On May 25 2016, I bought my house. I used my savings in my TFSA and RRSP, and learned a plethora of new terms very quickly. One of these terms was a Homebuyer’s Plan.
Essentially, these are funds you can use from your RRSP to purchase your first home.
Here’s the catch… you have to pay the Homebuyer’s Plan back within 15 years. At first, I was scared… how was I going to do this? I had a pile of bills, maintenance, renovation costs and a down payment I was going to have to pay and really didn’t know what I was getting into. My financial advisor said he knew I’d be able to pay it back in time but I was not so sure.
I should have had more faith in myself.
This year, when I went to do my taxes, my accountant said I had paid off the Plan too quickly. Apparently, you have two years to START paying off the loan, and I paid $12,000 off in 8 months.
I don’t know what it is with me and debt but I never want anything hanging over my head.
How did I do this?
I’ve always picked up odd jobs and had side hustles. Around the time I bought my house, I landed a freelance job doing social media/ communications for a local business. This quickly evolved. To- date, I have a handful of steady clients and I do social media, marketing, data management and analysis, content creation and one-off consultations.
Through freelancing and side gigs, I was able to add (roughly) an extra $2,000 into my monthly income. Most of this extra money goes straight into savings and travel. Meanwhile, my regular salary pays my mortgage, bills, day-to-day expenses and my expensive habit of eating out every day.
I am amazed every day that I could pull this off. I grew up thinking I didn’t have skills or talents. I didn’t think I had a lot to offer as a freelancer and I was intimidated by my inexperience. I jumped right in and figured I didn’t have a lot to lose. The start-up costs of being a freelance social media manager was low, and I had an amazing support system who encouraged me to give it a try. As such, Shoutouts Hamilton was born.
It definitely paid off! I work with some amazing people who value my time, commitment, loyalty to their business, and my work. Sometimes, work doesn’t even feel like work because I get to do cool things. Freelancing has opened up so many doors for me and I am constantly striving to hone my skills and improve.
Obviously, it paid off financially too! I am excited to continue hitting milestones and look forward for what’s to come!
Work hard. Play hard.