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I’m Starting To Get Impatient With Our Debt

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Back when we first started reducing our debt, I was patient with it (for the most part). I mean, there were times where it would have been nice to have a magic wand to make it all go away. I shrugged those feelings off because we had to learn our lesson. Otherwise, we could find ourselves in debt again.

For some reason, I am getting really impatient lately and I can’t seem to shake it off. I feel like we have learned our lesson and I’m ready to move on with our lives. I thought this home stretch would be the easiest part. Perhaps it will actually be the hardest.

I wonder if we should take a small break and spend some money for a few things we want. While that sounds nice, I’m not so sure that will help. We want the debt gone, after all. Then I wonder whether we should muster up as much energy as possible and hit our debt really, really hard. Perhaps it is time to pull out every rabbit I have from the hat. That means selling as much as we can and maximizing our income to the fullest.

At the same time, I’m tired. I’m not sure how much more I can give right now. We do have some extra in our account right now so maybe it is time to take a small break and spend some money. We’ve done that at least once (maybe twice – I can’t recall at the moment). We are still in a good position to be able to pay off our debt by our goal date of May of next year.

There is one thing I would love to do, and that is to go camping. We have only done it once before we started this debt reduction journey. Some rest and relaxation in the woods would be nice. Perhaps that will be our splurge to help “refresh” ourselves. The more I think about it, the better it sounds. It is definitely along the lines of creating memories instead of more clutter πŸ™‚


41 Comments

  • Reply Ree |

    First of all, you guys have come such a long way and you have put a lot of energy into your debt reduction. To be tired of tackling it is normal. Second, keep at it — don’t take a break. If you take a break, it’ll be harder to get back the momentum to continue your debt snowball.

    I do think it’s important to have a balance and some “blow” money built into your budget. How much would it cost to go camping? Can you refigure your budget for the month and reduce spending in one area so that you don’t have to take money away from what you’re putting towards debt, or so that you don’t have to take it out of savings? Getting away with your family I think is a great idea. You can have some R&R and have some time to reconnect and think about why it is that you’re doing what you’re doing. I’m sure you can find a way to do it and continue plugging away.

    You are doing a great job and are an inspiration to all of us trying to get out of debt with you. Keep up the great work!

  • Reply Shareef |

    I think you should consider taking a SMALL break. I’ve been on debt reduction for two years ($65k, will be done in a few months). I never would have made it this far unless I treated myself sometimes. The key is SOMETIMES. For people like you that have learned your lesson and won’t be tempted to completed get off track, I think it’s fair. The gazelle intense Ramsey style approach doesn’t work for everyone – I had to tweak it to stay sane. I could have been debt free maybe a few months earlier if I would have stayed gazelle intense, but I would have much more miserable during that time.

  • Reply Tricia |

    It will run us about $60 for a very small camping trip. We have basically everything we need except for the site to camp at and some food. Gas cost will be minimal since we would be staying local.

  • Reply DM |

    $60 for camping is NOT a splurge. It’s a reasonable amount of money to spend on some family fun. Now, if you were to decide to buy a camper on credit, then I’d be worried…

    Go to the woods and recharge!

  • Reply Matt |

    You’ve done an amazing job so far, I would be thrilled to have my debt down as much as you’ve done. I am in complete awe of your accomplishment and I’m glad that I’ve been able to watch it so far. Don’t get discouraged and spending a little money on a camping trip to recharge the batteries is totally worth it.

  • Reply Trixie |

    Camp away! My husband and I live very frugally and we enjoy doing it because we treat ourselves once in a while to a special treat.

    It is so important to our mental health to take a little break and not deprive ourselves of a little fun or new treat periodically. $60 won’t break the bank and is very cheap for a camping trip. So ENJOY, and don’t worry about it.

    Take Care,

    Trixie

  • Reply Anonymous Reader |

    We haven’t heard much about the business you and your husband are starting. Is it producing any revenue or profit yet?

    $60 and a little money for gas is not much in your overall financial situation. Neither is a couple of days off away from the house and the business, as long as the business doesn’t require you to mind it daily. Kids don’t stay young forever, and your son will probably enjoy camping.

    However, now might be a good time to assess where you are with your business. Is it going anywhere? Will it contribute to your net income, and if so when? If the answer is no or not for a long time, then I suggest spending some of that quiet time out in the woods working out a new plan. The new plan should have a concrete goal of bringing in a specific amount of net income in 60 to 90 days.

