When I first got out of university, my number one priority was to pay down my student loans and car loan. Those were the simple days when that’s all I had to focus on, no house payment! Anyways, I can remember being so focused about putting any extra money towards my payment that was possible. I would say no to anything I thought was classified under the “extra” and therefore not necessary category. Mainly I would turn down friends invites to dinners or try to avoid going to places because I felt like the gas money was too much. What I realized after about a year of this is I had missed out on so much enjoyment and I had a turning point in myself where I decided it wasn’t worth sacrificing my happiness to pay down debt faster.
Take All Advice With A Grain Of Salt
Every time you turn on the TV or open a webpage about personal finance, you will hear someone talking to you telling you to pay down your debt or get into a debt management program. It’s almost been ingrained in my mind that debt is the worst thing to have in life and to get rid of it as fast as possible. After I decided that I needed more balance in my life, I redefined the term as fast as possible. It probably took me about a year longer to pay off my student loans and car loans once I stopped the warp speed payments. But I can tell you is that I enjoyed the journey both personally and financially, so for me, that was as soon as possible for me
Change Your Mindset
I know that when I stared paying off my student loans, I felt so sad/angry at my loans. I felt like they were depriving me of an existence after college since I was putting everything towards them. Once I slowed down my repayments and gave myself a little money to enjoy life, my feelings towards the debt changed. I now saw them as the reason I was able to have a great job, and be able to pay my loans, and still have fun.
If you try to pay off debt at an unmanageable rate, you will inevitably burn out. Take it one day at a time and before you know it you will be back in control of your finances!
So, did you ever feel this way? How have you managed your debt?
I feel pretty much the same about student loans. I keep paying them and they really don’t go down. I feel like my 177.00 payment will be with me for life!
You will get them done. Don’t worry. Remember every little bit helps and if you can have a quality of life while you work at it you will be much better off. We only get one life to live so we better enjoy it.
It’s definitely a marathon, but you can do little sprints within it so that it doesn’t feel so long. (By celebrating each debt you pay off, or each mini-milestone along the way to paying off a debt.)
That is a great idea. I know my hubby and I have had little celebrations to reward ourselves with savings goals. It could definitely work for debts too.
So true. I think that life on the whole is a marathon. You have to create that balance where you can pay your bills, save a bit and spend a bit on yourself and not feel guilty about it.
Balance is the key to a great life if you ask me.