[-$44,016] Standing Still and Feeling Dragged Along

Image credit: ‘Feeling Blue’ by lukechueh (DeviantArt)

FEELING BLUE

I’ve been feeling blue and unmotivated to write lately. I think a big part of it is because I’m at a standstill with making any progress on debt repayment. I sent $70 toward my student loan a few days ago while the other $900+ went to pay off that blasted medical bill. In the meantime interest continues to accrue…

I also have a recently announced family event that I must attend. I do want to go and be supportive, but my bank account was not prepared for this. Not going is not an option as the guilt tripping from family would be enormous. The travel will cost $500. I’ve got that chillin’ on my credit card at the moment.

There will also be another mandatory family event later this year. That will probably be another $500 at the very least.

I’ve also been overspending my allowance budget and have been pulling from my Opportunity Fund. I’ll need to lower my next couple of student loan payments to get everything settled. With everything going on, I just see my debt payoff date getting pushed back further and further…  

For the past few months or so my investments appear to just be spinning in place and not going anywhere either. Any (small) gains appear to be from the money I’m putting in and not from earnings. At the same time I don’t want to complain too loudly as a rumored recession could make the markets move sharply south. Aaaand I don’t want that…

I’m also concerned about my body and health. Every month I pick up additional aches and pains. My skin is definitely getting worse. I’m just not looking healthy. Some of it may be simple aging, but the rest is assuredly lifestyle. Right now, I just want my own place to live very close to a good gym and grocery store, but I’m trapped by this debt. I can’t afford rent on an apartment out here and the minimum monthly student loan payment.  I have to hold out for another year and a half… I will need to put in more effort to make better choices about the (prepared) food that I buy and try to work out from home.

FEELING STRESSED

On top of all that, my job is stressing me out right now for two reasons. Our new-ish executive leadership is insane. For the next several weeks, I’m being asked to do the work of two people with ever shortening timelines to get it all done. The past few days in particular have been the worst. Each day I have been informed that I needed to make a major change to what I’m working on (because leadership can’t figure out what they want). Yesterday, I was told that the due date for my contributions is now two weeks earlier, because… why not – it’s what leadership wants. My poor manager has it ten times worse and is about to snap. Fortunately, this won’t be forever, only the next month or two, until this Initiative is over.

The second part is that leadership want us to employ new state of the art work processes which change the scope of our roles. I’m being dragged into the new way of doing things. The changes call for brand new skills and knowledge as my role will now be much broader, more in the spotlight and on the spot to lead and solve problems.  Why? Because this is what leadership wants. So we are trying to educate ourselves on how to do all this, because they aren’t paying for us to take coursework. There’s no money for that apparently. ::eyeroll::  The cherry on top is that there are veiled references to what could happen if my group does not meet their expectations. This adds more stress.

I’m not sure what to do. I’m hesitant to make any moves until 1) I’m out of all debt and 2) I have 1 year of expenses saved in case the next job doesn’t work out. Yes, maybe I’m a taaad overly cautions. I also don’t want to abandon my manager at a critical time.  Plus I haven’t forgotten the experience I went through the last time I tested the market.

I’ll keep an eye out for other options, but with everything going on it will be difficult to find the time to pursue anything, at least for the next month or two.

Why? … Because it’s what leadership wants.

PUNCH OF THE WEEK

I’m getting punched these days as my student loan debt is getting a second wind and growing. Oof! Ouch!

.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)

 

 

 

44 comments

  1. person1984 · August 4

    Hello. I have been following your blog for a couple of years now and can remember you being in 6 figures. Don’t forget to look where you have come from too as you have cleared nearly 100,000 dollars of debt all by yourself! You should be so proud of yourself. Heck I’m proud of you and I don’t even really know you lol. I’ve even mentioned you to family and friends and always say if I ever come into money I’ll be emailing you for details so I can help you out 🙂 I’m sure I’m not the only one out here rooting for you. You are not alone

    Keep up the good work you will get out of debtors prison one day and feel so free

    (sorry if this is my second posting, I don’t think the first one worked)

    Like

    • Ohhh! That’s so sweet! Thanks so much for the kind words. I really need them these days. I am trying to keep perspective. There are times when it feels more difficult. Thanks again for taking the time to write and send some positivity my way. 🙂

      Like

  2. layingdownlawdebt · August 4

    Seconding the person above! It’s so easy to get trapped in the day-to-day and feel like there’s backsliding, when in reality we’re just in the middle of the journey. I understand this completely, since we’ve stopped hitting my law school loans and it stresses me to see them go up every month. But, we’re hitting the spouse loans harder and we’ll get them gone in 5 years, and I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

    Like

    • Thank you.