    By doing this, your impatience will push you into a renewed focus. You will have some fun and relaxation and move closer to eliminating your debt.

  • Reply HS@ourdebtblog.com |

    You are not alone, I’ve also been impatient with mine for most of the last year but stuff keeps coming up and I can’t stop using credit cards. You’re almost there just have a little patience and get this thing out of your life.

    HS

  • Reply jolie |

    Giving yourself a controlled, low budget holiday will give you the mental refreshment you need to move forward throughout the fall and winter. The psychological benefits, I think, outweigh the smaller cost involved. You’ve done amazingly well and this would be a great en route reward.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Anonymous – the business is still being worked on by my husband. He has been putting well over 40 hours/week on it.

    There has been some revenue, but we have not drawn on that yet so it has no affect on our finances. But, there will be a lot more revenue once the anchor of the business is up and running.

    I’m still debating on discussing the business more on here. This anchor of the business is very much inspired by our financial situation. I really do want to share it with everyone when it’s ready. But then our names will clearly be out in the open. While I am not ashamed of our debt, an employer may feel otherwise.

    By then, though, it may not matter if I get “dooced.”

  • Reply margot |

    $60 doesn’t seem like a large enough sum to fret over much. So, maybe you should go camping. But, overall, I hope you don’t take a break. You’re impatient and frustrated with the debt. So, direct that somewhere useful. Useful is not spending money to make yourself feel better. That’s how the debt happened πŸ™‚ Directing the energy in a useful direction would mean using the impatience to get out of debt faster. I’ve found that I can pretty much do anything I set my mind to if I know it’s short term. So, what if you and your husband went nuts for 2-3 months and got rid of the debt? Both of you work 80 hours a week, take on extra jobs, assignments, babysitting, yard work, literally anything that’s legal. Yes, it will suck and you’ll have to juggle childcare. But, for such a short period of time, I think it’s worth it.

  • Reply Anonymous Reader |

    These days a prospective employer is likely to look at your credit report, so they will know about your debt. I would be more worried about protecting myself and my family from internet exposure so I would not disclose identifying details.

    It might make sense to discuss some of the numbers without discussing the details of the actual business. Other bloggers starting businesses have discussed their investments of time and money to get the business started, time to first revenue, how revenue and expense grow as the business gets going, and time to profitability. Once you achieve profitability, then you can explain how you use the additional income to reduce debt, increase savings, and spend.

  • Reply Amphritrite |

    It’s a good idea to definitely take some time and go … just do it as cheaply as possible so that you don’t dent your debt payoff.

    – Find a campground close by.
    – Take the car with the better gas mileage.
    – Fill up on a Tuesday (gas tends to be cheaper on Tuesdays).
    – Make some make-ahead meals at home, instead of buying up camping meals at the store.
    – Air out your sleeping bags and tents a few days before you go so that you’re comfortable and things don’t smell musty.
    – Take a camera. Pictures help, trust me!
    – Do NOT take laptops or cell phones or anything that allows you to access anything having to do with money. If you need a cell for emergencies, turn it OFF.
    – Make your own ice for the cooler.
    – If you have to purchase a cooler, go with a styrofoam one. They’re cheap and dry quickly for the next time you need it.
    – Use old, beat up tennis shoes instead of buying new watersocks for when you go swimming or fishing.
    – Catch your own food, if possible.
    – Take a deck of cards or some board games with you for entertainment. Everyone has these!
    – Check out some library books for those readers who want to read in the car, instead of buying new ones.

    Deep breath πŸ™‚ Take some time for yourself and recharge, just do it wisely.

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    I’d spend $60 on an Xbox 360 game to get my mind off of reality for a little while. The last game I played was GTA 4, and even after completing it my debt was still hanging around. We have to remind ourselves that we work to live, not live to work. If $60 allows you to feel like you have a life, I say go for it. Your ability to pay off debt is very inspiring and keeps me motivated.

  • Reply mc |

    Have you thought about getting some more use out if the fishing expenses you ha earlier?

  • Reply Kev |

    I feel your pain. Patience has never been a virtue of mine, but I think its actually worse when it involves debt reduction. It cannot happen fast enough for me! I am absolutely obsessed with getting my credit cards paid off and everything else in my life seems to revolve around it.

