We've been on our debt repayment plan for 1 year now. Following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover we established a tiny emergency fund and started paying off debt.
Our first steps were the big ones.
- We sold off a lot of stuff including a third car that was Chip's "play" car. (I still applaud him for that).
- We downgraded in vehicles to use the profit off the sale of the van to pay off debt.
- I had already learned how to shop frugally, but in the past the money I was saving in shopping was not being spent wisely. So our debt was not being eliminated in these efforts. That changed.
- We refinanced our home to save over $250/month in mortgage payments.
- We basically stopped buying things unless they were necessary (with the exception of food. Eating out is where we still struggle).
We banked a lot of money up front. We made a lot of progress. In the first year, we've paid off $19,170.86 and increased our net worth by $32,328.22.
It was fun.
Now it isn't as fun.
The progress is slower now.
Life sometimes hits you hard and that large payment you wanted to send to pay off a big chuck of debt is retargeted to pay an unexpected doctor's bill or car repair.
I feel stuck.
I know the end of the road is out there, but since I'm not approaching it as quickly as I once was and the ride isn't as exciting as it used to be, I am starting to get bored of the trip.
Not bored enough to turn around, of course. I mean, that would be totally counter productive and stupid.
But just tired of being on the road.
"Are we there yet?" is a pretty good analogy of how I feel about our debt repayment at this point. And no, we aren't. We aren't even halfway there in fact.
I'm trying to find encouragement along the way, but that isn't always easy.
I mean, it's cool to read about someone's success about becoming debt free and celebrate with them. But in the end, it's just a reminder that I'm not there yet. And that is depressing.
I try to help others see that mindless spending is not smart and going to catch up with them one day. Hopefully they will wise up before it does. But then I feel completely unequipped to do that because how am I any better with our loads of debt that still haunts me?
Sadly it is so much easier and takes so much less time to get into this mess than to get out.
And I'm tired of trying.
I'm not going to stop.
But I need some encouragement. Some inspiration. Some cheerleading.
Anybody know where I can get that? Am I just being a whiny baby who needs to deal with the damage we've done and shut up?
Are we there yet?
Photo credit: runrunrun