      Indeed. As you well know, being debt and sacrificing for years and years AND YEARS on end is soooo hard. I just want to come up for air.

      I’m just going to try to focus on other things, at least for the time being. I think that should help. Thank you for the encouragement. And I really wish the same for both of you. Keep fighting the good fight to slay your debt monster. Hang in there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kimncolumbia · August 4

    Debt repayment, or weight loss, or smoke cessation or whatever we are trying to do should be a straight line. If we’re gung-ho, the Stars should align and make thing possible. Of course it doesn’t work that way, and you know that, there are going to be peaks and valleys. Keep up the good work and do not get discouraged. I am so inspired by reading how great you have done and the sacrifices you are willing to make to kill this debt. Keep it up!!! You don’t just have to write when you’re slaying the debt. That may be when you feel you have something Post-worthy, but the less glamorous times are what make you’re blog real. I love following your story.

    Like

    • Thanks Kim!

      Oh yeah, as you know, my posts are not all sunshine and rainbows. I do celebrate my successes, but being in debt sucks. And I don’t sugar coat it here. heh

      I will definitely keep it up. I have to roll with Life. It doesn’t work the other way around. Thanks for writing. 🙂

      Like

  4. tate2mn@yahoo.com · August 4

    I’m sorry you have hit a bit of a slump. It sounds like your job is closing in on you a bit and, in general, you have debt fatigue. That is understandable! Soldier through these next couple months until the dust settles, and you will be back in the groove. Like Kim said above, it’s never a straight line. I just went through 18 months of grueling cancer treatments, and now I find out I need a knee replacement with all the knee pain I have been experiencing. (Years of jogging on hard surfaces, and it is now bone on bone with no cartilage). But I just have to get over this hurdle, and I think I will be back in the horse. You will too! Keep fighting that good fight,DDSW!

    Like

    • Yes, I will. Thanks for sharing your experience. It certainly helps me to keep perspective. I hope all goes well and that your health and knee get better.

      Like

  5. Cathy E. · August 4

    Yep you are going though a valley. Emphasis on *through*, you have made so much progress and should be proud of that! Keep the faith, remember God wil provide. One day soon we will all be celebrating your debt freedom!

    Like

    • Thanks you, Cathy. I know the other side is there, I just wish I could see it. I’m so ready for it to be over. I just need to practice patience.

      Like

  6. Maria · August 4

    It’s SO frustrating when the leadership sets lofty and/or bizarre goals with little thought as to how this will affect the people doing the actual work. And what a shit sandwich – more/different responsibilities for the employees, but no courses to educate you on how to handle these new responsibilities, and vague threats as to dire consequences for you if you should fail in doing what they want, even though they haven’t bothered training you for it. I hope it will turn out to not be as bad as you’ve feared.

    I’m sorry you’re standing still with debt repayments and that your investments aren’t growing much on their own at the moment. And I’m sorry your health isn’t where it should be. Sounds like a good choice overall, to focus on what you can do with healthier prepared food, and some exercise at home. When I started working out at home after having had health problems that prevented me from exercising for a looooooong time, I was honestly just able to do a couple of minutes a couple of times a week. At first it was very emotionally painful to only be able to handle so little. BUT, even that tiny amount made a noticable difference in terms of strength and flexibility. So even small changes can make a real difference in your health.

    However, I will be so thrilled for you when you finally get your own place!

    Please remember, you’re still doing SO well in many areas. You’ve paid off and invested A LOT. You’ve traveled internationally and you’re seeing your family a lot more. And, for whatever it’s worth, you’re writing my favourite blog. 🙂 And it’s so true what Kimncolumbia said above – we want and expect certain things to be a straight line, but usually it’s a bumpy ride with ups and downs.

    Hang in there!

    Like

    • Yes, I hope the veiled hints are not as bad as I think either! Believe it or not, I’d like to keep my crazy job. 🙂

      Oh, I do realize how far I’ve come financially. It really keeps me going. I can’t imagine going back to that level of debt and having to pay it all down again. I don’t think I could cope.

      Favorite blog? Awwww!! ::blushes:: Thank you. It’s good to hear that my keyboard chicken scratch has value.

