Finances, let's chat

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Doing monthly finance updates got to me. I stopped writing them because the numbers were depressing. All I have ever shown you is a percentage bar, you don't understand how bad it really is unless you see that actual number. Our debt comes from 4 years of university, 1 year of unemployment, and a wedding; those last two happening in the last year of university. 90% of the debt we have is from university but it's also a debt that I do not regret. Our lives have massively improved because of the degree my husband got and for that I am thankful. However, the burden of debt is hard for me. So it's with great disappointed that I tell you that the percentage bar I shared with you in June at 8.21%, is sitting at

Debt Progression

a mere six months later. That's an increase of 1.71%.

Last January I wrote that my financial goal was to get that percentage bar to 20% and here I sit 0.08% away from 10. There are lots of reasons why this didn't happen. The biggest reason has been the struggle to file our Canadian taxes. I have been trying to wrap up our taxes with our accountant since the middle of September. It's been a slow and painful process consisting of mass exchanges of emails, followed by paper mail when digital covers would have worked, to frustrated phone calls with management. To say I am frustrated would be an understatement. I do not appreciate this level of unprofessionalism. When working in the banking industry you could not mess around with people's money. However when it comes to government, it's as slow as molasses. At this point I am unsure if it's the government or our accountant, but it's hard to tell when you can't visit them in person. I have been waiting and trying to be patient.

The sooner our taxes are done, the sooner debt is paid off. This one thing will help us wipe out our debt load to below 50% and that is huge. So I have been sitting here since September with this knowledge. It's hard coming into the new year not reaching a goal because of someone else. Each month it's delayed is another month I accrue more interest. A losing battle for me, but not the people I am paying interest too.

The thing is, I am very blessed. I am in a situation where I don't have to stress about money. Paying these bills or the extra interest is not a real stressor (it's just something I massively dislike). I have the luxury of patience. But not everyone is in this place. I feel this waiting game is built to cause people to lose, when they can't afford to wait.

When planning our year, I took a hard look at our finances and decided that my financial goals for 2017 are these:

- not to obtain any further debt - finalize taxes in Canada - rearrange some bank accounts - be financially prepared for our trip to visit family - set aside some emergency savings

photo by Fabian Blank found on Unsplash