Monday, November 24, 2008

On the couch with Holly

GARETH AND AMY SAY… The lovely Holly is featuring us on her ‘Frugal 5 Minutes’ section of her blog.

Here’s what we had to say for ourselves…

Tell me a bit about your “lightbulb moment”

AMY SAYS… Gareth was really the one who came up with the plan to pay off the loans. I had decided to forget about them because it was too overwhelming to think about paying it all off myself. Not to mention my mother’s advice, “Pay the minimum and let it die with you.”Anyway, after Gareth's initial shock, we were at a crazy Japanese concert in Brooklyn, PeelanderZ, drunk, upset about the debt and being really silly, when I said, “Well, we could always move into my mom’s back room, ha ha ha.” That’s when Gareth's eyes opened and he replied with, “We could!” And we did...

GARETH SAYS… As soon as Amy told me about the size of her debt I went into ‘fix-it’ mode but the trouble is I had no idea how to fix. I talked to my family and friends and everyone’s response was the same: “Bugger”. The lightbulb went on one night over a beer when I suggested we camp on Amy’s Mum’s terrace for 6 months! Amy thought I was joking – I wasn’t. Operation Night Brace was born that night but thankful we didn’t end up camping on a balcony on the 18th floor of New York apartment block! Instead we ended up leaving in a tiny room bt at least it had four walls and a ceiling.

What made you decide to start to blog?

AMY SAYS… We wanted a record of our journey together, also an outlet to vent to, well, to everyone!

GARETH SAYS… My sister had already been doing her blog for about a year. I loved reading her’s so thought that we’d start one too to keep everyone up to date with how we were getting on. It has become a great outlet – we can make light of the things that upset us and offer encouragement for others out there. It started as a chore but has now become a pleasure.

A lot of personal finance bloggers talk about keeping their “eyes on the prize” – What’s your prize?

AMY SAYS… Being Debt free! And with that comes a lot of emotional freedom. We won’t be held down by anything really. We don’t have kids or own a house so we will be free to make future choices wisely not bogged down by anything.

GARETH SAYS… For me the prize is the greatest prize of all – a great and happy future. I found the woman I want to grow old with and didn’t want anything to get in the way of the family we will build.

What’s your top tip for saving money?

AMY SAYS… Be very very aware of your money! Believe it or not most money is spent unintentionally, $10 here $5 there. When you are hyper aware of every penny you spend it is much easier to have a wad of cash in the bank at the end of the month.

GARETH SAYS… Let people around you know what you are trying to do. It is a bit like being on a diet. If you tell people they will hopefully not keeping inviting you out for dinner or waving pizza in your face. My friends and family know that we can’t afford to do things so they don’t ask us. Having to say ‘No’ all the times makes us and them feel bad so it’s best no to get in that situation in the first place.

Recommend a blog that you can’t live without?

AMY SAYS… I have no idea..? Gareth???

GARETH SAYS… Hmmm I think my sister would kill me if I didn’t pick her’s. It’s a great slice of English life.

What’s the first thing you are going to spend money on once Operation Night Brace is over?

AMY SAYS… Buy Gareth kitchen equipment, get a pedicure, oy my feet need it and maybe a celebratory feast for everyone who has helped us, emotionally and financially.

GARETH SAYS… Probably a nice pair of socks. Our room is so small it is a wonder that anything can go missing in it but it does. I have just 5 pairs at the moment and one pair is rather holey!
It’s weird – once you get out of the habit of spending your realise how little you truly need in life. It’s just stuff and at the end of the day you can’t take it with you.

No comments: