Friday, August 25, 2017

August 2017 Debt Update: $59,456.19


We've had much cooler temperatures this August than in summers past, and I wonder if that's why the summer has felt like it's flown by - I can't believe that fall is already on its way! Anything that makes the time go faster and the debt get paid quicker is great in my books, though!

This month our debt finally dropped below the $60,000 mark. It's still only about a third of what we started off with, but still, it's something! 

Expenses this month
We traveled this past month to my sister's place in Texas for a family vacation. There were a few expenses like gas and some eating out associated with that, but overall we stayed within budget for our trip. 

My husband also sorely needed a new pair of shoes - his other ones were stained with grass stains and ripped in many places to the point he couldn't really wear them out in public. We were all set to buy a pair at a Buy-One-Get-One sale and then I found the same pair for $39 on Amazon, so we were able to buy just his shoes without having to get another pair. 

We started homeschooling about 2 weeks ago, and pretty quickly I realized I had made a mistake with the math curriculum I ordered for one of my sons. It just wasn't clicking with the way he learned, and so I needed to make a few more purchases to round out his curriculum. I wasn't really planning on spending more on homeschooling at this point in the year, but I also didn't want to lose a year of his math education to a curriculum that just didn't work.

Discouragement, and how I dealt with it
I won't lie - even though we dropped beneath the $60K mark this month, I also struggled a lot with discouragement. Part of it was due to a few house and car issues that cropped up this month - our shower had been leaking in the back bathroom and we have to do a few repairs associated with that, and then our car's power door stopped working. All of the discouragement flooded in, and I struggled with thoughts like:
  • What if we never get out of debt? What if something major happens each month that keeps us from making our payments?
  • I'm so tired of being "poor." I'm tired of not having enough money for clothes, of questioning every dollar that goes out, of having a super-tight food budget for a family of 6, and I'm tired of not having the money to work on house projects that we'd like to do.
My husband patiently listened to my frustrations. In some ways, it has been hard and exhausting. We've either been in debt-repayment mode or living-on-a-tight-budget mode for the entirety of our 11 years of marriage. There has never been a time where we could just "take it easy" and put major money into projects that are our choice instead of debt that is our obligation. Life has often felt like we are just surviving.

After awhile, though, I found perspective again. I reminded myself that while it's frustrating that about $1,200 of our paycheck this month went to debt, that much of that payment was our choice. We do have flexibility in what we spend, and we are making a tough choice to put that money toward the debt, month after month. I also realized that I was perhaps becoming a bit too hyper-focused on how much debt we had. After all, we could only pay what we could pay in a given month, and I realized how blessed we are to be able to put any extra money toward it. 

2 comments:

  1. I stumbled upon your post while reading another blog. Thank you for being honest about your discouragement. We were living tightly on a debt payoff budget when I got discouraged last year. We still live within our means but put our debt payoff on the back burner while we did some projects around the house and saved for a trip to see our son who is stationed overseas. I plan on getting back on track in Nov after we come back!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I totally understand the struggle. There are a few projects we need to do ourselves around the house that I think will help us psychologically feel prepared for the last push toward paying off our loans. Enjoy you trip to visit your son - I am sure he will appreciate it!

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