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Life After Debt Series: “How I Learned to Play Things Safe”

How do you think you got into financial trouble?
Our retail business.

How did that make you feel?
It was incredibly discouraging, angry and stressful!

How long did it take you to get back on your feet financially?
5 years!

Is your outlook on life different now that you are debt free?
I guess. I play things safe now, no more risks. I’ll be the square hole and the square peg from now on.

How did dealing with your debt help in other areas of your life?
It gave me more time. You don’t have to work or stress so much without debt.

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?
Yes, I wouldn’t start a business.

What influenced you the most to change your spending habits?
Not enough money. And now with the debt paid off, I use cash only!

How did Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada help you with your situation?
They got it organized, negotiated and set up to go! This takes a lot of time and stress away from the individual needing direction.

How did it feel when you finished working with Credit Counselling Services and became debt free?
Good to have it all behind me! I still have anger for the failures that brought me down. There are many layers to this process, financial is just one.
What are you doing now to ensure you don’t repeat past financial mistakes?
Cash only, baby!

If you were to experience financial difficulty again, would you use credit counselling to get back on track?
I’d probably shoot myself if I ever let this happen again. But, yes. Credit counselling would be a good option, again.

How has becoming debt free allowed you to plan for your future?
I guess I now have a future for starters! I have decluttered my goals and streamlined my way of living. I darn near killed myself working so hard at a business that ultimately brought me down, so now I work less, make less and need less. But now I have a life, not a job!

Have you been able to educate/encourage other members in your family to budget and save?
Yes! My motto: “Always live below your means.” They are slowly getting what I mean.
If you had to give up one daily expense to be debt free, what would it be?
One of many things that I gave up was the internet! I use only Wi-Fi on my phone now.

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