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August 1, 2012
Nada Thomson

The light at the end of my tunnel of debt is growing brighter every month and that makes me extremely happy!  How have I managed to stick with the plan year after year?  Well, I think I would have to say that allowing some flexibility from month to month has helped.  Sometimes I use money from my grocery budget to allow me to go out for a fancy dinner with friends, other times I borrow money from my social budget to treat myself to pizza at home (yes, you’ve noticed a trend, I like food…).  The main thing for me is to not let feelings of discouragement and fatigue lead me down a path where even more over-spending can happen.

Here are a few things I try to stick to:

Do not use credit to buy anything!  Which means saving up the money to pay for everything, even if the actual purchase happens on a credit card for things like airline tickets, camping spots etc.

Cook from scratch!  Convenience foods are expensive so cutting some of them out can be like finding money under the sofa every week – for example, I started making my own salad dressing! Try this one: 3/4c olive oil, 1/4c rice vinegar, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1tbsp grainy mustard, some garlic, salt and pepper. 

Spend more time outside!  I really enjoy watching movies and tv series but if I spend too much time watching other people living fancy lives I start to wish for more fancy stuff in my life.  By spending time outside, even if only for a few minutes, my mind is steered away from feelings of dissatisfaction and towards feelings of gratitude.

Talk about your progress!  Share your journey with people – there’s nothing like a genuine word of encouragement from a friend to help rejuvenate me on this journey out of debt.

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Nada Thomson works at Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto, an inner city community where people who are poor or excluded are particularly valued; her life revolves around the indomitable people in her community and her family.  She moved to Toronto 11 years ago from Guelph and has enjoyed getting to know the personality of this great city, (well, the free parts of it at any rate). 



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