I just wrote myself a $12,000 cheque, which represents money saved up on various web projects over the last year or so. Since leaving Vancouver, I’ve been living fairly frugally (in fact, I probably have only paid myself about 25% of what I was making in Vancouver), mainly because I wanted to once and for all be done with my student loans and finally be debt free.

In March, I dropped the last $8,000 on my car, finally becoming the official owner of a 2006 Mazda 3 Sport. Given that the car I had before that was a totally junky 1993 Toyota Tercel, I’m obviously pretty proud of myself for buying a new car and paying it off 12 months early. My car really matches my personality — it’s always ready for an adventure.

So tonight I’m going to stroll down to the bank and make a big deposit. Once the cheque clears, I’ll be calling up my various banks and giving them the ok to pull the money out of my accounts. With any luck, I’ll be debt free sometime this week. In terms of my disposable income, I was paying roughly $400 a month in car payments, and $400 in student loans. In total since leaving Vancouver, counting the reduction in debt, my monthly expenses have now dropped around $1,500 a month (more if you include all the retarded drinking we used to do after work). And if anything, I’d say my quality of life has improved quite drastically.

Not a bad trade, really.