Trying to have patience

Much is made in the PF blogosphere about patience. The need for patience to get debt free, the need for delayed gratification before you get your `toys’ and the need to get past the desire to be debt free NOW, working instead to achieve it over time. Of course, unless your debt is tiny, slow and steady is just the way things go.

I am realising that I am fundamentally impatient, which is probably why I was in debt to start with!  I’m constantly trying to dream up ways to get rid of this debt RIGHT NOW and move on to the next in a long line of financial goals this year and into the future. My current plan will see us doing the hard yards for another 18 weeks to become debt free.

That is great, and I should feel lucky that the goal is so close. But my financial goals have moved so far ahead of just being debt free now that I am impatient to get to them. (look, there’s a perfect example: I wrote `just being debt free’, like it’s nothing.)

I am impatient to get on to the next steps: building a bigger emergency fund, saving in advance for my next vehicle and saving for a home. But the reality is, this financial responsiblity stuff is a slow and steady process that will not `go away’ when the debt goes.

Right now, as I look forward to our post-debt-free existence, I can only see more financial `mountains’ ahead: the emergency fund, the car saving and the home deposit etc. Each of these are massive goals, which will take significantly more time, effort, PATIENCE and DELAYED GRATIFICATION to achieve. It’s like I can’t see the forest for the trees, because it just looks like more `work’.

But a change of attitude is required here. For a start, if we are smart in the future, this is the LAST TIME we will ever have to pay off useless consumer debt. If we are lucky in the future, saving for our emergency fund will be a ONE-TIME effort. Even if we do need to use it, having it will, in itself, save us the heartache of paying off debt. And if I can stick to my goal of buying my next car outright, I can continue to put a small amount aside each week and always be `one car ahead’. This way, my money will be working to build interest for me, and not for the bank.

As for the home deposit, achieving this goal will help us achieve immediate equity in our future home. So we are hopefully never in the position of being `upside down’ on a mortgage or feling pressured to sell. This will bring some financial relief in what could be some tough economic times ahead.

I guess what I’m trying to say is,  I do feel overwhelmed by the financial tasks ahead of me, but I have to remember that each of these will require work in the short-term to put our family in the box seat in the future.  

I try to look forward 3-4 years and imagine what my family will be like. When I close my eyes and do this, I see us enjoying simple pleasures, like sitting together at a football game or hosting a barbecue at our new home. We have a mortgage, but we’re a little in front on repayments.  We own our cars, have a 6-month emergency fund and no debt. We also have a small amount of savings for travel and our next car. If something special is coming up, like a ball or day at the races, finding something to wear and allocating some spending money isn’t too tough. And we’re not worried about our son’s education because we have a small nest egg in place to cover it.

It’s not an overtly glamourous life but we feel secure and, best of all, we’re happy. Most of all, once we reach this point it will be such a great position to go forward from, in terms of investing and slowly improving our lifestyles.

When I am feeling particularly sick of debt repayment and the prospect of several more years of hard financial work, I think of my `future family’, smile and know I am on the right track.

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9 Comments »

  1. Dolly Iris said

    I love this post. I struggle with the same impatience when it comes to money and goals. I think you are doing an amazing job! Kudos to you!

  2. L said

    I completely agree. I suffer from the same bloody impatience! I can’t wait until I meet my goals, pay off things, buy things, etc. It’s overwhelming sometimes. I guess, for me, I just have to log on and remind myself how far i’ve come. Love the post! 🙂

  3. debtfretter said

    Dolly and L,
    It’s nice to hear I’m not alone. That’s the great thing about blogs, I guess. We’ll be able to look back on these debt reduction days and laugh … someday!
    Thanks again for the feedback!

  4. Dolly Iris said

    Debtfretter,
    I added you to my blog roll today. I really enjoy your posts.

  5. debtfretter said

    Hi Dolly, thanks so much. I checked yours out and it looks like we have a lot in common – if I read it right you are only $6K from being consumer debt free. Wow!
    I’ll return the favour by adding you to my blog roll and check out your progress in the coming months.
    PS I am also a fan of Gail van Oxlade – in Australia her show is on at midnight and my hubby often wakkes to find me up watching it. I like her no-nonsense approach too!

  6. Dolly Iris said

    It’s actually 4K but who’s counting? JK! Lol Yeah right! we’re PF bloggers, we’re always counting lol.
    I’m glad you get Gail’s show in Australia because she is amazing! Sooooo nice in person too!

  7. […] Sick of Debt wrote a pretty good piece on trying to have patience with reducing debt. I feel the same way about my mortgage but do I want to be older and debt […]

  8. […] Sick of Debt wrote a nice post about Trying to have patience when it comes to being debt free and where you want to be financially.  I’m sure many of […]

  9. […] So Sick of Debt: Trying to have patience – Patience is one of the most difficult things to deal with when trying to follow a plan, be it short term or long term.  I can totally relate to the anxiety. […]

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