Debt Repayment 2.0: Debt fatigue, one year in.
Despite the fact that my student loan has been in “Repayment” since 2007, it’s been almost a year since I truly committed to paying off my debt. Mentally, I dotted the I’s, crossed my T’s, signed up for Mint.com and wrote my first personal finance-y post last August, Personal Finance Tips that Suck. I didn’t write it thinking that it would be my first of many debt admissions, I wrote it because I was sick of reading patronizing sites that kept repeating the same schlock about debt repayment. I wanted to find people sharing actual PLANS, I wanted actual strategies and I wanted a real community to help me with this mission. While I still haven’t quite found a footing in the community, through Twitter and some blogs I’ve definitely made some friends along the way.
As of my scheduled payment next week, I’ve put down about $8400 to my student loan since June 1, 2012. My first three months were spotty as I was paying off my credit card first (wish I’d saved that information!) But barring any emergency, if I continue my debt repayment at this pace, I will be debt free just before my 29th birthday!
The best part? Despite my budgeting, I’ve actually DONE things this year too! I took a week long vacation to London (my first time in Europe!) and over the course of the summer I’m spending a day at the Stratford Festival, visiting a friend in Windsor in early August, I’m going camping and even have a trip to New Orleans planned for November! I’ve done more in a year, and paid off more in a year, than ever in my life. I often wonder where that money went in the past…
While I’ve maintained pretty good budgeting throughout the year, I’ve still purchased clothes, attended plays, seen movies, splurged at some restaurants and made sure to say “yes” to myself every once in awhile. But one year in to this “Debt Repayment 2.0” mode that I’ve been in (despite the fact that I’ve been paying off this debt slowly and stupidly for YEARS) debt fatigue has kicked in lately, and it’s kicked in something FIERCE.
When I read about some other PF’ers getting exhausted by debt fatigue, I thought to myself “So glad that’s not me!” and patted myself on the back for keeping on top of my goals, but then, boom, mid-July I got hit with a big case of the WHYCANTIHAVEITS? From a pair of Fluevog shoes, to a Nintendo 3DS, to a moderately expensive sunhat, I wanted it all! I’m not sure if it has something to do with the summer, that never-ending feeling leftover from school that “something good” starts every September, making you want to buy shiny new things, but I have it right now and it SUCKS.
Logically, I know that moving forward, this will just pass, but I have to admit that I’ve filled up many online shopping carts this week, only to watch them expire. It’s weird, it’s tempting, but it’s mildly cathartic. I know that I’m not really in trouble yet, until the day when I click “Buy now”.
Are you suffering from debt fatigue? What did you do about it?