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Why I’ve Been Quiet Lately

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I haven’t had much to say the last few days, and that’s partly because I’ve been pretty tired and pretty stressed. Sometimes when that happens, it’s hard for me to sit down and write something that makes sense. I look at the computer screen and pretty much stare at it. I’m not sure where to begin.

I went to bed pretty early last night, and I do feel a little better today. What am I stressed about? Here’s a few things.

Every now and then, I start feeling like it is going to take forever to pay off our debt. May of 2009 (our goal date) seems like it is so far away. Then I look at our balance, and while I’m glad we have gotten as far as we have, there is still a long way to go. I think it’s normal to feel this way, and I just have to get over this hurdle. And no matter what thoughts enter my head about just going on a shopping spree…I have to ignore them. I need to make it through this rough patch and realize that what I am working to accomplish will improve our life so much. (See, I’m giving a pep talk to myself right there LOL)

I also received the yearly application in the mail for my son’s health insurance. This is the first year that we will make too much money and we will no longer qualify for his insurance. I knew that would happen, but when I held that application in my hand it really sunk in that we are going to be completely on our own and not receiving any financial help. This one is actually a mixture of being excited and scared at the same time. It’s weird.

Lastly, I’m just tired. It takes a lot out of me to keep reading and keep learning about things. I read everything I receive now from my credit cards and that takes a bit of time. I’m also in my Quicken file a lot running scenarios (if I pay X amount to the credit cards now, that will leave Y for Christmas gifts…etc.). Not to mention the wear that working over 40 hours a week has done to me. By the time 2:00pm rolls around every day…I’m pooped. I keep saying to myself that it will be only a month and a half longer and then I will just be working 40 hours. That should help a little.

Thinking back, did life seem easier when I wasn’t worried about our debt and making more money? You bet. Did we rack up the debt? You bet. Do I want to go back to where we were? No way.

I like where we are now and the direction we are heading financially…but man, it sure is rough.


21 Comments

  • Reply D |

    Maybe a slight break from your aggressive pay down is in order. I know that it is not the best financial decision, but the holidays are a stressful time for most people and sometimes a break is just what the doctor ordered. (I don’t mean a Rachel & Ross (Friends) kind of break either – LOL)

    Would your world actually disolve in front of your eyes, if you slowed down until after Christmas?

    Here is a suggestion from left field…you better sit down. I’m going to type this under my desk, sometimes people get quite upset with my ideas.

    Deep Breath – OK then, starting right now. Only pay minimums on everything. Keep living like you are. Meaning don’t go out blowing all the cash on McDonalds. Then take that money that would be going to your debt and withdraw it from your checking account. Put it in an envelope marked Christmas Money.

    Are you still there?? I know it is scarey, but sometimes we need this for our mental state. It is only 1 1/2 months, things will not be lost. All payments will still be made.

    Then, use that envelope as your spending money for Christmas. Maybe for gifts, maybe for Christmas dinner, may be for ingredients to make cookies with your cutie pie.

    The object is,

    don’t create more debt for Christmas – thus you will be hit will extreme guilt. Maintain your debts – or you will be screaming at yourself for lost FICO points and payments that need to be caught up on later.Most importantly, keep your sanity and enjoy this time, which will be past so fast. You don’t get it back. Enjoy!

    Then, as soon as December 26th arrives, it is back to business. No more vacation. You will feel refreshed and have a new sense of direction. In the end you will tackle your debt more efficiently and with an optimism that will spread to those around you and the rest of the blogger world.

    My prayers for your peace, no matter where you chose to find it!

  • Reply Maria |

    I agree with ‘D.’ This time of the year is overwhelming as it is, but add the fast pace you’ve been keeping up and its a recipe for a huge meltdown.
    From looking at your Archives, this will be the first Christmas that you havent used credit am I right? That’s going to be a hurdle in itself. Kids see a certain level of gifts and expect it each year. It can be overwhelming!
    🙂

  • Reply Joane |

    Relax a bit and enjoy your Christmas with your little darling. Because life is too short. You make memories now. I don’t want you to have regrets later. You are doing very well. Reward your good work by relaxing for this special time of year.

    As I went through the debt reduction process, when I hit goals, I would reward myself with something special for my home – a new pillow, brand new fluffy towels, etc. And I almost have it licked now.

    Keep your perspective about life. We are all proud of you. I have sent your link to a lot of people who needed help. Someday I hope you know how many people you have assisted with their debt reduction. Way to go, girl.

  • Reply Chitowngirl |

    Writing your feelings down can help a lot. Everyone in debt has these moments…will it ever end? I want it gone NOW! I know, trust me. It’s not easy but I want you to look at all you have accomplished and take a bow. You are making progress and that is always a step in the right direction. I don’t know you, but anyone can be proud of what you have achieved. Keep up the good work and feel good about you.

  • Reply Karen |

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. My cc debt is nearly identical to yours, except I am really just getting started on paying mine down and I’m divorced so I have one income and it is TOUGH. Sometimes I feel really really discouraged, and want that instant gratification (which is what got us into this mess in the first place) and I also have this sense of entitlement (Why can’t I have that? I deserve it!!) I also work long hours at my job and then do mystery shopping (which helps but really doesn’t pay much, although I do write off my high-speed internet which I guess makes it worthwhile just for that). OK, I’m rambling but basically just keep on plugging. I agree with the other posters that maybe you need to take a break but BE CAREFUL. I have a card I carry around in my wallet and I won’t bore you with the whole thing but basically it says, “It’s wrong to spend money I don’t have. There is always a way out and I won’t give up until I find it…..” Hang in there. You’re doing a GREAT job!

