Are We There Yet?

Currently, this is where my debt stands:

Car Loan: $4,197.94

Student Loan:  $18,080.42

Total: $22,278.36

I’m starting to feel like that whiny little girl on a road trip with her parents.  I know this debt-free journey isn’t for the faint of heart, but it does get…dare I say, a little boring.  I no longer live paycheck to paycheck since I’m on my budget, but in a way I still do.  The only time I feel like I’m winning is every two weeks when I make that extra payment on the principle of my car loan or see my savings balance increase when I add to my car maintenance fund or braces fund.

With that being said, anything worth having isn’t easy.  I know I have to make this sacrifice for a short time in order to have a really great life afterwards.  I need to remind myself of why I want to pay off my debt.  Here are my never-will-I-evers:

  • I refuse to have student loan payments hanging around like a crazy ex-boyfriend while I’m worrying about how I’ll send my own kids to college.
  • I  NEVER want to have a negative net-worth again.  (It’s easy if you don’t take out loans.)
  • I refuse to dedicate a single penny more of my paycheck than I owe RIGHT NOW to debt payments.

Here are some promises I’ve made to myself:

  • I want to be able to do exactly what I want to do in retirement and not worry about dying penniless.
  • I want to leave a legacy and an inheritance to my children and grandchildren.
  • I want to go on adventures and travel with R. before we have kids and are saddled (ahem, blessed?) with extra obligations.
  • I want to live my life well.  Life is too short to not follow your dreams and live in such a way that brings contentment to you and your family.

As it stands now, I should have my car paid off in May 2015 (just a few short months!).  It’ll take a little extra scrimping and cutting back on a few things, but it’ll be worth it.  Thankfully, I still have my  part-time gig helping out my friend with some administrative stuff.  Any cash I get from that goes straight to my car loan.

For now, it helps to have smaller attainable goals as I pay off this debt.  If I focus solely on my car until it’s paid off, then I can get really excited about throwing every extra penny towards it.  Since I’m 3 and 1/2 months from paying it off, any payment I make moves the needle significantly.  This sounds super nerdy, but my new favorite hobby is to make that loan payment each payday and then update my debt board.

It also helps to have a support system of like-minded individuals.  I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who understands how dangerous debt can be (R. has no debt other than his mortgage).  Each time I make a dent in my car loan, he’s there to offer his congratulations and encouragement.  I also have a group of Dave Ramsey fans at work that I can get advice from and celebrate my progress with.  The positivity I get from my girls at work is very much a blessing in a world where most other “normal” people try to tell me that there is good debt.  I’m trying my best to not be normal.

Keep plugging away out there!

Who are the people in your life who keep you motivated?  Let’s hear about them in the comment box below.  Don’t forget to “Like” this post and follow me via email!

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