Sometimes I feel as if I’m on a display with people wondering why I do what I do. Partly it’s my own fault (I’m WEIRD in all capital letters for serious) and partly it’s because of what I’m doing here. I don’t tell many friends that I blog—kind of because I tend to like the idea of being completely honest and sometimes I’ll share conversations on here. And when I do tell friends I blog, and they find out what I blog about, I get the question “WHY do you want to get out debt so quickly? You have your whole life to do this.” Seriously. No, really, it’s an actual comment (okay paraphrased from many comments) that I’ve received.
My answer: because I’m smart. Oh wait, that’s implying they aren’t smart and isn’t very nice at all. Okay, new answer: Because I have better uses for my money than letting it go to debt payment for years on end. But that’s still not really why and kind of sounds uppity. Okay, final answer: because I don’t like the thought of owing someone a lot of money when I could be doing fun things with that money. That’s not bad. And it’s true! I know that I could go on a vacation on credit and that would be “fun” but it’s not going to be fun enough to continue paying years down the road. (And yes, I’m implying that I wouldn’t be paying that vacation of in full when I received the statement. Just the minimums)
And yes, money is a little tight right now (for instance, I’m saving up to go to a concert for a date in September because our normal date money won’t cover it all instead of just being able to rearrange the budget to give us more that time) and sometimes I feel like there is no end in sight. But I know it’s going to be worth it. And maybe it’s just pride getting in the way, but I really hate owing people money. Not that you can tell if you look at the sheer amount of debt I’m in but I really don’t like it. And truthfully, it’s only stretched tight because we are saving up to move, saving for a wedding, saving up for a efund and we’re trying to get out of debt. Not many normal people do that.
So yes, student loans (one of the contention issues) might be structured to be paid off over the long-term, but when I can, I plan on starting to knock those suckers out. This is partially because I defaulted on them for a while and am a few years behind but also just because I really don’t like them hanging over my head. The future plan is to go after the baby one and just get it down as fast as I can. Of course, we also have to take care of my fiancé’s student loan. So that will in actuality be the first to go as it really is a baby. Point is? Debt has got to go. And yes, if I get a house, it might come back but that’s far down the road.
In conclusion, people can stare at me like I’m on display all they want. I’ll eventually be debt free and a lot happier and I am also comfortable with my incredible weirdness.
“Did you try it? No? Then how do you know you don’t like it.” That was a fairly common refrain from my mother (I have no kids as of yet but I’m thinking that is a common refrain from any mother) when I was younger. My answer was of course “I just know I don’t”. Then she struck a deal with me—I had to try whatever it was and give it an honest try but if I truly didn’t like it (and as moms always know when their child is lying—I shouldn’t even try to lie to her) she wouldn’t make me eat the rest of it and I would never have to eat it again. Now this deal really worked with me—I even was surprised when I would actually like things that looked weird. I still try things when new food is presented to me—and I always give it the honest try that I once promised my mother I would.
What’s this got to do with anything? Besides the food theme I seem to have going on this week? Simple—I used to shy away from trying to get out of debt because I didn’t think I could. Had I tried? Nope but I still knew that I couldn’t do it so why should I even try? Henry Ford has a quote that I think fits in really well with this: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” I didn’t think I could get myself out of debt so I couldn’t. I had no PLAN, I had no motivation and would just tell myself every single time I got a new bill or notice that ‘I knew it—no sense in trying when I just keep getting more in debt every month.’ Well of course I kept getting more in debt! I wasn’t paying it down and was instead spending more on the credit cards or ignoring bills. I failed because I knew I would.
Then I had my wake –up call a few months ago. I stopped ignoring the bills and started to gather all the information I needed. I came up with a budget that could work and a plan that will work. Is it going to be hard work? Of course but I think that it will be worth it in the end. I just have to take baby steps as I get an emergency fund set up and try to pay down bills at the same time. I know it can be done—if other people can do it, so can I.