    Thankfully for me, my girlfriend is a trooper. She is understanding of my goal and surprisingly supportive of her new and not-so-improved cheapskate boyfriend. Every now and then I come to my senses and ease up on the repayment process so that I can take her to a concert or out to dinner. I need it and she deserves it. So, I wouldn’t think twice about spending $60.00 for a camping trip w/ my friends or family. Your debt-free mission is an important one, but it will never be more important than the time you have right now with the people you love most.

    Go, Have fun, Come back home, Get back to kicking butt and taking names.

  • Reply Frugal Babe |

    I know the feeling. It took us nearly three years to dig our way out of debt. The feeling when it’s finally gone is awesome, but those years seemed to last forever at the time. A few breaks here and there are absolutely necessary. The benefits you’ll get from spending a few days in the woods, recharging your batteries, will be worth far more than $60. Go for it – and enjoy!!

  • Reply Holly |

    I’ve only commented once before, back when you made it to your halfway point! And that wasn’t that long ago! You have been able to take a real chunk out of your debt since then… you really don’t have that far to go. I would definitely go on the camping trip, but at the same time realize how close you are to the end.

    Remember, you are inspiring me and countless others…

  • Reply money funk |

    It must be ‘in the air’, because i feel the same way today, too! Camping is a wonderful idea. I am thinking the same. Usually, I take a morning 1-2hr hike just to recenter myself. Although my husband hasn’t been able to understand this concept, it does wonders for my soul.

    I understand the spending guilt, but if you plan it right… I think it is worth it for piece of mind. Enjoy your camping trip.

  • Reply angie baby |

    I just signed up for an ing account so I’m hoping the $10 will go towards your camping excursion.

  • Reply arduous |

    I think you should splurge and go camping. $60 won’t break your bank and it will create memories that will last you forever.

    I’m wondering, if, given your anxiousness, if once you hit $3,750 of debt, if you should just drain your savings acct and pay it off? Presumably by then you’ll no longer have a zero percent interest credit card?

    Something to consider…

  • Reply Da Big D |

    I would like to make a suggestion that you STOP thinking of what a potential employer will think if they knew you were in debt. If you live you life thinking you won’t get a job, well then you won’t.
    I work for a contracting company in the DC area, and hire about 300 people a year. We don’t look at their personal life, we look at their professional life. We care about what they can do for us, how well, and will they put the company first.

    Funny thing is, recently I have found out the follwoing about some employees:
    3 have filed for bankruptcy
    5 have been foreclosed on
    1 is a leading dominatrix at some bondage club
    2 or 3 (can’t rememeber and really don’t care) have come out of the closet (good for them about time!)
    And numerous others have lots of other issues…

    My advise is to live your life, people already have made up their mind about you, and you can’t change it.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Amphritrite – Great tips!

    mc – We would take the fishing poles. We also have been using them this summer overall, but still waiting to catch some edibles! πŸ™‚

    Kev – “Go, Have fun, Come back home, Get back to kicking butt and taking names.” LOVE THAT!!!

    angie baby – My ING referrals have been gone some time, but I thank you for using a link and helping me help others get the referral πŸ™‚

    arduous – I am impatient right now, but I don’t think that I would use up our savings unless we were getting hit really hard with interest. I did have some money dangling in front of me a while ago and if I took the offer our credit card debt would be gone right now. Someone gave a nice offer to purchase this blog. Tough to swallow during times like these when I am impatient. But I don’t regret my decision.

    So I guess when I am impatient, I still have some patience left πŸ˜›

    Da Big D – With my job, I deal with others on behalf of my employer. That is where my fear lies. The people I deal with may not like the fact that I blog about our debt. That can ripple up to my employer.

    I do let worrying hold me back, and I know you’ve called me on that a few times πŸ™‚

  • Reply Abby |

    Frugal burnout is totally normal. There are days I wonder if we’ll ever be finished with this, while we try to make ends meet on disability and unemployment.

    You need to find a nice way to treat yourself. If you have MyPoints or mystery shop, that’s an excellent, affordable way to have a nice night out with your hubby.

    And your camping/fishing idea sounds great, too!

    I’m sorry your running low on patience. It gets us all down, at some point. Maybe it will help to look back at your original amounts and today’s amounts. I think most of us get down because we feel like we’re not making enough progress.

    Take care

  • Reply Fellowes |

    Tricia, you absolutely should take some time for yourself. The timing of you post it almost odd. I FINALLY got back to blogging on my site and a large part of why I let it go for several months was exactly the kind of burnout you seem to be getting to. You have done an AMAZING job and your debt is low interest so take time for your soul. The debt will be paid off soon enough and in no small part due to your VERY hard work. Don’t burn out and take care of yourself. I have SO far to go and you continue to inspire me everyday.

