Hello, new to this board, unfortunately not to debt!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2013
Hello, new to this board, unfortunately not to debt!
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 12:44am

Hello everyone!

I am very excited to finally post on this board and introduce myself. I have tried few other times, but IVillage was having some issues with keeping me signed in. A little background on me. I am a 29, engaged, full-time student, who until this week has been working full-time as well, going part time starting this week (3 days a week, as I am taking 5 classes at the moment). My finace and I have been engaged for 9 months now, and our wedding will be in Mexico in October 2014!!! 

Even though I am a student, I do not have student loans. I pay for my own school, but unfortunately the money usually comes from either my chequing account which delays my debt repayment, or from my LOC. My finace and I have already saved $20,000.00 for the wedding and I refuse to spend a cent more. Considering it is a destination wedding, it should be plenty of money. I am hoping that we will come in under that amount and can put the leftover money (if any is available, here's hoping :)). My fiance makes good money, and I was making ok money as I am still a student in my field. He is the type that pays for everything in cash and is very good at saving, but he does like to play sports and is a big vine enthusiast, so a lot of his fun money goes into that, which is not a problem as he is good with his money, no debts and good savings.

I on the other hand don't shop in the malls, (I might go twice a year if I really "need" something). My big weakness is eating out. Even though 95% of the time I bring lunch to work, I have a hard time resisting going with my co-workers, mostly for the social aspect of it. Some months I have spent over $800 in restaurants alone, and I am very bad at charging it on my credit card thinking I will pay it later. This all has really caught up with me and now I find myself with $17190.00 in debt. I do have decent retirement savings, but I really, really want to get rid of my debt so that I can put more money into savings, and hopefully buy a condo with my fiance in about 3 years' time. We will see how that goes as the average price in the city we live in for a single family home is $472,000.00 (We live in Canada).

Anyway I will stop rambling on as I will post often and update you guys with my progress, frustrations, etc... and in turn give advice to you all as much as I can :)!

Can someone please explain to me how this snowflake system works? 

Thank you!





iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Hmm....I did use paragraphs and spaces, not sure where they went!!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Welcome fellow Canuck :) I too live in a very pricey Canadian city - the most expensive housing market in the WORLD (as of 2012) compared to median incomes. I am also a FT student working FT but unlike you, I do not have the gift of youth. I wish I gotten serious a long time ago. Luckily for me I am a good saver and frugal by nature. But I haven't been following a good budget and investing my savings properly. Live and learn, right? My biggest weakness is eating out too. So I always make sure to spend my w/ends cooking up VERY tasty meals. I've invested some time in learning how to cook and what I like. There are some recipes I make that I actually prefer to restaurants. We all eat every day so it is a valuable skill worth having! We also have a cash envelope of "fun money." We make sure that restaurants are paid for by that and not dipping into other budget line items. Congrats on your wedding!!! Dee
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Welcome! Overall I would say you came here just in time. Do allow yourself to eat out occasionally. The trick is to stick to a spending plan for that. For me, a lot of that is social, also. I have a friend who started asking to me to coffee instead of lunch, knowing my budget is tight. I started drinking water and paying more attention to the price of what I was ordering when I do eat out with a girlfriend. All and all though, if you don't have a mortgage yet, and your wedding is already paid for, I think at a minimum I would give yourself a little fun money to eat out with friends or coworkers and stop using the credit card all together. Even if all you can do is make the minimum payments, if you start saving for emergencies, you won't have to use the CC at all. Now if you have extra, then great! But if not, starting a cash reserve is more important in the beginning. I look forward to your updates!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 10:35am

Hi welcome!

You have good goals. This is a great place to be to hold yourself accountable to them. 

A snowflake is any extra amount of money you can put one debt(a target debt you want to get rid of first) after you have paid the minimums on all your debts. Once that debt is paid in full you then put all your extra flakes from the first debt and the payment you were making to the debt that is gone on your next debt making a snowball, and then onto the next debt making a bigger snow ball because all the snowflakes getting added join together. Others could probably explain that better but hopefully that makes sense.

Do you have a budget that you work on and follow. Lots of people here track their spending to see where they can cut back and put more on debt or take extra shifts at work or a 2nd job but I could see how that would be tricking taking that many courses.

Good luck, post often!

Congrats on getting married and saving that much money for it!