      Yes, having my own little apartment is my biggest dream right now. I’ll make a party post on the day I move in for all of us to celebrate. ::party::

      Like

  7. Jane Has Debt · August 4

    You are so close. Summer months always brings on debt fatigue for me. The struggle is real. Just remember it is a journey and you have come far. Hang in there. But sorry about work and its stressors. I always feel I can handle everything as long as work is smooth and feels secure. You have a lot going on.
    But yes, you have others rooting for you too! 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks. Yes. It’s like every year that passes, it gets harder and harder for me to keep strictly to my spending plan.
      I just have to make it through the next 1.5 years and then I don’t have to worry about it again. Rooting is good. I really do appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. AW · August 4

    Sorry to hear you’ve felt like your swimming upstream against a tremendous current. I hope knowing many of us are cheering you on helps bring a little sunshine.
    I started reading your blog when you announced you were worthless (via Rockstar Finance) and found your story so compelling I went back and read every post. I believe you are more resilient than you are feeling at this moment. Your history proves it.
    Just wondering if either of the 2 trips you mention in this post are the 2 potential family trips you referenced in your May post. If not will this trip and the next potential one fulfill your family obligations for this year?
    Hang tight with the new job stressors. You proven yourself there in stressful times before. You will this time too. I pray for strength and peace amidst the crazy for you there.

    Wishing you a much better week. One day at a time is all you can do.

    Like

    • Thank you, AW!

      I had two family event trips planned this year. One I already went on to help an ill family member. The other one was is loosely planned for end of year. I mentioned that one as well in an earlier post knowing it would be financially tight to fit in two sets of plane tickets. So it’s only one new family event that’s being added to the mix, and thus completely overloading my budget.

      Yes, these two remaining events will meet all family obligations for the year. They’ll have to.
      Thank you for the well wishes. 🙂

      Like

  9. The Bookworm · August 5

    You are still my hero!!!!

    Like

  10. Liz P. · August 5

    I’ve been struggling with this as well, so I feel your pain. We just have to remember to keep on going, and that any movement forward is still movement. We are going to struggle with stand-stills, but these too shall pass and we can get back on track. You can do it!

    Like

  11. zeejaythorne · August 5

    Oh lordy, unpaid for training is rough. That does not sound like a pleasant few months. I hope you are able to find time and space to take care of yourself in the ways you know your body needs. Solidarity!

    Like

  12. Solitary Diner · August 5

    I’m sorry everything challenging seems to be happening at the same time. That seems to be the way of life! As everyone else has said, remember to look at the huge progress that you have made so far. You have come an incredibly long way, and you are in the home stretch.

    Like

  13. steveark · August 5

    This could be a real break for you, work situations where the load gets heavy lets top performers separate themselves from the pack and get noticed. Also, other than the funeral of a parent, child or sibling or a wedding of a child or sibling I don’t think there are any truly mandatory family gatherings. Nobody has the power to make you feel guilt, except you. You can do this. You’ve shown that by what you’ve already accomplished.

    Like

  14. Tainted Tiara · August 6

    I feel like we’re living parallel lives! Debt payoff seems to be dragging, work life is evolving, health is suffering. I’m trying to get a new side hustle off the ground and well…summer in Michigan (woot!) is keeping me grounded these days. Hang in there, girl! We got this!

    Like

  15. Terri · August 7

    Oh wow, I feel your stress as I read through this. I’m guessing that even as you were typing it, you were feeling the stress along with it. I don’t have any great words of wisdom other than to say “hang in there, and look back at what you have accomplished so far.” In the past year or so that I’ve been reading your blog, you have really crushed on that debt of yours. So you are slowing down a bit now. That’s ok. Think of how many years ahead of schedule you are in the meantime. And you are.

    YOU ARE.

    I’m going to say it again. YOU ARE AHEAD OF THE GAME.

    Yes, caps were intentional. Because I think you need to be reminded of how amazing you are. I know the executive leadership is insane (worked with those types before myself.)

    But just because they are insane doesn’t change who you are, or what you have done. Just please, don’t forget yourself in all of this insanity.

    We are here for you.

    Virtual hugs,
    Terri

    Like

  16. Eri · August 7

    You are so awesome for sharing so honestly! One thing that keeps me going during times like these is remembering that everything is temporary, although it may not always feel that way. (My temporary has felt like an eternity too and taken up all of my 20s lol). I am in a very similar boat as yours right now. I too am being very cautious and have been considering other opportunities due to major changes coming up in my main full-time job (which came out of no where). Yet, I don’t want to look for other opportunities until I am debt free, because a new job could really impact my evening job schedule. When I start to think about it, I feel trapped from all sides and it is all really comical sometimes. Being in debt makes everything much more challenging, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel! You’ve already gotten so far, and there is no where to go except forward, despite delays. It may feel like forever, but I KNOW you will make it! You are still so inspirational and such a badass in the debt free community, regardless of these challenges, so keep your head up and give yourself some more credit! 😉 Sending you my best!

