too much!

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