How do you think you got into financial trouble?
Too much credit card debt.
How did that make you feel?
Stressed out, dreading every bill, every month.
How long did it take you to get back on your feet financially?
About three and a half years.
Is your outlook on life different now that you are debt free?
I still need to be vigilant but am much more disciplined with the money I have.
How did dealing with your debt help in other areas of your life?
It allowed me to focus more on building my life instead of spending most of my money on interest payments.
If you had a chance for a “do-over” in your life what would you have done differently that could have prevented you from getting into debt?
Sell things to buy things, instead of using plastic to do it.
What influenced you the most to change your spending habits?
I have two young children now.
How did Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada help you with your situation?
They provided a monthly payment plan that made paying off the loan principal much easier.
How did it feel when you finished working with Credit Counselling Services and became debt free?
What are you doing now to ensure you don’t repeat past financial mistakes?
Don’t take credit card offers. I tell them I might be okay with a lower interest line of credit in a year and a half or so when it qualifies, but I’m not interested in a credit card account.
If you were to experience financial difficulty again, would you use credit counselling to get back on track?
How has becoming debt free allowed you to plan for your future?
Still look at my financial situation in “baby steps” month to month. That’s better than paying off backlogs of uncontrolled spending.
Have you been able to educate/encourage other members of your family to budget and save?
They’re generally better at that than I am! Although, I do wish I could get the mother of my kids to deal with her spending habits more successfully.
If you had to give up one daily expense to be debt free, what would it be?
Beer. Though I do like a glass or two!