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My Thoughts About My Month Off

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I hope everyone is having a fantastic start to their week, even after the bad news we all got (Ashley’s Father). Ashley- if you’re reading this, my heart goes out to you and your family during this time.

Writing this post seems pretty trivial after this weekend, but now it’s nearing the end of my month off from paying off any debt, I want to provide everyone with my what my feelings have been during this time:

  • I felt like I had more money than ever before. Which was true- I’ve never been able to spend like I spent this month without incurring extra. And even with this fact in mind, the money is all gone, sorta- I put $500 into my savings.  But I can plainly see how people’s expenses can grow to meet their income, and it a lot of cases, exceed their income, without a good deal of oversight.
  • I felt good spending the money. It was awesome (and greatly needed) that I bought new clothes. It felt good to be able to spend “freely” in Disney. We’ve certainly enjoyed eating out and going for ice cream and the other activities we did that we normally wouldn’t have.
  • But I don’t want to make it a habit. I had a ton of money to spend, I spent it, it felt pretty good spending it, but I don’t want to make it a habit. In the short term- I have the goal of paying off debt while saving as much as I can for retirement. In the long term, I may be debt free, but I don’t want to live with a mountain of stuff only because I’ll have the money available. I think this may be obvious to a lot of you that I wouldn’t want to end up this way after spending so many years tackling this debt, but I want to reiterate it here for my own peace of mind after all the spending I did this month. It was a fun month but not the lifestyle I want to live.
  • And at the end I’m no happier than I was. At the end of this month, with all the money I spent, I didn’t leave this month any happier than it began. It may be because I still have a mountain of debt to payoff, or it may be because after all the “stuff” I bought, it couldn’t buy me happiness, just like the cliche saying. The Disney trip made me unbelievable happy and I’ll always have those memories- but it was over in an instant and we we’re back to everyday lives, albeit with some added post-Disney depression.
  • However, it did make me ready to go again for more payoff. I think this was the biggest outcome I got from the month off. TBH- I was feeling very mentally drained towards the end of June, which I think you could all tell, so this allowed me a little bit of R&R. But now, I’m READY to get back into it! Like an athlete that had to sit out a year due to injury, I’m going to hit the next half of my payoff with a full head of steam, (while still having that oh so important life/payoff balance :))

What are your thoughts concerning my month off? Have you done anything similar? Was it worth it or did you regret it? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll have one more week of my month off (but I pay my mortgage this week, so it won’t feel like it), at which point I’ll be back with my weekly debt updates and my month ending reviews.

Have a great rest of your week!


9 Comments

  • Reply Ashley |

    Thanks for the kind words! I loved reading your insights – especially about not particularly being any happier from spending the money. Definitely makes the cliche ring true! I didn’t comment before, but I was also super impressed that all your clothes were 3+ years old prior to this month! About time for a little wardrobe update! That just speaks to your dedication to debt-payoff! Great progress and glad you had a fun month off! : )

    • Reply Matt |

      Thanks Ashley! And you’re right- it was definitely time. I can go with one or two holes in my clothes, but after that they start to lose their function, lol.

  • Reply Sue |

    I think it is good to let a little spending “freedom” into your life every now and then when you don’t account for every penny (even though to many of us that is “fun”) but am glad you have a renewed interest in getting the rest of that debt paid off and your future secured. Balance is life 🙂

    • Reply Matt |

      Thanks for the comment Sue. I have a very renewed interest. I’m really looking forward to the remaining payoff now.

      BTW- I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the financial and budgeting side of life fun :).

  • Reply Judi |

    I’m glad you found some resilience for debt pay off in the midst of your month off! We have done a month off once a year since we started debt pay off. It usually coincides with a large debt being paid off and a yearly vacation. It really invigorates us to finish the debts because we see what life could be like without it. However, we had a mountain of debt from law school for the DH, which means like your payoff process it just takes longer. But we re almost done!

    • Reply Matt |

      Right! I knew I needed the month off for my mind’s sake but I also knew it would thank longer. To me, the month off was worth the little bit of extra time. Who knows? Had I not taken it off, I may have given off all together in 6 months, so I’m pretty glad I’m excited to get back in the game.

      How much do you have left to go?

  • Reply Den |

    I love that you had a break from debt repayment, but I really love that you don’t want to continue with that lifestyle.

    Whenever we have taken a break from debt repayment (usually vacations) it reinforces our desire to be debt free. We love the freedom of making choices and having options. We want to be debt free not to be wealthy, but to have FREEDOM:)

    What’s your next target debt? Do you have a target pay off date for that? I can’t wait to see your next debt post now that you are refreshed and ready to knock out those debts.

    • Reply Matt |

      Yes! I can’t wait to have that freedom! I’ve only been thinking about it for the past 6 years now, lol.

      Next target debt is the smaller one (the one worth ~$5,800, I believe it’s Sallie Mae 05). Not sure which will follow that one, yet. I want to have it paid off by Halloween, so I don’t have much time to spare.

So, what do you think ?