Wednesday, August 15, 2012
on getting out of debt
*disclaimer: i'm writing this post not so i can tell you about what good, awesome people we are but so i can have a little moment of happy proud-of-ourselves celebration on my blog. :)
in 2009, i finished graduate school. along with a master's degree, i also suddenly had a huge pile of student loan debt. not only had i taken out money for books and tuition, but, after my divorce half-way through grad school, i suddenly was solely responsible for rent, food, a car payment, etc. so i had to take out even more money to cover just the cost of living.
when chas and i got married in 2010, we decided to make paying off my student loans our #1 priority. and now, 2 1/2 years later, we're down to the last $6000! don't get me wrong- 6 grandy is still tons of money, but when compared to the amount we started with, $6000 feels like pennies! (ok, maybe not pennies...let's say quarters!). seriously though, it makes us both so, so happy to know that the end is finally in sight!
what makes us even more proud of ourselves is when we think about how chas was making only $12/hour at the beginning of our marriage and how we've also paid $10,000 cash for my prenatal care and hero's birth. thankfully, chas is making much more money these days and i was also working before hero was born, but we have never been (and likely never will be) richy rich.
all this is to say that if we can do it, anyone can do it!
just shove any and all extra income towards the debt. it's hard and it totally feels like just giving money away but once you get in the habit, you don't have to think about it so much and the satisfaction from seeing the debt slowly shrink away is pretty great.
putting so much money towards paying off debt has meant that we've gone without some things over the years. we've only gone on one road trip vacation, we have only one car (which means that I don't have a car at home with hero during the week), the one time a year we eat at a fancy restaurant is on our anniversary, and we almost never see movies in the theater. but we haven't totally deprived ourselves, either. we also believe in being able to have a little fun with our money when we want to. so we eat out every now and then (hire's cheeseburgers), buy fun new clothes (usually on sale and at places like F21 and target) sometimes, and, if we want to get some new dressers for the bedroom (pictured above), we do it! i just think it's all about balance and trying your best to be smart with what you've been given.
and, most importantly, heavenly father can see your efforts and will bless you. that's the best part.
this weekend, we decided that when we finally pay off all my student loans, we're going to reward ourselves with a little sam-and-chas-only trip to somewhere awesome like san francisco!