  • Reply Debt Challenger |

    Blogging,

    Don’t be discouraged. Everyone is right this season is just what is getting you down. I always tend to get discouraged around Christmas. Just look at the things you have to be grateful for. 2009 isn’t that far away. Are you paying the highest interest or the smallest balance? Maybe for the winter you should focus on the smallest balance debt so that you can get that boost that you need to keep you going. Be encouraged and know that there are others out here who support and can sympathize with you.

    Debt Challenger

  • Reply Maria |

    Hi. I have been following your blog ever since the write up in the Boston Globe and here are my thoughts: get a copy of “Hundred Dollar Holiday” by Bill McKibben or “Unplug the Christmas Machine” (I can’t recall the author)from your local library and take a look. You may find that spending LESS actually results in a MORE wonderful Christmas–it is certainly worth a try. Lots of people spend ridiculous amounts of money at this time of year and it brings no satisfaction whatsoever. In your case, the urgent need to pay off debt as fast as possible might turn out to be a plus. Your son will treasure time spent with you and your husband doing fun things like sleighing, baking, building snowmen etc. far more than any toy. An inexpensive Christmas that allows you to stick with your debt reduction program is not inconsistent with a wonderful Christmas! Finally, take as good care of yourself as you can. I’m also a mom who works and manages the family finances with a little input from my husband. I believe firmly in a good night’s sleep, a daily vitamin and focusing on all the many positives in life–health, family, progress with your debt reduction and so much more. Good luck!

  • Reply MOMM |

    Doing what ‘D’ suggested is what my family is planning on doing, starting this paycheck (today). It makes me feel better *and* I know we won’t use all of the “extra” money anyway so I will be able to put a chunk onto the debt come Dec 26.

    🙂

  • Reply SCapitalist |

    The holidays always add more stress. Don’t get down on yourself and stay positive. Keep you goals in sight, 2009 will come before you know it!

  • Reply Twinsmommy |

    Tricia,

    I am not going to suggest that you should use your money for Christmas. You have been making great decisions for yourself and your family for the past year. You allow yourself and your family to spend money that you could use for debt repayment occasionally. If you feel like you should do that for the holidays…do that. If not, pay it towards debt.

    I just want you to know that there are a lot of people out there that read your blog, identify with your situation and are pulling for you.

    It is so hard to get out of debt. I know that you will be able to do it though!

    Have a great Thanksgiving next week. Enjoy yourself…no matter what you decide to do with your money.

    Lori

  • Reply Loopy |

    You are such an inspiration to so many people! Our debt is about the same as yours and you give me hope. 🙂 And tips. LOL

    I said the other day that debt is like weight loss and gain. It took a while to get *that deep* and will take a loooong time to get out of it, just like weight.

  • Reply mapgirl |

    It’s times like these where you really have to talk a deep breath, and realize how far you’ve come. You really have achieved a lot by starting this great blog, building traffic and improving your net worth.

    Everyone has fluctuations in their progress, but you’re doing ok. Chin up. I really believe you can do it. 🙂

  • Reply Mandi |

    Wow, Tricia!!!

    I have to say that is probably the most inspiring entry yet. Your others are great, don’t get me wrong, but this one will stick with me over the season.

    Even the most happy, chipper, goal oriented, and focused person can have an off day (bad day, bad week, and bad season). So why is it so wrong for the rest of the world to have a off day? This entry lets us know that you are like the rest of us (or at least like me), which means we really are not alone.

    You can do it. Because it’s something that you want to do, not just for you, but for your whole family as well.

    Good luck.

  • Reply Kim L. |

    Life is all abouot fluctuations .. ups and downs. You have been working so hard on debt reduction that it’s only natural to feel a little bent about it right now. Especially this time of year. I can totally relate to that. We have been working hard on debt reduction too but the end of the year is always hard .. my birthday, our sons birthday, our anniversary and the holidays. Do what you can to make it through and Jan.1 will be a fresh new start!

  • Reply Matt |

    We all go through the rough patches, but remember the light at the end of the tunnel is going to keep getting brighter and brighter over time. It might be hard now but the best part of the whole scenario is that when you are completely paid off you will have some extra money to spend on things. Just remember the misery of being in debt upto your eyeballs and not knowing how to get out; imagine living that way for the rest of your life. That should make the rough patch a bit less rough.

    You’ve been doing an amazing job and you’re an inspiration to me and I’m sure many other bloggers; keep up the great work and I’m sure you’ll get through the roughness.

    As for the fatigue… it’s almost friday.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Thank you everyone so very much for your words of support and encouragement. As soon as I get a chance, I will write a post replying to you.

  • Reply Isaac Harris |

    I just got the book. Thank you again. I put a post on my site that has a link to your page. Hopefully it will help send more readers your way.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Isaact – that’s great that you received the book safe and sound. Hope you enjoy it! And thanks for the link 😉

  • Reply Save Sheila |

    You have some amazing friends here! I am in D’s corner (the first comment). Just enjoy your Christmas and take care of the basic debt. You don’t have to go hog-wild buying presents; my husband and I have agreed not to exchange gifts; I’ve told my brothers and sister that we aren’t exchanging gifts this year, but I’ll bake them some stuff and send it. The memories are what’s important, not the gifts. Your mental health is a wonderful gift. Don’t lose it on commercialism.

So, what do you think ?