June Update – Halfway There (Who-oa, Livin’ on a Prayer)

Well folks, we’re practically halfway through the year and, as timing would have it, I’m also halfway through my debt at $6098.  For June, I managed to bring it down by $899, which I could have brought it down more but little expenses are starting to creep up with wedding stuff (which I’ll hopefully be able to talk about in a couple of weeks once plans firm up).  For now, I thought I would reflect on things I’ve learned since starting this whole process:

1) No clothes shopping is, like, the best diet ever!  Obviously, this is tongue-in-cheek, but hey, it’s kept my weight in check since there were times over the winter when my jeans were just a bit too snug for my liking (the breaking point was after getting back from lunch, and literally popping the top button for an hour.  Only happened once, but once is enough!).

2) The PF community is a lot like joining a running group (or I’m thinking any hobby/sport club).  Just like in running groups where there’s people from different ages, walks of life, and running times, there’s also a ton of diversity in the PF community.  Some are single while others have families, some are working on their debt while others are striving for financial independence, some are paycheck to paycheck while others have a huge stash in their accounts.  But, both communities serve a common goal and have a central purpose, and, moreover, both communities are so nice, helpful, and very supportive towards each other.  It’s pretty awesome.

3) It’s never too late to start, whether paying off debt or investing.  Is it helpful to start as soon as possible (or not even incur debt at all)?  Obviously, yes, but once someone is aware of a problem, the only productive thing to do is improve upon it.  It doesn’t matter how old you are or how far in debt/no savings, just like with losing weight or trying to improve upon anything in your life, you just have to start, and progress towards your goal.

4) Stay motivated.  In running, a cool trick I learned is that for each mile, dedicate it to a loved one, so that when you’re running that mile, you’re motivated to give it as much as you can because you love that person so much.  With paying down this debt, what’s kept me motivated is that I tell myself that just like most things in life, this is transient, and though it’s like this now, it won’t always be like this.  I also remind myself that sure, I’m probably paying a 70-80%/20-30% ratio in debt to savings/investing (excluding mortgage in debt), but how exciting will it be when the ratio is reversed and increased to be exclusively savings/investing.  Giving myself pep talks tends to help, and apparently, I’m a big believer and fan of myself. j/k

5) It’s all a work in progress.  After eliminating this debt repayment, I have more financial goals that I’d like to accomplish, from diving into investing since I’m currently just in the wading area, maintaining what I’ve learned during my debt repayment as to not fall back to my old ways (since from my experience, maintenance has been at times more difficult than actual loss), and learning to juggle long-term goals like how to save for family needs, house and what to do with our current place, college educations for hopefully future kids, etc.  Thankfully, there’s a plethora of PF blogs where I’m learning the different methods, so I can cultivate them into processes that work for me.

There’s been a lot of teachable moments from this process, and I’m sure I’ll learn more in the next half of this process (and beyond).  Have there been any teachable moments for you?


33 thoughts on “June Update – Halfway There (Who-oa, Livin’ on a Prayer)

  1. Wow Anna, already halfway there! I’m so proud of you!!! Love and agree with all your reflections…I haven’t had too many teachable moments yet…except perhaps debt fatigue is very real but to not let it discourage me from my end goal of being debt-free 🙂

    • Thanks GMD! I agree about debt fatigue, but yeah, even if I do slip, I don’t beat myself up over it and just forge on. You are definitely one of the reasons I keep going, you pay off debt like no other! Thanks as always for your support, lil sis 😉

  2. Yay for debt slaying! I love the pf community because everybody is so supportive. I constantly find people who are the same as me and in the same life stages, and people who are completely different. And what’s great is I learn so much from both groups of people.

    • I completely agree – I like the people I can relate to since they’re going through the same process as much as the people diametrically opposite since I can also learn from their experiences. It’s a great community, present lovely company included. 🙂

  3. That’s great that you’re halfway! I agree with all of your points. I would say the biggest thing for me is facing the fact I need to speed up my student loan payments because I don’t want this cloud hanging over me forever. I have been upping the payments and made two payments this month so far, but I could probably afford to pay more out of my savings/EF that’s a little too large for someone in my situation. I’m just always afraid to part with that money.

    • You are doing fantastic, and so smart to get on it at such a young age – plus you have savings and ef’s to boot, how awesome! I agree that you have to find the right mix that works for you, especially with how much you are okay with parting with or not. Thanks for your support! 🙂

    • Aww, thanks Morgaine! I so can’t wait to be where you’re at right now, that must be an amazing feeling! Just gotta keep my eye on the prize 🙂

  4. I like #2. Wait, that didn’t sound right!

    But really, connecting with like minded folks is the best part of blogging. I’ve thought about quitting a couple times, but the community keeps me in it.

    • LOL at #2 – my mind didn’t go there until you directed it there! 🙂 BTW, you can’t quit, you just can’t! It would make me very, very sad, as well as the rest of your fans. So please don’t!

    • I agree it helps that people are so encouraging. I would have never thought that this blog would get me in touch with so many wonderful people, but it really has!

    • Haha, agreed – no one should be a better advocate than yourself! October is my (not so) secret goal, but with some wedding stuff I think end of 2013 might be the realistic goal. I’ll do my best, though!

    • Yup, everyone’s got their own style and methods, but there’s a commonality that’s pretty cool. Haha, my plans are pretty anti-climactic, I just don’t want to say something and not have it go through! I’m definitely learning a lot, though.

  5. Congrats on reaching the mid-point of your debt! That has to feel good! I agree the PF community is fantastic. An overall great supportive group and I am honored to be a part of it. It seems like every day I meet some new and fabulous. The hard part for me is keeping up with everyone, but they are worth the effort!

    • Thanks Shannon! I agree about meeting so many cool folks – just when I think I’ve found a good “base,” I add a couple more in because they’re equally interesting!

  6. Good job on your debt repayment! Saving money is one of my major motivators for staying at my present weight. I don’t want to buy new clothes!!! It’s easier just to stay the same size =)

  7. You’ve done so well to achieve your halfway goal in just six months, you should be so proud of yourself! I can’t wait to achieve the halfway goal myself (probably in a couple of years – gulp!) Looking forward to hearing about your next achievement!

    • Thank you so much! Can’t wait to read about the day you reach your halfway point, as well – I’ll be cheering you on throughout the process. 🙂

  8. I love the Bon Jovi reference – nicely done. 😉 Good job with your debt payment, I always love reading these success moments from other people, it helps me keep on track with my own goals. Cheers!

  9. Halfway to your goal and almost halfway down with the year. Stay on track and you will be done before you know it. I agree with most of your reflections as well. The PF community is a great one and most people are really looking to help others. The popping the button after lunch is a funny one!

    • Haha, yeah, I figured I discuss my embarrassing debt, might as well discuss other embarrassing moments in my life. 🙂 Thanks so muc for your support!

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