Paying Down Debt Takes Time


Originally uploaded by Garretc

Debt is a way of life for many people; they pay their credit cards in order to be able to use that credit for their day-to-day expenses. They are so tapped out that they simply have no room for error; their day job becomes so important because everything is in a very fine balance. They use one payment to make sure another one gets paid and they are stressed out of their minds. I hope I’m not describing you! I know what its like; I used to live this life. This might not be your exact situation but if you’re in debt you feel its pressure and getting rid of it takes time.

So you’d like to get out! You dream about it, it captures your every thought. Guess what, if you’ve managed to get yourself into some serious debt its going to take time to pay it down and get out. There is no quick fix for getting out of debt unless you make a mountain of money all at once. Paying down debt is a process that takes time. Personally I’m still struggling with this process and I’ve slowly made some headway, but it has been slow.

The perfect example, an inspiration for me, to keep paying down debt and proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel is Tricia from Blogging Away Debt. She knew it would take time to get out of debt and she applied herself and did everything possible. She even worked two jobs for a while. She’s still in debt but I’ve been watching her credit card debt creep down slowly over the past couple years while mine has close to the same. It’s all a long process and you have to apply yourself.

Its not fun to pay down debt versus spending more money but the reality is you need to get that debt paid down to be able to have any financial freedom. You might not have enough money to be free from having to work but that doesn’t mean you have to be weighed down by the debt. Another great benefit once you actually pay off debt is that purchases won’t cost huge amounts of money due to interest. For example I’d like to buy a new laptop for myself but I don’t have the necessary $750, I contemplated putting it on a credit card (briefly). If I don’t pay that laptop off in a year I’m paying $135 in interest (standard 18% card). Being in debt prevents me from making purchases like this because I know there is a chance I won’t be able to pay everything down quickly enough. I don’t want to pay 2 or 3 times for my purchase just because I’m in debt. It’s not fun passing up purchases because you need to maintain a minimalist lifestyle.

The good news is that although this process might take a fairly long time you can see the effects and the light at the end of the tunnel does get brighter. Can you imagine what it would be like to not live from pay to pay? I’m looking forward to that day.

3 thoughts on “Paying Down Debt Takes Time”

  1. On one hand, I agree with you that it takes time, but on the other hand, I think we need to be careful that we don’t use that as an excuse not to work like crazy to get out.

    When my wife and I decided to finally get out of debt 3 years ago, it took us 18 months, and we got “gazelle intense’ as Dave Ramsey talks about. We did the following:

    1. Sold our house (not recommended, but it got us out twice as fast)
    2. Worked extra jobs
    3. Stopped paying into my 403(b)
    4. Had 2 garage sales
    5. Got on a tight, lean budget.

    Keep working hard at getting out of debt as fast as you can!

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