During this time of paying off our debts, it’s become hard to have them staring me in the face. Most of my life after college I barely looked at my student loans. It didn’t mean a lot to me then. I was very comfortable in paying the payment. It’s just a small payment right? Even during the time of paying off other debts, credit cards and cars, it wasn’t a big problem. We would get to it later. Student Loans were our biggest debt. Using the snowball method, it was our last debt, so why be concerned about it?
Well, now I am concerned about it. We have been hammering it hard. It won’t go away quickly. Which has opened my eyes to many things. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s glorious! I’m still a mile or more back treading through nasty water filled with bugs to get there. We will celebrate when we finally see daylight. Boy, will we celebrate! No debt though!
What things have I learned, and continue to learn? The biggest thing is patience. Getting into debt for me took 7 to 8 years. It didn’t happen overnight. I didn’t wake up one time and go, where did this debt come from? Why should paying it off be done overnight? It can’t! We have been on this journey 22 months so far. We have had some dramatic changes. Now that we are on the last debt, it’s so easy to be frustrated that we still are in debt.
We could have been out of debt a bit faster, but you make mistakes in life. Debt was a huge mistake. We are overcoming it! I have more financial sense now than I ever had. I don’t know everything, nor will I ever know everything. What I do know is money takes time.
Whether you have $10,000 in debt or $100,000 it will take time. It’s not a walk in the park. It is a difficult journey. People will think you are insane. Let them believe that. Eventually some people will be on the same path you are.
For us, we will be debt free around November, at our current rate. We hope to be done sooner than that, depending on what we can squeeze from the budget. Yes, if you’ve been following my other pieces, we owe $8,400 on my student loan. That means we are paying over $1600 per month! Yes, we are going gazelle intense at this thing. Sometimes I don’t think we are going fast enough, but unless we change a few things, which frankly we can’t do, we can’t squeeze any more out.
What I realize is we were normal, car payment, student loan, and credit cards. I don’t want to live “normal”. Abi-normal, for my Mel Brooks fans, is where I want to be.
This has also given me light into the future. It takes time with money. The younger you can start, the easier it is. I feel like a missed the boat a bit, but I’m on a jet ski catching up. It takes time to build the emergency fund, build a down payment, and invest. One should not invest for anything less than 5 years. Investing is long term. It’s not like going to the casino and winning $500 the first night. It’s about gaining multi-thousands of dollars, if not millions, over 20 to 30 years. You have to have patience.
One thing I have learned in this whole situation is that I dream big, I put goals, and I am the visionary. I can’t stand doing the day to day money transactions. I want to be able to swipe my debit card, and pay for something without concern about how that fits into the budget. I want to think long term. I want to get a house, pay for my son’s college when he’s old enough, and to give like no one else.
The only way I can keep my mind sane on these money goals is because of my wife. She’s the one that keeps track of what we are spending. We do a budget every month, and discuss. She’s the one that tells me where we are at in a particular category. Without her, I could not do it.
You see that I do Aviation photography. One of my dreams is to have that as a side business. However, I can’t do that until we are in a house. So, I am eager to be debt free, but as with this whole blog post, have patience. It will come. Doors will open, and we will walk through.
Blessings and prosperity,