Debt 3: What to do?

So let’s start right off with a visual.  This is my example of paying off $35,500 in debt in 4 years. 

Begin Balance $35,500.00
Current Balance ($1.00)
   
Total Payments $35,501.00
   
2015 June $400.00
2015 July $400.00
2015 August $400.00
2015 September $400.00
2015 October $500.00
2015 November $500.00
2015 December $600.00
2016 January $600.00
2016 February $600.00
2016 March $800.00
2016 April $400.00
2016 May $400.00
2016 June $400.00
2016 July $600.00
2016 August $400.00
2016 September $500.00
2016 October $500.00
2016 November $500.00
2016 December $500.00
2017 January $600.00
2017 February $200.00
2017 March $500.00
2017 April $500.00
2017 May $500.00
2017 June $500.00
2017 July $500.00
2017 August $600.00
2017 September $500.00
2017 October $500.00
2017 November $500.00
2017 December $500.00
2018 January $500.00
2018 February $500.00
2018 March $500.00
2018 April $500.00
2018 May $500.00
2018 June $500.00
2018 July $500.00
2018 August $500.00
2018 September $500.00
2018 October $700.00
2018 November $700.00
2018 December $700.00
2018 January $700.00
2019 February (Check) $3,000.00
2019 February $700.00
2019 March $700.00
2019 April $700.00
2019 May $700.00
2019 June $700.00
2019 July $700.00
2019 August $700.00
2019 September $1,667.00
2019 October $1,667.00
2019 November $1,667.00

It’s pretty raw.  I could of changed the font, color, maybe added a majestic mountain in the background but that’s not how this process works. It’s black and white. It’s one line at a time bringing it down.

And it’s so much more than that!!!

Emotions

I’m guessing if you’re reading this your debt amount might be high, and if that’s the case feeling hopeless initially is natural.  God knows I did. On top of that I even sprinkled on embarrassed, worthless, and a failure as a man and husband.  Yes, I always go big with everything especially being hard on myself.  In an effort to not have to face these I just ignored them.  Swept those emotions in a pile, tucked them under the rug, and shut off the light.  I mean really what else was there to do.  When I’d acquire more debt, I’d spout things like just this one more time, we deserve this, or just fuck it.  So okay you’re saying I do indeed feel like shit but what am I going to do?

Just like many things in life that cause instant pleasure; they will eventually bring much discomfort.  You will need to get to the point where the increase in debt is causing you more pain then looking at your shit swept under the rug.  Believe me you might be able to go a very long way getting deeper and deeper but DON’T!

I of course went the long way.  So long my back was painted into a corner. So pathetic I, 49 years old then, had to ask my 79 year old mom at the time for a loan to pay it all off.  I was indeed fortunate because bankruptcy was nipping at my ankles.  Like I said in the other post this was me right after being divorced and on top of everything else I was paying alimony.  The complete lowest time of my life in so many ways.

Mindset

So what do you do you do when you’re feeling hopeless, embarrassed, worthless, failure, and pathetic?  For me, I got pissed, focused, and started doing the work.  You can too!  The whole debt problem in your life is “usually” caused by one thing.  Go into your bathroom and look in the mirror to find out.  I say usually because I know there are some life events you have no control over.  For those in that latter group, I’m so sorry you were thrown into this.  Either way that same person that you’re looking at will need to be your new hero.  While you’re at your mirror place a sticky note with I love you,  “You’re name here” written on it.  This is exactly what I did.  In order to move forward you need to change all those bad emotions above to love for yourself.  For now just know – Love Never Fails.  Did I mention you’re going to grow in so many ways during this process?

Homework 

You can’t half-ass pay off debt.  Believe me I attempted on again off again for many years. It doesn’t work.  You will need to crank up that emotional fire from within and get serious as hell.  This is your life.  This is your freedom and you don’t have to live in misery with debt for the rest of your life.

This is what has helped me whenever I want to change something in my life:

  • Reality.  Spell it out.  Lift up the rug and acknowledge the mess.  Write down how debt is fricking up your life.
  • Why.  Get clear on why you need to change now.  Write it down.
  • Immersion.  Surround yourself with others who have already accomplished what you want to do plus find a couple of folks who are in the process of changing.  So for our scenario search here on WP for others who have turned their life around by paying off their debt.  Read their posts, ask questions, and learn from them.  Also, read the comments of their posts to find others who are currently in the process like you.  Follow and befriend them.  You need a buddy to encourage and support back and forth.  I have used this process and know it works.  If you don’t already have a blog, this may be a great opportunity to share your debt journey and give and get support from others.  To me this WordPress community is priceless.
  • Learn.  Start reading everything you can on debt.
  • Yes, Dave Ramsey is one of my gurus.  Read Financial Peace & Total Money Makeover, and check out his  7 Baby Steps.  Subscribe to Dave Ramsey Show on YouTube.  Callers call in with their debt stories and Dave provides advice. 
  • William Danko, The Millionaire Next Door
  • Check out Melanie Lockert of DearDebt.com. (It’s not a WP site).  She paid off $81,000 in student debt.   I binge read all her posts when I first started my debt journey.  She very much inspired me!!
  • Big Bonus:  Read  Step #5 Monetary Goals blog post.  Lovie’s story will surely motivate you and provide you with an abundance of info on next steps!

Start your homework my friends.  It will be a very hard climb back uP, but many just like you are here to prove it can be done and your happiness and freedom depends on it!  You can do it!!

Peace,

Dwight

Debt 1

Debt 2

18 thoughts on “Debt 3: What to do?

  1. wow..thats is awesome..i loved this post and so honored to be included in the list at the end ( altho my story is s small one in the grand scheme of things, i learned a LOT from others who were not celebrities, or published writers, but simply regular folks with regular lives struggling to climb their way out.) Thanks again and i will continue to look forward to your posts, especially on this subject. One cannot have too many reminders!!! hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for kind words, Anne. I hope it helps someone. I see so many young families make the same mistakes and it doesn’t have to be this way. Waiting until you have the cash is the mantra along with you don’t need to keep buying “things”. Nobody teaches us any better, because debt is just built right into our culture, our way.

      Like

      • I think Covid may have helped reset that attitude. At least the buying end of it. Dan and I have no debt issues but we used to spend a lot of money on ‘stuff’. Now we shop once a week and pretty much go by a list. Have saved a ton of money this year. I know others in the same situation.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Six years plus, still paying off debt | Faded Jeans Living

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.