A woman has managed to get rid of a $22,000 debt by blogging about her woes and reaching out to the online community who she says "embraced" her.
Cait Flanders of Canada says she was “completely maxed out” in 2011 with less than $100 in her checking account and a $10,000 car loan.
Flanders says that although she wanted to share the story of her financial troubles with someone, the fear of being judged stopped her.
So she decided to start a blog.
Over the next few months, she blogged extensively about her experience, documenting how she was managing her money and attempting to crawl out of debt.
"The personal finance community accepted me for who I was and the mistakes I had made, and cheered me on to the finish line. I didn’t realise it at the time but starting my blog and joining this community was the tool I needed to get myself out of debt," Fladers tells LearnVest.
Fladers says the exposure to other bloggers helped her make smart money decisions like incorporating weekly “no spend days” into her schedule.
That eventually morphed into month-long “no spend challenges” that required her to buy nothing but groceries, gas and necessities for 30 days.
“For a while, I even switched to a cash diet, essentially giving myself an allowance each week!” Flanders says.
She posted her spending reports on her blog - Blonde On a Budget - that exposed her to the scrutiny of the fellow bloggers and made her check impulse buying.
“Knowing that a few eyes could read them has stopped me from making a number of impulse purchases. What would my readers think if they saw that I spent $25 on a scented candle? I couldn’t bear the shame, especially if I’d set a monthly goal to not spend money on anything but essentials,” she says.
Since June 2011, Flanders has paid off more than $22,000 of her debt, saved a little bit on the side and even reached a positive net worth. “I’m not 100 per cent debt-free yet but I am on track to be debt-free by June 7—two years from the day that I was maxed out”.