Money Depression

After the thrill of negotiating my contract, I have found myself in a lull from money depression.

I spent a good portion of the weekend figuring out my debt free date (Aug. 31st, 2012).

In the past calculating my debt free date has excited me and motivated me. WOO HOO! I’ll be DEBT FREE then!

But this time it doesn’t. This time, it depressed me. Another YEAR of this? *sigh*

I felt apathetic and lethargic all weekend. Another YEAR?! I am not quite sure I’ll be able to maintain this. I know I will. I know I’ll HAVE to. But I’m done with this debt. I’m just so ready to move on to the next phase: saving money, building wealth.

Here is what my payoff schedule looks like:

Essentially, the $2,000 payment in August is my money I’ll get for teaching at the community college (this is obviously an approximate). The $477 is what I’m paying now with my reduced furlough budget. The $500 is what I’ll pay when the furlough budget is over. The $900 is what I’ll pay when I’m on my new contract budget before I pay off the 0% interest loan on my bed. The $1,000 is what I’ll pay on my new contract budget after I pay off the 0% interest loan on my bed (pay-off date for the bed is November).

Seeing this schedule just makes me sad. I know the end will come, I just want it now. I would GLADLY live like a pauper if I knew that I’d be able to get out of debt by December. It just isn’t possible (my “pauper budget” has me debt free 3 months sooner, but still way over a year away, and if I can’t get motivated for a year and 4 months, I’m really not going to be motivated for living like a pauper for a year and 1 month!).

I know this is just a lull and as I see that money start to go down, I’ll feel better about all of this. But I definitely want to just start saving for things like a house, a new car, nice vacations, etc. I want to be able to go clothes shopping again. Or even just be able to afford a nice dinner with Mr. Hive every once in a while.

I’ll admit, I’ve started thinking about just paying $200 over my credit card minimum every month once I get my raise and just funneling the rest in to savings. The debt will still get paid off (in two years) but I’ll also be making progress towards my savings goals.

Perhaps financial independence isn’t just getting to no debt, but instead getting to no debt while being able to save for life in the process.

Have I just gone soft on my gazelle like intensity?


16 Responses to Money Depression

  1. Oh no! Don’t lose hope. You are definitely suffering from frugal/debt fatigue and I wrote a post on how to combat frugal/debt fatigue.

    EVERYONE who pays down debt goes through this. 1 year more is not that long. I always thought to myself a worse scenario like “It could be 10 years” and that is way more depressing (is that strange to feel pumped up because you can picture a worse scenario?)

    Hang in there. 1 year. Break it down into months and do a big fat check through each day you make it through!

  2. Ella says:

    I can really really understand how you feel! I feel depressed when I think about my student loan payoff date too. The worst part is, when I took the loan I thought I would be done much sooner. And you have a good point about throwing everything at debt and not building up your savings. I don’t think you have lost your intensity, but you are confused about the direction. Good luck, I hope you figure it out soon

  3. Can you break this into smaller chunks (I know you’ve done that, but not in this post) so that you can focus on intermediate goals rather than the distal goals? Maybe give yourself the reward of a nice dinner out that you’ve budgeted when you reach one of those goals. (You need some fun money… Back when we were paying off DH’s college loans, we would work as experimental subjects and use that cash to eat out.)

    You can do this! Two years will go faster than you think, and who knows, you may find debt snowflakes you can add making things go that much faster.

  4. Honestly…a year isn’t that long of a time. ๐Ÿ™‚ It will fly by — focus on your love, your job, your interests, and it will go by. When I was nearing the end of my debt-payoff, I REALLY started tighening the reins — so maybe you don’t to live like a pauper now, but when debt freedom is in sight, you might be able to. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. ndchic says:

    Do you have rewards for yourself set up? Like a mini trip or pedicure or something like that? You could maybe do those at certain milestones or quarterly to keep you focused. Just imagine how it will feel in August of 2012. You won’t have any more debt and you will have opened several options for youself.