    Like

    • Hi Eri.
      Yes, it’s so frustrating, that it can feel comical at times. Any possible step out of the corners we’ve painted ourselves into, is fraught with a list of ‘What Ifs…’. Changing employers is always a risk, but doing so with debt is all the more stressful.

      Thanks for the compliments and well wishes.

      Like

  17. Jan · August 7

    I am facing a similar situation in my workplace which is creating huge problems and stress, so I can relate your post!. Remember how far you’ve come, hang in there!

    Like

  18. Michelle · August 8

    I love this post because it resonates with me so much. I have been contemplating writing a post like this. I currently feel like I am not doing enough to met my goals and that I am not meeting them fast enough. It makes me feel depressed. Also, my work is stressful (as it always is) which also contributes to me feeling down. BUT then I think about how far I have come. I have come a long way and you have too. In the grand scheme of things you are so close to being debt free. You are in control of your money and have the ability to adjust things to make the numbers work. That is simply amazing. In a few months you will barely remember this period.

    Like

  19. czanclus · August 8

    Good moves on staying put at the job, though I hope the crazy schedule is over well before the fall starts. I can fully relate to the frustration of that being a virtual must: I’m sitting at my two/three (season-dependent) part-time jobs, entirely neglecting the field I went to school for, as it just seems way too risky to leave the good and satisfying part-time gigs for another contract-to-hire with two years of zero benefits, and a pie in the sky hope that after that I’m hired for the long(ish) haul and can get them. It drives me nuts. If I had no debt, I could take more risks, play around with different options, take time to improve on my skills set etc. until something clicks and I feel decently secure in my position. All my friends have established careers, no student loan debt, HSAs, IRAs, POSITIVE freakin’ net worth despite mortgages and not having the luxury to not work full-time, not to mention paid holidays and vacations, weekends with only sporadic occasions when they need to show up for work… and here I am struggling and rationing my pennies every month to keep the budget under the 99.9% expense/income ratio. Vacations in my world are fiction. Heck, even a picnic by the lakeside is a luxury, given I work (or work on figuring out my career) on the weekends. I missed my sister’s baby shower because not only could I not afford a ticket to NYC (though she said she’d cover it), I could not afford not to work during the weekend. My family doesn’t get it, and my friends… well, are all but done apologizing for my absence during weekly get-togethers and out of town weekend trips. I am seriously missing out on building a community at an age where such an investment is crucial. Anyway, thought I’d let you know in case you feel alone in the debt slaying battle.

    Persevere through the next couple of months the best you can. It’s not the end of the world, given where you are with your other assets, if your debt payoff takes a little longer. Health and sanity first. Also, is California a must location-wise? I don’t know what sort of job you do or would like, but my daughter’s dad’s firm is letting someone in a senior level expert go, and he says he’s gonna cry if they don’t find a replacement soon. Perhaps someone like you could be the right fit? If you’re interested, email me at czanclus @ yahoo. Best wishes for the tough times.

    Like

    • Yes. Debt is so restricting. It’s really evil.
      Thank you for the job connection offer, but I feel like I need to stay where I am for now for stability.
      Keep fighting, czanclus!

      Like

  20. C@thesingledollar · August 9

    I hope you’re feeling a bit better! I know how frustrating it is to feel stuck — I feel stuck myself right now. I do think it’s important to write yourself a note and pin it to the bathroom mirror, reminding yourself of just how far you’ve come. Which is a LONG LONG WAY.

    Like

    • Yeah. I’ve got a couple of cool milestones coming up which help me keep perspective. It’s just that the closer I get to getting this debt paid off, the more impatient I get.

      Like

  21. Anonymess · August 13

    DD, I just wanted to join the chorus recognizing all you’ve accomplished and all you’ve been through and sacrificed to make such progress.

    Sending virtual hugs and internet high-fives, Miss D.

    Like

    • Thanks, Anonymess! 🙂
      Looks like you’re going through a thorny patch of serial inconveniences right now. When it rains, it pours. 😦
      Hang in there!

      Like

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