The joy of getting out of debt.
Debt is such an emotional word, isn’t it? Particularly if you have ever been in debt before, as I have. I never thought it would happen to me, but when my partner and I decided we wanted to get out of the rat race and start our own business, we had to make some serious financial decisions to make it happen.
Paying Off Debt: A Personal Experience
We started off with lots of savings to keep us going while we set the business up. But as you can imagine businesses always take longer to become successful than you think they will, and the savings always start running out sooner than you think as well. We persevered and eventually became more successful than we originally thought, but we were left with credit card debt in the process.
I personally had real trouble coming to terms with it. I had never been in debt before and I felt guilty about it. I even went through a stage of not wanting to know what the balance was; we just paid off the minimum each month and didn’t worry too much about it.
But you know, that debt started to become the proverbial millstone around our necks. We didn’t like it and we wanted to get rid of it. We wanted to be debt free. So one Sunday we spent our day off getting out all our bills and credit card statements and having one long hard look through the whole lot.
I won’t say it was enjoyable or pleasant, but it was certainly necessary. And it was the best thing we could have done, because we had to face the reality of it and that led us towards the solution. The debt wasn’t exactly in the many thousands of dollars but it was high enough to take some months to get rid of.
But get rid of it we did, and even though it took a bit longer than we expected, the fact that we were nibbling away at the amount each month did make us feel a lot better. We budgeted our money and lived frugally. We ended up feeling more confident and experiencing a better sense of self worth as we cut back on certain things to free up more cash towards the payment each month. It almost became like a game –- we really did enjoy it towards the end. As the balance got lower we could almost see the finish line getting closer and we did appreciate the difference in how we felt.
The hardest thing about the whole experience was knowing that we had to take a long hard look at the reality of the situation in order to start dealing with it. It wasn’t nice looking at that balance but we knew why it had been created in the first place, and it had given us our business. And now we knew that we could use the business to pay back that debt, so to speak.
I know how hard it can be to face up to the reality of any kind of debt. I’ve been there, so if you are there now, then I appreciate how you must be feeling. But I promise you that when you get past that stage there are much better feelings ahead. Persevere and you can get there.