Reader’s Digest Version: we’re consumer debt free!
Scroll down to the bottom to enter to win a pair of tickets to see Zinadine Zidane play in an exhibition soccer match in Vancouver on Sunday, July 12!
We made it!
Part of getting our financial house in order was to get a lot of our taxes in order as well. One of the major contributors to our debt was a huge tax bill from a few years back (a big enough bill that Canada Revenue suggested we pay in installments) that we weren’t expecting at all. It turns out that we’d missed changing our address with one financial institution and weren’t getting tax forms for an RRSP account. Since we tend to “set it and forget it” with retirement savings, we didn’t really notice they were missing. To make matters worse, this is the fund that Neil’s work does RRSP matching to, so we were paying extra taxes, since RRSP matching is a taxable benefit, without getting any deductions.
So we had our accountant file amendments for past years, and the not-insignificant cheque arrived in the mail right at the end of June! It easily covered the remaining balance on our line of credit, and like that, we’re debt free!
It’s really quite amazing the amount of windfalls we’ve seen from just making sure we’re paying attention to our finances. Except, they’re not so much windfalls, as the reclaiming of money we were otherwise throwing away. I’d heard of people who were so careless with their life and finances that they wasted hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on unclaimed taxes & benefits, NSF fees, late charges and the like. I never imagined I’d be one of them.
Oh but I was. We were. And now, we’re not!
Also, having our emergency account going the entire time meant that our plan was never derailed, and windfalls were exactly that – bonuses, instead of a chance to catch up.
I’ll do another post soon to share some of the tips and tools that worked best for us, and where we go from here. But for now, it’s time to celebrate!
One of the things that helped us get through the belt-tightening of the budget exercise, especially in the early days, was to take advantage of some gift certificates, airmiles points and coupons we had around the house. Entertainment that doesn’t bust the budget is that much more relaxing!
And I’ve got two pairs of tickets to see Zinadine Zidane play an exhibition match with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday, July 12th at 7:00pm.
To enter, comment and let us know why you need some free entertainment this weekend. I’ll randomly draw the winners from all the entries at 5:00pm today and email your congrats. You can pick the tickets up at the game on Sunday.