I am running my own debt race. The last few months I have realised that the pace that I set can change from time to time, but as long as I am moving forward, I will cross the finish line. It may be later than I planned, but I will finish regardless.
In an earlier post, I compared paying off significant debt to running a marathon. I actually ran my first marathon at the start of June, and let me tell you, now I know what it feels like to run a marathon, the analogy could not be more true!
Where have I been these last few months? Ive been here, plugging away at debt, but Ive relaxed my grip on the expectations I placed on myself to meet my targets every week, and every month. If I didn’t relax, I would have given up all together.
I came out at the start of this debt breakup totally focused on clearing this debt in 8 months. I stood at the starting line of the marathon, believing I could finish by 4 hours and 40 mins. I had this time set in my head, just like I had an 8 month deadline to be debt free.
And they both started so well. But like many marathon rookies – EVEN THOUGH I KNEW THIS – I ran to fast at the start. I was excited to be there, all that training, and I just wanted to run.
When I paid my first debt repayment in February, I was champing at the bit to get this thing rolling, budgeting my way to what appears now, to be a fairly unrealistic timeframe.
And don’t we always start with a bang on any new endeavour. But where does the hard work come in? Not at the start when it’s all new and fresh and ‘Yeh baby, I can DO this!!” *high fives self*
The hard part comes in when you are in the thick of it, on the longest stretch, where it just seems there is no fcking end in sight. During the marathon, that was the 26km – 35km stretch. I’d lost sight of the 4 hour 30 min pacer – he smashed past me about 22kms. I knew then, that I wasn’t going to finish in the time I wanted. Although I felt no different physically, mentally, that realisation almost shut me down. I wanted to give up. I just told myself to let it go – run your own race. I slowed down at that point, if I didn’t, I would have burnt out at the pace I was running and wouldn’t have been able to finish. Mid race, I adjusted my mental expectations, set a new pace and kept going.
Run your own race.
I am at that same stage with debt. I’m deep into the second card repayments – and it’s once step forward, 2 steps back. I wasn’t where I had planned to be at this stage and it was doing my head in.I wanted to give up and say fck it, everyone is in debt – why bother? Then head to the nearest mall and drop 1k on a new wardrobe 😉
But instead, I have just adjusted my expectations of myself and what I can afford to pay off, and what I do want to spend my money on. I don’t want to miss out on living my life. I don’t want to not buy a coffee everyday – yes peoples, you will hear no more griping about coffee on this blog. Ive come to peace with the fact that coffee is my little burst of morning happiness, and for $3.90 a day – I’m buying that happiness 😉
I finished the marathon in 4 hours 56mins. Longer than I expected. But I FINISHED.
I will break up with all my debt. It will take longer than I thought. But I will FINISH.
Don’t give up. Change your pace if you need to. And keep moving forward.
So peeps, here is my debt summary at 18 weeks:
Credit card #1: 0.00
Credit cards #2: $2140.00
Personal loan: $6977.00
Total debt: $9117.00
Total starting debt: $14,744.12
Debt reduced by week 18: $5627.12
Ps – I cracked the under $10,000 mark and didn’t even realise until I did the sums just now!