Life is not always glamorous like it seems in social media these days. You only see what people want you to see, you don’t see the depression, the loneliness, the self doubt, pain, stress and everyday struggles that happen. People might not have all the same struggles but everyone has struggles.
Like me for example, one of my struggles is with money. I have never been good with money and always spend more then a should not to mention that in this day and age, everything is so expensive. You can find yourself easily taking out that credit card to pay for everyday necessities like groceries and household bills.
It can be quite challenging and defeating after every bi-weekly pay cheque with just a few swipes and clicks that your right back to where you were. Living pay cheque to cheque is exhausting. The pressures for young people to go to school and pay for it, make good money at a job and live a good life can cause so much stress on a person and that is exactly what happened to me.
I moved to Vancouver over 5 years ago now and when I moved there I was credit card debt free. Life was good, I was living in a beautiful city with my amazing boyfriend. But there was a problem, I was working a dead end crappy job with a crappy boss and in a new city that rained all the time. My money quickly disappeared after paying rent, phone bills, groceries you name it, that before I got my next cheque I had to pull out that credit card that we rely on WAY to much.
At first it didn’t seem like a big deal. But after doing this too much for to long, to basically help us survive and as well a couple vacations later all of a sudden my debt was to high for me to even believe. How did I let it get this high and this bad? I was never going to be able to pay it off. So what did I do, I didn’t do anything.
I made sure to pay my minimums each month, but the rest of my money I needed to be able to live and be able to have a social life. But after a while I became un-happy, always having this weight on my shoulders of how I really didn’t have the money and all my dreams and things I wanted in life just seems impossible. And when you have to give up your dreams, at least for me, that really takes away from who I am and made me always upset. I started taking it out on my relationship and I blamed living in Vancouver for all my problems, which yes it is an expensive city but in my dreams (no pun intended) I am always going to be faced with expensive places and things and I just have to learn to work with it and not against it.
So after way to long of being un-happy and sabotaging myself and everyone around me I had had enough. I broke down and cried and cried and cried. I needed to change, I finally was ready to take charge and fix the problem I had created. But it was not an easy task. And maybe the route and option I took isn’t what you want or is the right or best decision, but it is a decision. I made some hard choices and even though maybe not everyone understood it (myself included) it was the only choice I felt I had. And looking back I think it was the right one.
I decided to take a leave from my life in Vancouver and move home. No, this is not a glamorous story, like we talked about in the beginning and at 27 years old, I didn’t and still don’t feel great about moving home to live with my parents but none the less, I did what I needed to. I have two siblings that both own businesses in my home town and knew I could get work from them. So I set off home and got straight to work. I didn’t know how much I would make or if I would actually be able to do it especially because at the time I wasn’t planning on staying long and I still had bills to pay back home but I knew that living at home I would be spending way less and boy did that help.
I didn’t have an exact plan of action but just took it step by step, pay cheque to pay cheque. I also knew I would have to use every thing I had in my saving account to make this work. So first up was the smaller amount yet still big credit card and be done with it and I did, I immediately paid if off with my saving. DONE, that felt good. Next the big scary credit card that I wanted to pretend didn’t exist. I got my first pay cheque, figured around how much I would need for rent, bills and a bit of spending money and the rest went straight to paying that card off. I did this with every pay cheque.
I had no real budget, I just estimated what I would need for every month and kept sending off that money. Quickly $4000 became $3000, then $2000 and I started to see that I could actually do this. I could actually get my credit paid off. This felt really good, after having that debt for so long I never really though I could do it but I was. Then after a few months with a pay-cheque and my last bit of saving I was finally able to shed all of that extra debt I had been carrying around all these years and I must say, it felt damn good.
So all and all even though it was not the most desirable situation and there were definitely bumps and bruises along the way (literally, I tore my meniscus during all of this which made everything more difficult) but anyways I did it. With dedication and some hard choices, I made it through and achieved a goal I had been dreaming about for so long. Which also makes me feel better about myself and maybe I can do more then I actually think I can, I just have to believe and do the hard work.
So if you are like me and your struggling and feeling like there is no way you can pull through then your wrong. Don’t take the easy way, do what you have to achieve your goals and relieve some of that stress in your life. It might not be what you want at the time but it will be worth it in the end. Take time and dedicate yourself to making these goals and dreams a reality. You will thank yourself in the end.