14 november 2012

Montreal family gets rid of debt by embracing '100 Thing Challenge'


Jenni Glad-Timmons, third from left, and her family have drasticaly reduced their possessions in the past year

A Montreal family of four has found an unusual, yet effective method for getting out of debt. They have decided to pare their possessions down to only 100 items each.

Last April, both Jenny Glad-Timmons and her husband Gary had full-time, well-paying jobs, yet the family was awash in debt.

Bad spending habits and a costly speech-language therapy for their 5 year-old daughter caused them to owe $30,000.

So they decided to simplify their lives and drastically reduce their possessions. Earlier this year, they sold their home in Thunder Bay, Ont., and became renters in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood. They also held numerous garage sales and got rid of household items, family heirlooms, kids' toys, and much, much more.

Nowadays Jenny Glad-Timmons works less than 10 hours a week, and the family is debt free.

Their inspiration was an initiative called ‘The 100 Thing Challenge’. It was started in 2009 by American blogger Dave Bruno and now has a Facebook page with close to 10,000 followers.

Figures released by Statistics Canada last week suggest the average ratio of debt to disposable income for Canadian families has hit a record 163 per cent. A recent RBC poll said Canadians carry an average personal debt of $13,141.

Gilda Salomone with files from the CBC.


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