Before I start on today’s post, I wanted to encourage you to check out my guest post on Three Thrifty Guys today. There I’ll talk about how all those pennies and dimes we spent got us into debt, and are getting us out of debt. Check it out!
Are you deeply buried in debt? Do you want to get out, but are so overwhelmed by your situation that it seems like an impossibly journey? I know how you feel. We are them.
“I Have Too Much Debt. I Just Can’t Pay it Off”
Do you feel like this? We did too. Still do some days.
As of today, we’ve rid ourselves of less than 2 percent of our total debt load, after nearly 6 months of very hard work. For nearly 6 months, we’ve been scrimping, saving, and doing without so that we can get out from under our mountain of debt. Debt payoff total to date, including the mortgage? Roughly $5900.
Why so little? Because we’ve got a median range income and LOTS of debt. We’ve really made a mess of our situation through years of improperly managing our finances. And not big purchases either – it was the nickel and dime stuff – a simple lack of tracking our spending, that got us here.
SO, you might wonder: Why on earth are we torturing ourselves and our children for a goal that is going to take years to achieve?
Because, like Adam over at Money Rebound wrote about recently, the hardest things in life are often the most worthwhile.
If you’re like us, deep in debt, every day is a struggle. Every basic expense puts you over the edge, emotionally and financially. Unexpected expenses traumatize you, crushing your spirit terribly.
Is this you? Is your family so deep in debt that you’ve decided that it is easier to live with the debt and ignore it, because you know in your heart that it’s too deep to get out of?
YOU ARE WRONG.
You can do it. There are ways. Options for every family and every situation. Just ask my blogging friend Grayson, who, not too long ago, kicked 50k in credit card debt out the door. Or Travis, who at one time owed more than 100k in credit card debt. He and his wife, Vonnie,
finish their debt repayment program early next year finished their debt payoff, after several years of hard financial work.
These stories, and others like them, are what motivate us to whittle away at our once 65% debt-to-income ratio. Is it difficult? Yes, more so than I ever imagined it would be. Every single week we have days in which we are “this close” to saying “Screw it. What’s the point? This debt will never go away.”
But then, there’s the other voice. The voice that says:
“You have to do it. You can’t live this way anymore, and you shouldn’t have to. Neither should your kids. They don’t deserve – and you don’t deserve – the mountain of stress that comes with being a slave to your creditors.”
Finding Your Why
I’ll share a secret with you. You will only succeed at getting out of debt if you find a good reason why you want to be debt free. When you’re working to discover your why, I want you to think BIG. Think about how you hate being tied to your job because you need the paycheck. Or how you hate when an unexpected car repair comes up and you have no cash, knowing that now your credit card balances will be even higher.
Think about what would happen to you and your family if you walked into work today and were handed a pink slip. Use your frustration and fears with your money situation to motivate you instead of debilitate you. Use them to motivate you to buck the system, stop caring what the neighbors or anyone else thinks and start making a better financial life for yourself.
Recommended Reading: Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want
If you’re sick and tired of feeling like the plain old nice guy or girl that somehow got into a debt mess and is now being chased by the mob, and you’re sick and tired of running from them, you have to choose freedom. You just have to. You really can’t go on like this forever.
And you want to know a secret?
As hard as the days of paying off your debt will be, they will never be more difficult than dealing with that sick feeling of running from your expenses, your mailbox and your telephone as you work to stick your head in the sand and hide, albeit temporarily, from your debt.
The Hardest Things in Life Are Often the Most Worthwhile
Your journey out of debt may take years. It may take decades. But whether you’re 30 or 60 when you cross that finish line, I know you’ll be happier than ever that you ran the race. At least this way, victory does exist. And you deserve the victory that comes with living life debt free.