  6. Beckey & Jeff says:

    Don’t get depressed! You’ve come this far and we’ve all been watching the progress! Our debt free date is October, 2012, so we feel your pain but it will be so worth it in the end. Just think about having NO Debt hanging over your head, preventing you from achieving what you want in life. That’s what keeps us going.

  7. You’re getting closer. It’s a long journey but you are nearing the finish line! I agree with giving yourself little rewards for milestones you make. Maybe even make it a personal challenge to somehow work at it to get it lowered by even one month. Snowflake that extra money. No debt will feel awesome!

  8. I think what you are going through is very normal. It’s hard to stay so excited about being debt free when that date seems so far away. Maybe you can have little celebrations along the way? Like when it gets under $10K, under $5K. Just a simple meal out or a cheap bottle of bubbly or something you’d enjoy. That’s what they tell you to do when losing weight, otherwise the far off target seems untouchable and depressing. Good luck!

  9. TeacHer says:

    I SO know how you feel. Sometimes just thinking about money in general depresses me. It feels like so many things are so out of reach; cost of living in my part of the country is so high, it feels like I’ll never be able to buy a house or go on vacations, even if I am debt free. Sigh.

    But what’s the alternative? Give up and get back into debt? No, no, no! As with many things in life, we all just need to keep moving forward and keep believing that we’ll be rewarded for our hard work in the end. What else can we do?

  10. I was totally where you are now – but it was last year for me. I decided to spend a couple of months going through my budget and finding things I could cut down to increase my payments to that debt thingy.

    The best way to infuse some energy back into your march to debt free – that I found – was to sit with your budget for a month and see what you can cut back on further (I know you are doing that now). The second thing is to calculate how long it will take to get out of the debt, and then chop 3 months off that! It’s scary!! Then your mind moves from the “I’m still in this debt until August next year!?” to “Holy cow how am I going to come up with $1200 additional dollars to get to that new date?” You can then shift your focus to finding ways to find money, rather than concentrating on the debt dragging you down.

    I was totally in the same spot in August of last year. And I’m 8 months away from kicking this debt in the butt.

    Personally I’d sit down and figure out how much you can shift to the debt before then end of this year. 8 months form now – how much of that sucker can you pay off? Each and ever dollar above what you have decided to pay gets you that much closer to your goal. If you start thinking about ways you can increase the money going to your debt, you’ll start finding that suddenly money starts presenting itself to you.

    You can do this! You will be done with it sooner than you think. I have $18,750.00 left to go and will be done on Dec. 31, 2011. I think you can get down to $6,500 owing on your debt in the same amount of time.

    Race ya!!

  11. it’s hard to stick to stringent budget plans sometimes. that’s why diets are so hard!

    just learn from this and hopefully remember to never do this again! hah…says the girl who is in credit card debt again after paying it off in december…

  12. Serendipity says:

    I agree. A year really isn’t that long and by then you will be totally debt free! That’s exciting. No student loans, no credit card debt, nothing! It will fly by before you know it. I also agree with you not living like a pauper. I’m a big supporter in you shouldn’t punish yourself too badly because of debt and you should still live your life. So, if living like a pauper won’t make that big of a deal, then don’t do it. You will just become more depressed and feel even more restrained.

    • SS4BC says:

      A year itself isn’t long. Going ANOTHER year when you’ve already done nearly 3 seems like FOREVER.

      And this is just for credit card debt… I’ll still have my student loan debt. But at 2.25% I’m in no hurry to pay that one off. =)

  13. LBC Teacher says:

    Hang in there…I think we all go through this, but I can tell you that I’m looking at the possibility of being laid off and am SO glad I am only two months away from having my car paid off. That payment would kill me if I was on unemployment. I agree about incremental rewards. Maybe a pedicure or massage or nice dinner after each third of what’s left? Something that will remind you of the financial freedom you’ll have after you pay off that debt. You can do it!

  14. Erin says:

    Depending on your interest rates, squirreling it away and not making the biggest dent possible into your CC debt is a bad idea. If your savings rate > cc interest rate, then save; if not, the numbers just don’t work out!

  15. don’t lose hope! you’re getting closer and closer every payment. p’-‘q

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