  • Reply MB |

    Go camping! I just returned from a week long camping trip. One of the reasons that I like camping is that it gives me some time away and gives me a new perspective on my priorities. It sounds like you might be looking for a new perspective, and I hope you could find it.

    I saw a bald eagle while I was out and I thought of you and wished you well. I hope you enjoy your trip.

  • Reply Emmi |

    Keep on Truckin’

    Finishing is the goal, but making incremental progress is the reality. It may feel like a stall, but not sliding back on the debt is a victory by itself. You’ll get some traction soon and move forward again. Life is cyclic.

  • Reply Jen Alford |

    I totallly understand about feeling burnout. I’m in year 1 of a 3 year plan to be out of debt and some days it is very hard to stay focused. I agree that a mini-break might help (as others have suggested). I’d also add that you have much to be proud of in your progress. I actually had a setback this year with a roof that had to be replaced and I’m working some overtime every week to try and make up for it. As a result I’m very tired and a bit disenheartened too. I keep trying to focus on the positives of where I’ll be in 2011 and how much more in control of my life I will be then. Keep your eyes on the goal and you can pull through this rough patch!

  • Reply michael wong |

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    If yes, please leave your blog url as a comment at:
    http://bigmoneylist.blogspot.com/
    I’ll link to you first, then when you have time link back k?
    Thanks, Michael
    BTW–I’m michaelwong38 on digg. If ever you want something dugg, just send me a shout anytime.

  • Reply Jen |

    I can’t believe how hooked I have become and Tricia’s efforts. I am anxiously reloading this page to see what has happened in the last three days! Tricia, you are truly an inspiration. Don’t get down on yourself.

  • Reply Amber Jones |

    We keep going up and down. We get really good with our debt-repayment… and then we sink back down and use our credit cards or splurge on non-neccesitites. It sounds like you have been doing really well with creating a budget and sticking to it. I think if you can go camping for a little over $60 (including gas) then you are doing great! You can look at it as a reward for doing so well on things lately. Whatever your decision, remember to not feel guilty for it.

  • Reply mv |

    You’re journey at this point is almost like a marathon. Marathoners say the halfway point is mile 20 (not mile 13). Mile 20 is where it supposedly starts to hit you bad & you want to quit, cause it’s hard & you’re tired. You’ve come a long way, paying off well over half of your debt. I’m sure the home stretch is difficult, because you’ve put so much time & effort into it, but you’re almost done.

    Take a short break and Go Camping!

    I just returned from a 7 day camping vacation in the northern area of the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range (California), oh how I wish I could be back there in the mountains, at the river below our camp site or high mountain lake a few miles away, lounging, fishing, hiking, enjoying the scenery and doing a whole lotta nothin’ all the while creating some very nice memories that will last a lifetime.

    $60 is very little for camping..and the memories will last a lifetime.

  • Reply Dianne |

    I think you should do the Dave Ramsey plan and bring your savings down to $1,000 and you’d be $2750 left in debt. I don’t know what your annual income is, but I bet you could knock out $5,000 in debt pretty quick by having a written budget. You can easily cash flow a camping trip and not feel guilty about taking it. You could have even borrowed some chairs and saved even more!

  • Reply Lazy Man and Money |

    I’m glad to see you got to go camping. It usually a nice frugal activity (if you have the equipment) and if you enjoy it, fantastic. I would continue to stay the course, but look to maximize the fun frugal things you can do. For instance picnicking is cheap as well.

    What am I saying, you know all the cheap things that can be a lot of fun. Why not go do some of those, so you get a break without breaking the bank.

  • Reply TheDebtHero |

    This is the best time to feel the burn of impatience. I say that because when a company, a person or a country can prosper during economic downturns, how much better will they be in economic good times. Enjoy the pain of slow progress, it means you are alive.

  • Reply Mike |

    I have to say that you have done a great job paying off debt! Not everyone can do that. Keep it going, hang in there. I personally own $12,000 in Credit Card Debt and I’m having a real hard time about it. I too have started a blog to help me cope with the pain – Become wealthy with Mike
    My hats off to you, you have made your future so bright! Drop me a line if you ever get a chance, you have my email address πŸ™‚

    Mike

So, what do you think ?