How I Stay Fit & Healthy (Without Paying for a Gym)

How I Stay Fit & Healthy (Without Paying for a Gym)

Changing Habits
If I ever counted up the amount of money I'd spent trying to get and stay fit, it would probably make me sick. I've hired personal trainers, I've joined gyms, I've paid cancellation fees to leave gyms, I've done Crossfit, I've played roller derby, I've bought home weights, I've bought online workout programs. I think I need to lie down. Now that I've drastically reduced what I spend so I can pay off $40,000 in debt, I've had to find cheap-to-free ways of staying fit. Okay, you say, so you just go outside and you run. Right? Yeah, but obviously, I have no interest in doing that. I am not the sort of person who just "goes for a jog." That's just not me, man. I wouldn't say I'm weak…
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Paying off Debt: Another One Bites The Dust!

Paying off Debt: Another One Bites The Dust!

Debt
There is no feeling quite as sweet as paying off debt, and today I said sayonara to one particular debt that haunted me with its stench of bad decision. An "interest free" purchase I made and obviously didn't pay off in time and was therefore paying interest on is gone! When I started seriously paying down my debt in September 2015, I had nine separate debts totalling around $60,000. Today, I have four – my student loans (~$30k), a personal loan (>$5k), a credit card (<$5k) and a tax debt (<$1k). My projected income and expenses for the rest of the month tell me that I’ll pay off my tax debt when my next pay comes in, in two weeks time. The thing is, my tax debt is interest-free. Whereas my credit card and…
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Where’d my Money go in November?

Where’d my Money go in November?

Debt
Here’s where I lay it all bare, and show you, play by play, my November expenses. You can also spy on my monthly expenses for October here. I use Pocketbook to track every cent I spend each month, then break it down here. There’s a lot of power in ruthlessly tracking your spending, especially if you really respond to self-emotional manipulation. Much in the way you might decide against eating a second slice of cake because you’ll have to track the calories, I have found myself choosing not to buy things just so I don’t have to face seeing the purchase in big, fat, black and white letters on my end-of-month expense report. November's household/utility expenses were pretty great; this is partially the result of my sick as experiment in eating vegetarian…
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Can I Earn Money by Selling an eBook?

Can I Earn Money by Selling an eBook?

Monthly challenge
This is part of my monthly challenge series. Every month for one year I try something different to see if it helps me pay off my debt. December's challenge is to answer the question: Can I make money by selling an eBook? There are two parts to the equation of finding more money to throw at debt: Earn more Spend less In this month's challenge, I'm having a crack at arm one - earn more. Last month I challenged myself to save money by going vegetarian. Spoiler alert: it worked. I already work full time in a job with a very-marginally-above average salary, and I have a weekend job slinging beers at a bowls club. Outside of this, earning more is a totally alien concept to me. It seems that,…
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November Challenge Results: Going Vegetarian to Save Money

November Challenge Results: Going Vegetarian to Save Money

Changing Habits, Monthly challenge
This is part of my monthly challenge series. Every month for one year I try something different to see if it helps me pay off my debt. November's challenge endeavoured to answer the age-old question: Can eating vegetarian save me money?  Well, that's it! All the groceries for November have been bought, and the results are in. In October, my grocery bill for the month was $353.68, or roughly $81.00/week. This is pro-rated because we were in Japan for one week last month, so actually only bought groceries three out of the four weeks. In November, we bought no meat for any meals at all, *except* for two occasions. We once bought a pack of bacon that we always buy to make pizzas on Friday nights, because we were on…
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Income Update: I’m Getting Somewhere!

Income Update: I’m Getting Somewhere!

My story
  BIG NEWS. I've mentioned before that I'm putting my effort into both possible routes to getting out of debt: Earn more Spend less After applying for probably about five jobs every week for the last four months, I HAVE A WEEKEND JOB. O, hallelujah! This comes after many, many false starts - interview after interview, a quickly rescinded job offer, and a couple of unpaid trials. Once managers realised I was 30, and had a Masters degree and a full time job, they seemed to very quickly lose interest in me. To me, it seems a no brainer that I, obviously desperate for cash, would be a lot more reliable than some 21year old who just wants money to spend on drugs and Pokemon cards, or whatever kids are doing these days. But I…
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Mid-month Check-in: Going Vegetarian

Mid-month Check-in: Going Vegetarian

Monthly challenge
I'm challenging myself to eat a vegetarian diet for the month of November to see if I can cut down my grocery bill. This is my halfway point check-in.  So, I'm two weeks into my vegetarian challenge, and oh my god, I am starving. This is going to sound really daft, but it actually didn't occur to me that I'd be eating fewer calories than I normally do. I know. A quick Google search points out that I am literally the only person on Earth who didn't think about this. I really haven't changed anything about my standard diet, besides switching out the carnivore recipes for the veggie ones. I still have oats for breakfast daily, and yoghurt, fruit, and a bar/slice for snacks. But, man, I'm hungry. I've started…
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Buying Things Will Not Make You Happy

Buying Things Will Not Make You Happy

Changing Habits
Let me repeat that. Buying. Things. Cannot. Will not. Is not meant to. Make you happy. There are a few times that I feel grateful for having experienced crippling debt, because it's taught me lessons I'd never have learned otherwise, and this one's a big'un. I feel so, so, very lucky that I've learned this lesson by the age of 30 that millions of people will spend their whole life not figuring out. That corporations don't want you to figure out. That this whole, capitalist world doesn't want you to figure out. There is nothing you can buy that will make you happy, satisfied, or content. The only thing - the only thing - buying stuff does is alert you to the fact that you still aren't happy. So you take another run at it.…
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Save Money on Food: Put Your Eating on Autopilot

Save Money on Food: Put Your Eating on Autopilot

Changing Habits
If you're anything like me, there's a good chance that food is one of the biggest thorns in your side, money-wise. I'm going to paint you a very shameful picture of my life with food about two years ago. To begin with, I bought a takeaway coffee every day ($4.00/day + cost of gentle destruction of the planet with paper cups + associated guilt). I worked 30 hours a week, studied full time, and played competitive sport. As such, I purchased a lot of food on the run and ate it in my car between commitments. I ran on things like Cliff Bars, trail mix, and single-serve pouches of Chobani yoghurt and muesli. My days often started at 8:30am and ended at 10:00pm, so I often bought dinner on the…
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How to Get Out of Debt: Step Two

How to Get Out of Debt: Step Two

Debt, How to Get Out of Debt
This is the second instalment in a series of posts called How to Get Out of Debt. You can find part one here. It details the specific realisations, steps, and behaviour changes that have seen me begin my journey to become debt-free. At the end of 2015, I had bottomed out with around $60,000 in debt. I currently pay about 60% of my income towards my debt, and have paid off around $16,000 at the time of this post. Needless to say, I’m not a professional, and this is my personal experience only. As I've mentioned before, there are two parts to the equation of getting out of debt, and it's up to you whether you choose one or the other or both. Your myriad choices are: Earn more Spend less…
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