Paying off debt is hard work. If it weren’t so hard, then it would be no problem for people to do. But, that isn’t the case at all.
Once you decide to pay off your debt, there will challenges along the way. There will be times that you feel tired and even defeated. Paying off debt takes making sacrifices, it takes time, and you may feeling like you are the only one working towards being debt free.
There are many things that may weigh you down as you pay off your debt, and the ones I bring up are all going to feel very negative. But, I want to talk about them because they are all things that I have felt while paying off my nearly $40,000 of student loan debt. By knowing that these feelings are common, my hope is that today’s post can help you overcome difficulties that you may experience along the way.
Instead of letting these feelings or challenges completely stop you from moving forward as you pay off your debt, you should know that many of the obstacles you come across are things that you can push past and move on from.
I hate seeing people stop their debt payoff journey because they feel too overwhelmed, and it’s important to remember that you aren’t the only one trying to pay off your debt. Just like anything else you are working towards, keep trying because you won't get any closer to your goal if you stop now!
Plus, paying off debt is all worth it.
Remember this as you go, choosing to face your finances and pay off your debt is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And, even though it’s hard, you will be so proud of yourself once you realize what all of those struggles and hard work were for.
It may take a long time, but try to remember why you are doing it.
To help you deal with how difficult it may feel to pay off your debt, here are some of the struggles and feelings you may face and what you can do to change your mindset.
You may feel tired.
Learning to pay off your debt means you may need to find another job, cut your spending, and even downsize your house. All of those things are stressful and stress can leave you feeling exhausted.
But, you need to remember that you won't always feel this way. This feeling is a temporary thing and what’s at the end, being debt free, will let you live a better life.
You will eventually be able to cut back on working so much and you will be able to sleep better knowing that you won't have debt hanging over your life.
I remember how much extra work it took to pay off my debt. I worked so much and was so tired, but I wouldn’t change a thing because paying off my debt has led to living an amazing life.
If you are looking for motivation while you pay off your debt, the articles below may help you stay focused and working towards your goal:
- How To Stay Financially Motivated
- How I’m a Work-Life Balancing Master
- Managing Your Finances Effectively And Save Time
You may have to make sacrifices.
Paying off your debt is all about making sacrifices, and we all know how hard that can be. You may have to change your spending behaviors, avoid places like the mall, cut your expenses, and more.
While it may seem tough to adjust to a new lifestyle, especially in the beginning, it will get easier over time. If bad spending habits were what led you into debt, then these sacrifices may feel even harder due to the fact that you may be used to spending more than you have.
But, you can break those bad habits and create new ones that will help you pay off your debt and then stay debt free. Habits like budgeting, family money meetings, and not overspending are all things that will help you for years to come.
If you are struggling with making sacrifices, I recommend bookmarking your favorite debt blogs and podcasts,
going on a no spend challenge, redoing your budget, looking for ways to extra money, and more.
- 80+ Ways To Make Money On The Side in 2019
- 12 Work From Home Jobs That Can Earn You $1,000+ Each Month
- Ways To Make An Extra $1,000 A Month
You may be bored.
When you are trying to pay off your debt, you may have to start saying no to some of the activities and things you were spending money on. This could mean saying no to vacations, happy hours, dinner with friends, going to the movies, and more.
While you may feel bored in the beginning, it’s probably just because you haven’t realized that there are so many ways to have fun while you pay off your debt. When you actually start looking for frugal options to having fun, you will probably be surprised that there are so many possibilities.
You can take part in free events and festivals around your area, go to your local library, use coupons, and more. Plus, the outdoors are always a great place to have fun for cheap. You can go for a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog, or just explore. Find more ideas at How To Have Frugal Fun.
There really is no reason to be bored while paying off your debt. You’ve probably heard the saying that only boring people are bored – so don’t be boring!
- Why I’m Not Sad That I’m Frugal – Frugal Doesn’t Mean Boring
- The Frugal and Smart Money Habits of Millionaires
- Real Life Frugality- 20+ Ways Our Family Of 5 Is Frugal
You may feel like you should be keeping up with the Joneses.
One thing that many people find hard about paying off debt is that it feels like everyone else around them is still spending a lot of money. There are social media posts about amazing vacations, your friends might be talking about the new car they just bought, and friends who are wearing trendy new clothes and shoes, etc.
But, none of those things are needs. That negative feeling you might be experiencing when thinking about those things is just the feeling that you need to keep up with others. This is often something we try to do in order to feel better about what’s going on in our own life.
Unfortunately, it can be very tempting to stop your debt payoff journey to try to keep up with others around you, this is because you may feel jealous and wonder why others can spend money when you cannot.
But, looks can be deceiving. You don’t know what kind of financial situation that the other person is in. They may have more debt than you do! They may be maxing out their credit cards to go on vacations and buy expensive new clothes. They may have taken a second mortgage out on their home, and more!
There is no need to spend just to spend. You should only make purchases that you actually want to make and ones you need to make.
The next time you feel like you should spend money on things you don’t really need, you should stop and think about what's actually bugging you and if you truly believe that spending money will cure whatever problem you are dealing with.
So, if you are wanting to do some emotional spending to deal with your feelings of debt pay off or to keep up with others, try to think about how amazing you will feel if you just keep working on your debt.
- You Don’t Need Everything – Do You Know The Differences Between Wants and Needs?
- 5 Tips To Stop Your Emotional Spending Habit
- Why Keeping Up With The Joneses Will Make You Broke
Paying off debt is all worth it.
While all the things listed above were negative feelings, there is one thing to keep in mind:
Paying off your debt can have so many positives.
I paid off my student loan debt quickly, and while it was extremely tiring, I wouldn’t change it for the world. There were many sleepless nights, 100 hour work weeks, and more, but I always reminded myself that this wouldn't last forever. I knew that I wanted a different life and knew that paying off my debt would be 100% worth it in the end.
And, while you may feel like it’s awful right now, here are some positives that will come along the way:
- Happiness. No longer having debt means that you'll have more money in your pocket. You can save for retirement, finally take a vacation, and those things can lead to happiness and security.
- No longer living paycheck to paycheck. By eliminating your debt, you will hopefully have learned better money management skills which will then allow you to start saving for other things in life, such as retirement.
- Feeling in control. Debt can make a person feel like they have completely lost control of their life. By getting rid of your debt, you will feel much more in control of your life and your financial situation.
How does, or did, paying off your debt make you feel? What do you do to remain positive? What do you think debt free life will be like?
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