Debt – Now I’m Scared

I started doing the math on this a few weeks ago. So here, I’ll say it. I’m pretty sure I won’t get debt free this year.

I keep running over the math over and over. And I just don’t think I’ll be able to do it. I talked about my plan here to become debt free in 2010. I put in my payments for January, February and March. However I started in April putting only $500/month on to my debt to save for my emergency fund in case I have to move in August.

Now that it seems 95% likely that I won’t get a class to teach at the community college over the summer I won’t be able to put any extra money into my E-fund for moving (only $100/month) and a ‘slightly more than minimum payment’ on my debt ($500/month).

In order to get out of debt in 2010 with smaller payments in the summer, I needed to have less than $8,000 worth of debt by the end of April. I’m pretty far away from this. REALLY far actually. Even if I emptied out my E-fund, I wouldn’t get below $8,000.

Part of this is because I didn’t anticipate having to pay over $500 on my taxes, and I really didn’t anticipate the trip to Vegas I’ll be making next month (never would have been able to predict this actually). And yet somehow, those two things plus my change in distribution of savings/debt in April STILL don’t get me to my goal.

So what I guess I’m saying it – I don’t know WHY my debt balance isn’t where it is supposed to be at considering I was doing everything I planned out to do….

But I’m looking at the numbers and it seems unreasonable to impossible that I’ll be able to be debt free this year. And I’ve never felt more demotivated by my debt since starting my blog. =(

How do you stay motivated when you were so pumped for a goal that now seems completely unreasonable? I just want this debt gone. ASAP.

13 Responses to Debt – Now I’m Scared

  1. psychsarah says:

    Have you calculated when the debt-free date is? Even though you may not get there this year, knowing the date might help-you could start a countdown or something. I totally relate though-I loathe not being able to reach my goals. It drives me mental. I have to take a day or two to shake it off, and then make new ones before I take a nosedive in terms of mood and motivation. Good luck getting back on the horse!!

    • SS4BC says:

      Unfortunately knowing exactly when it will be at this point is quite a nebulous thing since there are so many variables:

      * Will I be moving in August?
      * What will my new salary be? What will my new cost of living be?
      * If I don’t get a new job/new salary, will I be teaching at the community college?

      With so many variables it is near impossible to put a “date” on my debt free-ness anymore without knowing what is going to happen in the next year for me career-wise. The only thing I’m near certain about is that it won’t be 2010, but after August I’ll have a good idea of when it might be.

      • George says:

        Try figuring how long it would have taken you if you just payed the minimums and see how much time you are cutting out by paying off as much as you can. That might help.

  2. I’m with you – my debt-free dreams aren’t going to happen this year either. I’ve set up my stuff to be automated and I just don’t think about it. I figure that as long as I’m paying off what I can and not running up any new debt, it’s OK to go on autopilot for a while.

  3. I agree with the previous posters. Find out when your debt-free date will be. Do your best this year but don’t get down on yourself if it’s not feasible. Keep up with the goals and I don’t think you should drain your E-fund. I’m not sure I’ll be able to make all of my goals this year either, but if I can make some, then at least I was able to accomplish that! Good luck.

  4. Jessie says:

    I agree with some of the folks here – even if you don’t know when your debt free date will be. What’s the worst that will happen if it’s in say 18 months instead of 12 months?

    Other than that…if you realllly wanted to make it happen – perhaps you can look at selling more stuff or doing more tutoring…

    • SS4BC says:

      Thanks for the suggestions. Selling stuff I should do anyway, for sure. As for tutoring, I’m already working 10-15 hours per day 5 days a week and then another 6-8 hours each day on the weekend. I don’t think I could squeeze much more money out of my time at this point. =)

  5. MPP says:

    Aw, I know that is really discouraging. 😦 But if it doesn’t happen this year, it will happen next. And at this point in your life it may be more important to save than pay down debt. As long as you are going up and not getting into more debt, that’s the key. Cheer up!! You’ve got a whole team behind you to help. 🙂

  6. I know, I’ve gotten frustrated, too. We’re going to be paid up on our initial CC debt this month, but a trip to Las Vegas also put a wrench in things for us (going to see our sick great-aunt in June and it’s also serving as a vacation).

    But I absolutely agree that you have to play it safe. We don’t want to pull from our EF fund/cushion, either, so we’ll spend the extra month or two paying off Vegas.

  7. Airam says:

    I agree with the general consensus, don’t be discouraged.

    Look at how far you’ve come in a year! You have a lot of accomplishments to celebrate and be proud of. I think the most important thing to concentrate on is that you are not acquiring more debt so you WILL be debt free.

    Besides, I’m pretty sure it took you longer than 12 months to acquire the debt, don’t beat yourself up because it takes longer than 12 months to get rid of it.

  8. eemusings says:

    Dude, this is exactly how i feel about BF’s debt. All I can say is, GAHHHHHH.

    Just die already!!

  9. Well, what was your plan for getting out of debt this year? I always budget really conservatively, but was your plan based on taching & tutoring this summer or in the fall?

    I’d work through the numbers again to find a new date, and this time, don’t think about extra income. Think about what you know you’ll have. This way, you have a realistic goal, and exceeding that during your good months will make you feel better, and that can be a motivating factor every month.

  10. Revanche says:

    When in doubt, I run budgets for every possible scenario to work off my frustration. It seriously bothers me, but I’ve come to at least expect that any optimistic budget I make will be derailed. As this week’s scheduled budget unveiling and familial thwarting shows. Even if I could have hit my optimistic goals of saving $15K by year-end (doubtful), having to find another $500/month to pay for Mom’s treatment requires a whole other set of numbers.

    What worked well for me when there were TOO many variables was to have a low, mid and high income set of targets. That way, I’d know that I was still meeting standards, or having a good month.

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