First, to restart this journey, it’s time to look at why I want to get out of debt.
- Peace of Mind
- Enjoy Life
- Save for the Future
- Reduce Relational Stress
Point 1: Peace of Mind
I think anyone who wants to get rid of their debt wants to regain peace of mind. If you’re not constantly stressing and worrying about money, then you have more mental space to think about more important things! Not to mention the less stress we feel in our lives, the better our health!
Point 2: Enjoy Life
I’m into some crazy stuff. Pole fitness, aerial silks, Parkour, Krav Maga, yoga and dance. I really like to try, learn and experience all those fun, physical activities. But, they cost money!! If my money is constantly being eaten up by debt, I’ll never really get the chance to throw myself into these physical pursuits.
I also have some bucket list places I would love to visit. Many of the Asian countries, Europe, parts of Africa…there are some beautiful sites to see in these places that should be on everyone’s list. But, of course, it costs $$$!.
Point 3: Save for the Future
This has a few different parts.
First, let’s talk about me. I don’t want to be that senior citizen struggling to make ends meet. I want to have a comfortable retirement once I hit retirement age (which I suspect will be 70 by the time our generation gets there). I’d rather have interest work for me rather than against me, which is what is happening as I continue to make minimal payments on my debt (I actually don’t pay the minimum, but we’ll discuss that in another post).
Two, let’s talk about more stuff that hasn’t even happened yet. A home and kids. I plan on having a couple of kids starting in the next two years, but before that happens, fiance insists that we need to get a bigger house first. I think once a few things happen in our area, he’ll get a decent equity on the house, but it still makes me nervous to take on a higher mortgage payment, which is what will need to happen to get that larger house so I would like to have some more money socked away before we buy.
And, then, having kids isn’t cheap. Of course being pregnant costs money, all those pre-natal vitamins, doc visits and the delivery itself cost an arm and a leg. Once baby is born, we’ll have to buy more groceries and clothing; divert more money to medical expenses; education, extra curricular activities and related extras to keep the kids entertained and smart. Plus, I would like to fund my children’s college education, so we have to save for that as well. It’ll cause a lot of stress if I’m in debt and trying to create a future for myself and my kids.
Point 4: Reduce Relationship Stress
I don’t want to be one of those people who divorce because of money. I think this is a multi-dimensional issue beyond just not agreeing with your spouse on how to save and spend your money. If you’re under financial stress, you’re less likely to have relations with your spouse, you’re more likely to become angry with your spouse and you’ll end up saying and doing stupid things because of that stress. Fiance hates debt, having a mortgage stresses him out, so I don’t need to add to that stress. It’s time to end my cycle of poor money management and start getting out of debt and create a strong, financially comfortable relationship.
I think Joe is right. Having clear goals in place will make getting through this game easier. I always think about these goals individually, but I’ve never put them into a nicely wrapped package to look at and aim for when I’m starting to lose track. I will hopefully remember this post and read it when I start to take my eyes off the prize, or prizes as this case may be!