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Getting out of debt is boring

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There, I said it. I have hit a plateau. Seriously, getting out of debt and losing weight run on parallel lines, and the plateau is no different.

I keep making progress, great progress, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m past the psychological tricks. I’ve automated everything. Each credit card I apply for is one where I set it up to pay full balance each month. I have automated my student loan payments to come out at such a rate that my creditor (ACS) keeps sending me notices saying that I’ve paid too much.

I’m in a place that, if I so choose, I could stop paying my loan until June 2013 and not be charged any penalties.

So I’m through with quick wins (like cutting out sugar and going for walks). I’m through with credit card debt, forever. And while that feels good, it just isn’t sexy.

Just like losing weight, when I told people I was out of credit card debt, they were excited (in the same way that people who haven’t seen you in a long time tell you how good you look). But now? I just have these two stupid “good” debts, and I only get paid every month, so I can’t do mid-month income dumps.

The spreadsheet is doing what it is supposed to, but you guys? This is boring.

What isn’t boring is how I feel now that I have more flexibility in my budget. Two of my cousins are coming to visit in July and instead of worrying about losing out on income that week, I’m planning to take them to the beach!

On Get Rich Slowly, someone talked about having a Super Frugal Month. That’s kind of exciting. Maybe I’ll do that in June. But the day-to-day is yawn-inducing.

How do you find focus? How do you keep from getting bored?

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32 Comments

  1. Daisy
    May 21, 2012 @ 23:23:50

    I've never really found getting out of debt to be fun or interesting. In fact, I would rather just save all of my money – seeing savings inch up IS super exciting!

    Reply

    • Michelle
      May 22, 2012 @ 01:59:08

      I agree with Daisy. I love seeing my bank account and savings go up!

      Reply

      • kathleen
        May 22, 2012 @ 02:29:32

        I do too, but part of it feels irresponsible. Okay, savings are great but you still have debts, kid, so you should keep throwing money on those, and build up savings AFTER. Right?

        Reply

    • kathleen
      May 22, 2012 @ 02:27:03

      I agree! First things first, though, right?

      Reply

  2. Kerry
    May 21, 2012 @ 23:31:13

    I'm running into a very similar problem, which feels a bit unfair because I only really started being attentive to my debts two months ago! Right now I'm looking at around three more years of massive monthly debt payments and feeling very unmotivated. I can play around with debt payoff calculators and get a bit excited when I see I'm saving 10 years and around $6,500 in interest (seriously, holy crap!), but I'm still feeling very blah about the next few years.

    One way I am trying to motivate myself is by trying to increase my income, but that's backfiring slightly and wearing me out a bit. I'm great with short-term motivation (if I don't buy this, I can put it onto my debt!) and long-term motivation (saving $6,500, seriously!) but it's the medium term I'm really struggling with!

    Reply

    • kathleen
      May 22, 2012 @ 02:27:37

      I'll let you know if I come out of it on top — you let me know too! Sometimes boring is necessary.

      Reply

  3. femmefrugality
    May 21, 2012 @ 23:56:59

    Debt sucks. It sounds like you're doing awesome, though, despite the boredom. I do the side hustle thing a lot, which can keep things interesting.

    Reply

  4. Little Sister
    May 22, 2012 @ 00:00:43

    It's like you've completed the get out of debt course. Now you have to become an expert at something new. Starting a business?

    Don't be bored, you're coming to visit soon! We will enjoy each other without spending money…because I don't have any :)

    Reply

    • kathleen
      May 22, 2012 @ 02:28:18

      HA, yes please! Let's play all weekend!

      Reply

  5. Budget & the Bea
    May 22, 2012 @ 00:36:22

    I agree with Kerry in that trying to find ways to increase your income could be exciting. Or maybe you need to come to terms with being content? :) I think people have a harder time with that then they think!

    Reply

    • kathleen
      May 22, 2012 @ 02:28:52

      Ah, you may be right. Although I am still in debt so not yet content, and that's where my struggle lies.

      Reply

  6. Jordann @ My Alterna
    May 22, 2012 @ 04:16:51

    I understand completely! My debt is really at the "set it and forget it" stage. I've come to terms with my budget, there isn't much wiggle room there, all that's left to do is chug away and make those payments. It's not very exciting and I wish there was more I could do to speed up this process.

    Reply

    • kathleen
      May 22, 2012 @ 06:07:44

      So you're at the same stage! I knew I liked you. :)

      Reply

  7. Kurt @ Money Counsel
    May 22, 2012 @ 04:34:47

    With every debt payment you make, less of your hard-earned income is being siphoned off for interest expense. Does that feel a little bit exciting?

    Reply

    • kathleen
      May 22, 2012 @ 06:08:28

      Yes indeed. Once a month, it's a little exciting. But now? EEEEEEEEEEEEEHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

      Reply

  8. Miss T @ Prairie Eco
    May 22, 2012 @ 05:48:05

    You're right. It does suck and isn't exciting. But being out of debt and the freedom you get for other things is really exciting so keep trekking along. It will be worth it. Trust me, I have been there.

    Reply

    • kathleen
      May 22, 2012 @ 06:09:06

      Yes you are so right, it's like mile 18 of a marathon or something. I can see the end but all I can do is put one foot in front of the other.

      Reply

  9. Jeff @ Sustainable L
    May 22, 2012 @ 06:23:38

    this is surely the crappiest part of beginning to pay off your debt. You've changed habits, you've automated your payments, and now it's nothing but the waiting game. Keep doing what you're doing and eventually your debt will hit zero. Unfortunately, no one can make time go faster so you want to change your debt free date, your income will need to increase.

    Good luck, and keep chugging along.

    Reply

    • kathleen
      May 22, 2012 @ 06:59:34

      Very well said — no one can make time go faster!

      Reply

  10. bogofdebt
    May 22, 2012 @ 11:15:16

    Keep your eyes on the prize? Maybe you can do mini challenges? I am still in the "exciting" phase (okay not really but I'll pretend its so) but I also get paid biweekly so that helps me out when I can see them go down or my progress go up.

    Reply

    • kathleen
      May 23, 2012 @ 02:44:09

      Exciting is all relative, isn't it? I think I need to plan the next couple of things or something to keep me motivated.

      Reply

  11. Michelle
    May 22, 2012 @ 13:59:55

    I agree. This BLOWS. Let's go shopping!

    Reply

  12. Kris @ BalancingMone
    May 22, 2012 @ 14:54:20

    I feel for you – I'm at the same point right now. I think part of my issues is our debts are so large that there are no small wins in sight any time soon… so why bother? If I find my motivation, I'll send you some. :)

    Reply

  13. david
    May 22, 2012 @ 15:11:49

    Perhaps the next step is to look into investing any surplus you have. The options to do so are overwhelming and you won't be bored anymore!

    Reply

  14. Shawn @ Managing The
    May 31, 2012 @ 00:53:31

    One thing we did was to give ourselves personal money each month. It doesn't have to be much but we each get a certain amount that we can spend on anything without feeling guilty or that we are hurting our finances. When the paycheck comes in, we have set up and automatic payments to ourselves just as you have done with the bills. If we spend all of our money in a day no big deal, if we don't spend any of it, we can build it up for a few months and go crazy!

    Reply

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