Guest Post by Philippe Garneau
Got a bucket list? I started my first bucket list after reading about showers. Yep, showers. You know how we all step in, turn on the tap and then step back while the freezing water warms? An article suggested putting a bucket in the shower to collect that perfectly good fresh water and then use it to water household plants. Bam! You’re saving water, avoiding third degree burns and feeling better than when you caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror on the way to the shower. That tip helped me start filling my “Be Greener” bucket.
I also have a personal finance bucket list.
Look inside this particular bucket and you’ll see the usual suspects: pay for daughter’s wedding, own a cottage, build dream kitchen, book a flight on Virgin Galactic (a return flight hopefully). But you’ll also see GET RID OF CREDIT CARD DEBT. Problem is, I don’t like looking at that item on my list. Denial, denial, denial.
Here’s one thing I do to overcome my denial, maintain my vigilance and remind myself how much I hate carrying a high interest credit card balance.
During months when circumstances force me to pay interest on my balance I change the ring tone on my phone to the sound of a toilet flushing. That way every time I get a call I remember where my money is going. Makes for some interesting moments in meetings if I forget to turn off the sound.
While the flushing sound is my favourite I also considered the following ringtones which I rank in order:
- The theme from Jaws
- The sound of a Dyson turning on sucking up my hard-earned dollars
- Money by Pink Floyd
- Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child
- The Sound of Silence (Hello darkness my old friend) by Simon and Garfunkel
Listen, half of Canadians hold credit card debt and nobody likes talking about it. So you and I are not alone. But instead of enduring awkward moments when your phone rings, have a debt reduction plan. And believe it or not that can start with smart borrowing. If you’re paying credit card debt at say 19% or higher then borrowing at a lower level and at a fixed rate is just plain brilliant. In fact it’s the responsible thing to do. And you and I are responsible right?
That’s it for now. Talk later. My phone is ringing. I have some explaining to do.
Philippe Garneau writes about new ways for people to save, borrow and invest. He thinks people’s relationship with their money should be that of a partner’s, working together to achieve a common goal.