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Have I been doing it wrong the entire time?

I was thinking yesterday, is it a smart move to pay off my debts as fast as I can? Should I be saving more aggressively for my condo down payment?

Every pay cheque, after taxes, I make around $1,500. Currently $1,000 goes towards my debt, $50 goes towards my RRSP, and whatever is left goes towards my condo down payment fund after I’ve paid off all my bills and expenses. My plan is to put at least that $2000/month into my condo fund as soon as I finish paying off my debts. But, it occurred to me yesterday – is this the smartest idea? Since I want to buy in about a year (and I need to be out of my current place by this time next year), should I be saving up as much as possible now? If I stick to my plan, by this time next year, I will have saved $20,000. That’ s a lot to save in just one year!

The biggest reason why I’ve been paying off my debt as aggressively as I have been, is because I hate paying interest. HATE it. And I hate the fact that I’m in debt, and my net worth in Quicken is still in the red. But maybe it’s better to pay a little interest, and stay in debt a little longer in order to secure my short-term goal of buying a condo.

My friend who’s a mortgage broker told me to get rid of all my debts as fast as I can, and then build up a down payment. He said it’s easier to get approved for a mortgage with a smaller down payment and no debt, than with a larger down payment and a little debt. Is that true? Because if it isn’t, then I’ve been doing this whole debt reduction thing backwards from the beginning. Over the past 8 months, I’ve put $12,000 towards my debt. If I just paid a little over the minimum payments to my student loans, I could have saved up $10,000 of that money by now. And if that’s what I should have been doing all along, then I think I’m going to have to go throw up a little.

Updated the sidebar totals

Well, it’s not a big change b/c I don’t have a lot of money left over from Friday’s paycheque (I already put $1,000 towards my student loans), but I managed to put an extra $50 into my condo down payment fund, and $200 towards my line of credit. That’ll stretch me thin until next Friday, but since I’m getting surgery done tomorrow, I’ll be stuck in the house for at least 4 days. I have $50 left in the chequing account, and I’m sure that’s more than enough to last me. In fact, I’m positive.

Last night, the BF and I went to watch Happy Feet at the IMAX. For Christmas, he bought us both an annual membership to IMAX for $45 each. To see a movie without a membership is about $15, so it’s a pretty good deal. Anyway, whoever’s seen Happy Feet before knows how ridiculously cute it is. Too bad the BF didn’t like it (his idea of a good movie involves lots of violence, helicopters, and guns), but what did he expect? I told him it was an animated movie about a dancing penguin, so he knew what he was getting himself into when he took me to see it!

Also, I hate how my sidebar looks in Internet Explorer. I use Firefox at home, and the status bars look perfect and nice, but when I get to work and look at it through IE, it looks like someone crapped all over it. And I know it’s due to my poor coding, but to be honest I’m just too lazy to fix it. So I guess it’ll stay ugly like that until I can get the % amount high enough in the bars to accomodate the actual number. Some website developer I am!

Doubled the debt today, and still smiling!

Well, there goes my dream of getting a free computer. The transaction finally posted to my Visa, which is making me pretty depressed. Just when I was less than $3k in debt, I had to go and double it. I don’t regret the purchase, because I know I’m going to love it, but still. At least on a positive note, by May 25th at the latest, I should be completely 100% out of consumer and student loan debt. So the computer basically added on 6 weeks more of living with debt, and when I think about it that way, it’s not so bad after all! :)

I met some really important deadlines at work today, which I’ve been stressing out about for the past few weeks. To congratulate myself, I went shopping online. Well, not really. I didn’t buy anything, I just lusted after things. Clothes, mostly … but also funky accessories, and home items I’ll never be able to afford. Browsing online was probably the worst thing in the world I could have done for myself, because I love shopping. So to calm myself down, you know what I did? I logged onto my city’s public library site, and put Shopaholic & Baby and Save Karyn on hold. Normally, I would have just popped down to Chapters and bought myself both books, but I saved myself a ton of money and will borrow them instead. Even though I’m hold number 196 of 196 for the Shopaholic book, and they haven’t even gotten any in circulation yet since it just got released. Sigh.

After I finished torturing myself by pretend-shopping online, I went pretend house-hunting online instead, and hit up my favourite real estate sites, and Most of the homes in my price range are ugly and dated, or super small and cramped. But there are some gems out there. I am really looking for a chic loft in the city, or a condo/townhouse in the suburbs that isn’t completed dated. At this point in my life (while I’m young and just starting out), I think the city loft sounds more appealing, but most of them are so small (500 sq. ft or less). I guess you have to sacrifice space to get city living.

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