In Limbo

I’m waiting to hear back about the results of my second interview. Waiting for the next one to happen.  I’m waiting for my partner to be done with school. I’m waiting to get out of debt.  Waiting for checks to arrive.

It feels like a whole lot of waiting, and I am not the most patient person there is. Amidst all the waiting, there has been a lot of working, too. I’ve been working hard and I am yearning for Saturday, which will be my first day off this month. In 72 hours, I can sleep in. I can catch up with other blogs, write more, and relax.

Which is good, because lately I’ve been suffering from the blahs. I wouldn’t say that I am unmotivated lately, just that I am tired. I am feeling burnt out and definitely feeling some debt fatigue. I realized I have paid off 5k in three months, which is absolutely mind boggling to me. If I kept at that pace, I’d pay off 20k this year!

The thing is, I can’t keep up with that pace anymore. I spent a significant chunk of my savings to make that happen. I’ve been hustling and getting as many gigs as I can find to throw extra money towards the debt.  I guess I just feel like I was on a roll, now I am just stuck. My employment situation is uncertain, so I need to take the precautions to be prepared.  I worry about my future employment and the state of my debts. I obsessively calculate what monthly payment I can make, how I can get out of debt sooner and fantasize about being debt free. I’ve calculated what it would take to get out of debt a full year sooner than my desired debt free date, and that would require me to pay $1600 for the next 2.7 years.  That’s a hard number to swallow for someone who might be unemployed in six weeks and can’t accurately grasp what the future looks like.

That is so much money and feels like forever. I know it’s not forever and I am still young, but I really hate being in debt. I am sick of thinking about it. I am sick of analyzing every purchase I make and internalizing that guilt.

I feel silly as a personal finance blogger–a fake, a phony. I cannot write, How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt, How to Pay off your Student Loans in a Year, or How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early. I can’t write those informative articles because I am STILL in it and it’s a STRUGGLE. I could write, How to apply for food stamps if you were formerly middle Class or How to not kill yourself when your loans are driving you crazy, or How to take any job you can get after you get your master’s, but at the end of the day I don’t know how many people want to read that.

I apologize if this is an emotionally self-indulgent rant, but I feel a little better.  I just need to practice patience, continue working hard and realize these things take time. Keep it in perspective and realize I don’t have it so bad after all. Stop comparing myself to others and know one day I will be debt free too.

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16 responses to “In Limbo

  1. I can totally relate to this post, I feel the exact same way. I’m still paying off debt and everytime I read an article about how someone paid of $60K in debt in 6 months or something ridiculous I get angry/upset. Its taken me 3+ years to get out of $22K in debt and I’m still not done. I think I make a reasonable salary so I wonder how much someone has to make to pay off that kind of money? In the end, I just remind myself that I work hard and I’m trying my best to get out of this mess and that I’ve come a long way already. You’ll get there one day too, its the wait that’s the hard part 🙂

    • Thanks, Morgaine! It IS hard, but we will get there eventually. It’s hard when things don’t happen as fast as you want, but seems like we are on the right track.

  2. Like you were telling me on my blog a few days ago when I was feeling down about my debt and silly as a PF blogger, it’s nice to read other blogs who are still in debt. Who really cares about the informative stuff? It’s all common sense really. Most people care about the personal stories I think 🙂

    • got it! thanks for the support, love! I agree, the personal stories are what makes me love the pf world. Also, I realize there might be others reading my blog that are not related to the pf world, per se, but looking for others who are in similar situations. I know, I used to be one of them (I think that’s called a lurker, yes?).

  3. I think one thing to keep in mind is that this whole process will have highs (such as $5k in three months – wow!) and lows (maybe not being able to pay as much in any given month). But the objective is to keep going, and to keep moving forward. We’re all here to support you through this journey, and we can’t wait to see you at the finish line. So just remember to keep moving one (financial) step in front of the other – you’re doing great! 🙂

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH! I really needed to hear that. It’s full of highs and lows and I’m just at a low. You are so right, the object is not who can do it the quickest, but just to keep going, period! I will get there and need to still practice patience 🙂

  4. This post really struck a chord with me because I’m in the same situation. I’ve been paying off my debt for almost 6 years now, and I still have about 3-4 years to go. I go through highs and lows and sometimes it feels like I will NEVER pay it off, but I still dream about what it will be like to be done, I also crunch the numbers about how soon I can do it if I get that raise, or sell more stuff, or whatnot.

    One thing that may help is to purposely be intense in waves. After three months going at full speed like you have been, relax for two or three months. You can still pay off a good-sized chunk during the relaxing stage, but give yourself some extra spending money and don’t take as many (or any) side gigs during that time. Enjoy yourself a little, take a breather, and then go full speed again for another three months.

    Also, I think there are readers who would enjoy reading posts like, “How to not kill yourself when your loans are driving you crazy”, because we’re right there with you! Write what you know, and people will read it. I read a lot of finance blogs, and I see plenty of posts about “How to insert-sophisticated-finance-topic-here”, but sometimes when you’re struggling, it’s very uplifting to read about someone who’s struggling with the same thing and fighting through it.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I hope that helps!

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I am glad you found me! It is nice to know I am not alone and that it’s not just as simple as cut expenses, work harder….it’s so much more than that. I think I will take your advice and cool off for a while, then get back to focusing. I will still put as much as I can towards debt, but I’m not going to kill myself or drive myself nuts.

  5. You are every bit a PF writer as anyone who has paid off debt or done other amazing things. I was once in debt, so I know how it feels.

    You can make it. The key is to keep that anger going and that motivation, that HUNGER to get that debt cleared.

    You’ll look back when you’re done and think: Wow.

    Trust me on this.

    It’ll be the proudest day of your life.

    • Thanks so much, mochimac! I will cry and have a huge party the day I am debt free. Your kind words mean a lot to me right now. I know one day it will happen and it will be just as amazing as I think it will. I gotta get this anger/depression to fight for me, not against me.

  6. I have no doubt you’ll make it through all the debt just keep plugging away. I felt the same way when I was in $30k in student debt, not that long ago. You don’t have to have an amazing “paying off debt” story, or a 6 figure salary to be a good pf blogger. I enjoy reading cause you’re real, and real it something I can relate to 🙂

  7. Being a PF blogger has more to do with financial awareness than financial perfection. Your debt struggle resonates with so many people, and you are an inspiration, just due to the fact that you have the guts to write about it.

    If I were you, I would focus on saving instead of paying down debt. Make minimum payments on all of your debts and save double the amount of your smallest debt. Once you have double, pay off the smallest debt. Then work toward the second debt in the same way. Even if this is completely unconventional wisdom, it is more gratifying to look at a bank account that has money in it, than to see balances of debts drop.

  8. Personally I get bored with reading those generic how to blogs. I want the real person and what they are going through. Not that I want you to be sad or in pain, but emotionally connecting to the outside world with what is real and going on in your head will help you get through this bump in the road. Everyone has felt that limbo phase-I have too. We go through it at different times. You will get through it. Just keep up with your genuine articles and honesty. It’s refreshing.

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