I’m debt-free! Now what?

I'm debt-free

On February 28, 2014, the National Student Loan Service Centre took the final payment of $200 for my student loan and almost the very next day I started receiving lovely “unable to connect” notifications from Mint….


Can't wait to be as happy as Andy

So why aren’t I celebrating? Why did it take me over three weeks to even blog about this? WHY THE RADIO SILENCE? Well, it’s because I hit a bout of debt fatigue these last few months and put a bit of stuff on my credit card and still decided to stick with my ‘done by March’ plan for my loan instead of BEING SMART and keeping it for May. Oops.

I pulled a personal finance no-no and actually got a small finance charge on my credit card this month! I haven’t had one of those in over two years!

So I’ve spent most of March moping and feeling a bit disappointed in myself, I’ve felt bad because instead of finishing my loan with a BANG I went out with a whimper. Instead of celebrating my debt-free status this month, I had to put myself on low-buy/no-buy for the last few weeks to ride it all out.

This speaks to one important thing I’ve not yet had time to think about with this ‘debt-free’ scenario. Now as I switch from ‘being in debt’ to ‘planning the rest of my life’, I may very well be living with only a little bit more than I was while I was paying down debt. I need to build my emergency fund back up and continue contributing to my TFSA again. I also want to pad my RRSP a little more and start looking into investing and long-term savings (aka, house-fund). But I’m not sure exactly where to start. And with that myriad of adult financial decisions on the horizon, the thing about “debt-free” is that it may not last for very long.

I feel like I’m parroting the same things I’ve read in the personal finance community for the past few months as the more established personal finance bloggers finish off their debt and move into the next stage of personal finance. I feel like there’s a lot of information about how to pay off debt, but what about when it’s over? How do you make the switch to building wealth instead of chipping away at debt? This is what I hope to explore over the next little while.

Ideally I’d like to stay debt-free for as long as possible, but adult decisions are looming, so I guess we’ll just have to see.

P.S. I’ve also started my beauty blog over at darlingmagpie.com, so pop over there for reviews, DIY projects and all things frilly.

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