Saturday, September 3, 2011

What Do You Do When You Get Discouraged?

I was reading Destination: Planet Debt Free this morning, and Rhitter is feeling quite down about paying off debt. I've read similar posts on other people's blogs, and it made me think about how we handle the blahs.

When it comes to paying off debt and changing spending, I actually didn't hit the wall like I thought I would. I made a lot of lifestyle changes in the beginning, and though it was hard, I also found it really rewarding. I kept up good momentum with summer school checks and tax returns, so I had the accomplishment of paying off my credit cards in one school year and my car in the next. I was lucky in that I made this change NOW, so my debt wasn't huge and I don't have a family that I support with my money right now.

Now I've sort of plateaued. I no longer have a clear goal of what to do with my snowflakes. I'm thinking after I come up with the extra $500 I need to snowflake to my Roth this year, I will put the rest toward my student loan (saving enough to make lump sum payments toward the principle).

ANYWAY, I was saying. When you do get discouraged or off-track in your personal finance journey, how do you handle it? What gets you back on track? How do you make yourself feel better without spending? I felt at a loss for what to say to Rhitter, and realized that my advice may not have been the most sensitive response. So maybe your advice here will be helpful to her.


  1. Your advice was honest and true. There is just much more going on that I am willing share on the blog.

  2. I don't know, for me I need a goal. We're currently saving for (among other things) a vacation in Hawaii in February. I'm a little sad to see the goal met (only slightly!) but we're already planning our next vacation (Disney Land!) so I will have something else to look forward to.
    We're also working on credit card debt, and I get a little thrill when I sell something (even if just for $10) and know that that's $10 more going toward my debt. Sure, it's not going to make a huge dent, but it's a little more than we were going to pay. I don't know why, but it helps to know that I'm making a little more progress.
    Plus, seeing the progress helps, a bit. I'm sorry you're feeling discouraged, Rhitter :(
    Plus, reading blogs like this and seeing other people's successes always help me.

  3. It's really hard to keep motivated, especially when the debt is big, or 'life' just seems to keep throwing problems in the way. I often read blogs, or set myself a new challenge, I read peoples payoff stories.
    I try not to compare myself to other bloggers or start thinking back over all that has happened, otherwise I just feel like it's too hard. other pf bloggers help keep me going

  4. I get unmotivated a lot. Sometimes I'll get off track and go on a shopping spree and I always feel bad afterwards. Now whenever I don't feel motivated, I think about those times and how I always regretted it.

  5. Like you I wouldn't exactly say I've gotten discouraged....but I've definitely gotten tired. Tired of budgeting. Tired of watching pennies. Tired of saying no. I get joy from paying off debt, but I've never gotten joy from the actual ACT of being frugal. To this day, it feels like a drag. But the ends justify the means, so I keep going.

    The other thing I sometimes think is: what's my other option? So, I'm tired of tracking spending. What's my other option? Quit tracking and go back into debt? No, no, no!!! So I sort of look at it as: maybe this kinda sucks but the other option sucks WAY worse.

    Not exactly the most positive way of looking at the situation, but it works for me.