If you’re new here, welcome! I’m so happy you’re hanging out in my little corner of the internet.
My name is Cait Flanders and this is my digital home. I originally started Blonde on a Budget to document my debt repayment journey, but this space has morphed into so much more than that for me.
My Debt Repayment Story
In June 2011, I was 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 debt to pay off. To try and stay accountable throughout my debt repayment journey, I started 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 $10,000 of debt in 2011, $11,000 of debt in 2012, and I made my final debt repayment on May 21, 2013.
- How to Create a Monthly Budget
- Why I Budget Monthly, Semi-Monthly and Weekly
- The Blog Post I’ve Been Waiting to Write
- How I Paid Off $30,000 of Debt in Two Years
Life After Debt
Since making my final payment, I’ve experienced what I like to call “life after debt“. I’ve built up an emergency fund, made regular contributions to my retirement savings and travelled all over North America. There’s no denying that life is better when you’re not weighed down by debt.
On the other hand, I’ve also experienced lifestyle inflation, spent too much money and, as a result, put myself on a two-year shopping ban (ending July 6, 2016). The goal was to become a more conscious consumer; the result has far surpassed that expectation and taken me down an entirely new path.
- What a Year of Being Debt-Free Has Taught Me
- The Rules for My Yearlong Shopping Ban / Second Yearlong Shopping Ban
- Why I’m Upping the Ante on My Yearlong Shopping Ban
- The Year I Embraced Minimalism and Completed a Yearlong Shopping Ban
My Decision to Embrace Minimalism
At the same time I started my shopping ban, I decided to embrace minimalism, and kicked off the year by doing a massive declutter around my home. In total, I tossed/donated 75% of my belongings, and I haven’t missed a single item. (Truthfully, I don’t even remember what most of it was.)
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 promise you it can’t be found in a store. The result of this all has been a happier life filled with more time and energy, and even more money.
- 3 Truths About Minimalism
- Post-Declutter: How Does My Condo Look Now?
- Finding the Connection Between Minimalism and Relationships
- How I Let Go of 60% of My Belongings and Learned to Accept 100% of Myself
My story has been shared by Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, MoneySense, Global National, CBC Radio, Huffington Post, Yahoo! and more. More than 75,000 unique visitors stop by each month, and that number is always growing, which has been the most welcomed surprise of all.
Each Monday, I come here to shed some insight on how my pursuit of financial independence, minimalism and simple living are changing my life – in hopes it might inspire some of you, too. And if you want to get my personal updates, I send out 1-2/month that are just “between us”.
So, grab a cup of coffee or tea, pull up a chair and get comfortable. My digital home is your digital home, friend. Let’s talk about our journeys, together. :)