The Post Where I Eat an Entire Package of Skinny Feels: Celebrating Debt Milestones
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.
How about, “No shiny crap looks as good as control feels.”
I’m talking about the sense of control you feel when you, and you alone, decide how you spend the limited time you have left on this earth. That’s one of my life goals.
As of yesterday, I have paid off a tad over half of my credit card debt. Last year, my credit card debt was at an all time high of $30,340. My current balance is now $15,000.00! Yes, this credit card is half-dead and running for it’s life.
Ha! Resistance is futile, you evil little card.
After some fits and starts last year (i.e. losing my job and being unemployed for 3-4 months, and later after getting a new job in another state, moving into my current overpriced apartment out of desperation), I’m finally back on track with my debt paydown.
I haven’t decided what, if anything, I’ll do to celebrate this midway milestone.
I know that in 8 months or so when this infernal credit card is finally paid off IN FULL, I am going to celebrate by doing the one thing I haven’t been able to justify doing in the past 10 years. I’m going to take an international trip!
Most Americans have small to medium debt loads (excluding mortgage) that can be paid off in 2-3 years of “Gazelle Intensity”. Sacrificing our wants for 2-3 years is not fun, by very doable.
For those of us with massive debt ($100,000 +), the challenge becomes learning how to delay gratification without delaying life.
We can’t delay life for 10 years. I’m talking to those of us in our mid-30s and up. I’m 39. I can’t afford to delay life for another 10 years while I tackle this student loan debt and save for retirement. That’s a deferred life plan. I regret not using my passport for a decade. The reason was entirely financial. I’ve had too much debt, and not enough money for a long time. I still have too much debt and not enough money, but while debt payoff is important, I’ve realized that living life is also important. I’m learning the meaning of “balance”.
Minimalism is teaching me to identify the top things I value the most and to put my energy in those places. For me, travel is one of those things. While travel is absolutely fun and fruitful at every stage of life, there are some things you can get away with, and some venues that are open to you only when you are younger (in your twenties and to a lesser extent into your thirties). I want to travel now and I want to keep traveling.
For those of you who are also deep in debt and a little ‘less young’, it is important that you plan and celebrate debt milestones by doing those precious few things that you value the most, whatever they may be.
I’ll save up and pay for my trip up front in cash of course. That almost goes without saying. I’m about 70% decided on where I want to go, but I have a list of places I’ve been wanting to see for the past 10 years, so my first destination is not certain. However, wherever I land, it will be someplace awesome.
And you know what? They are right. Skinny Feels are freaking delicious!
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)