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In June 2011, I was completely maxed out. After years of swiping for anything I dreamed of owning or doing, my bad spending habits had finally caught up with me and I was left with more than $28,000 of consumer and student debt to pay off. To try and stay accountable throughout my debt repayment journey, I decided to start this blog.

Since then, I have evolved from being a girl who wanted to be smart with her money into a woman who cares passionately about every penny that goes in and out of her hands. I paid off more than $10,000 of debt in 2011, $11,000 of debt in 2012, and I made my final debt repayment on May 21st, 2013 – just shy of two years from when I was maxed out.

In case you’re wondering, there are no quick fixes to get out of debt. Throughout my debt repayment journey, I did things no twenty-something wants to, including: moving back in with my parents for six months, staying in most Friday and Saturday nights, and saying “no” to travelling with friends. Some months were easier than others, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t track my spending and (at least attempt to) stick to a monthly budget.

Since making my final payment, I’ve experienced what I like to call “life after debt“. I’ve built up a $10,000 Emergency Fund, made regular contributions to my retirement savings and travelled all over North America. I’ve also learned some tough lessons, but there’s no denying that life after debt has been good to me. On the other hand, I’ve also experienced lifestyle inflation, spent too much money and, as a result, put myself on a yearlong shopping ban (ending July 6th, 2015). So, my financial education continues!

Along with everything personal finance-related, you’ll also find posts about other topics, such as travel and minimalism. At the same time I started my yearlong shopping ban, I decided to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle. In doing so, I decluttered my apartment and removed 51% of my belongings from my home. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’ve learned how to live a good life with less “stuff”; my debt repayment journey taught me what matters most in life, and I can promise you it’s not something you can buy.

I’m sure it doesn’t need to be said, but I am a personal finance blogger, not a financial planner. The posts on this blog reflect my personal experiences and should not be taken as advice. With that being said, I hope to inspire girls and women everywhere to take control of their lives and achieve financial independence.

Want to know more? Keep reading…

-Cait

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