Debt Repayment

Anger is a Useful Tool, but Only When it Comes to Debt

I hate debt. I mean most people do, but I see red. It’s awful and ugly and I want it gone. I graduated with about 32k in debt. Currently, I have 25k in debt, and I’m so proud of that giant accomplishment, but it’s got me all fired up about killing it.

Last year, we didn’t hit our 10k towards student loans, we were so, SO close, but it just didn’t happen. I know why it didn’t happen, and I’m not beating myself up over it. We did very, very well all things considering. But it does make me angry (never tell an athlete they can’t do something, and when we hit a wall, we fight). Note, I’m not angry at myself, or my spouse, I’m angry at the loans, and that’s the anger fueling our aggressive debt repayment strategy.

This year, we ARE hitting 10k towards student loans, by sure determination, will power, and a whole lot of cash! (I even have this amazingly ridiculous idea that we’ll surpass it, but I’m trying to keep my head out of the clouds and focus on the task at hand).

Let’s put that into perspective. The math breaks down like this, the bare minimum you could pay every month to meet 10k in a year is $833.33. Well, that and an extra payment of $0.04 one month would do it, since $833.33×12=$9,999.96. At this rate, it’d take us 33 months to be debt free. Or 3.75 years. But I’ll stop boring you with math now, sorry.

Currently, our base auto payment right now is $1,000 a month. I’m doing this on purpose so that we have a $166.67 buffer built into each month of the year. The more months we hit that $1,000, the more of a buffer we have, and it sets us up to reach 10k in October if we’re able to make such a giant payment every month.

What does this mean for the month of January? Well, January is a special month. My husband got paid a little more, I started tutoring again, and we weren’t buying Christmas presents. We were able to shove $1310 towards those evil little suckers! WE ROCKED IT! We paid an extra $476.66 from the base payment towards loans. If we’re able to keep this pace up (which I’m not banking on because I don’t tutor year round, but it would be AMAZING), we’d put an extra $5,720 toward loans this year, and be debt free in 21 months, instead of 33. Or, it’d take us an entire year less!

Now THAT is motivation. And proof that the little payments add up. We didn’t throw the extra 310 at the loans all at once.

It started with my husband getting a little extra in his paycheck, so I chucked $100 at the loans on the 7th. Then, I was itching to spend money on the 10th, so I scheduled a $10 payment on our loans. I had my first week of tutoring kick back up over the break, so I scheduled an extra $70 to be pulled out with the auto-payment. And when the payment processed, one of my loans had $122 left, and I wanted that sucker GONE, so I threw $130 in its direction (the extra to cover any interest that would accrue during the process period). It all added up to be an extra $310, but we didn’t set out to make it happen like that, it just did.

Little bits help! I promise. That extra $50, it’s going to add up. Debt repayment is hard, and it makes me angry. I see that negative number and I want to smack it. I cheer when that negative number goes down. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like seeing their debt go away? It’s exciting, and wonderful, and daunting all at once.

Use the anger, use the pocket change, and the debt will go away.

17 Comments

  • Savvy History

    I enjoy contemplating righteous anger and I think you are on the right track about getting stubborn and angry at the correct things in life. I used to unconsciously label some emotions as good and some emotions as bad. It took me awhile to get comfortable feeling anger and even narrowing in on what I was exactly angry at. I hate debt too. Nice work and I agree – don’t tell an athlete they can’t do something:)

    • Moriah Joy

      Thanks! I’ve also spent a lot of time contemplating when anger is helpful, because that’s the hardest emotion for me to reconcile. If we’re using terms of good and bad, it was “worse”. But learning to channel it and using it as a drive for something worthwhile (debt repayment), has been super important. I’m glad you also thought so!

    • Moriah Joy

      It really is! At least, for short term motivation. I think that if my repayment journey were longer than the two years it is, I might burn out. But as it is now, it’s the perfect motivator!

  • katyeverafter

    Yes, it makes me angry too! We are still working on our school debt after many years! Finally starting to see a dent, but I will be so happy to be rid of it, just seems never ending. Any extra does add up – I always round any loan payments up to a nice easy even number – it all helps.

  • Maddie Deer

    Great job! I hate debt and avoid it at all costs. Even dropped from my university because I ran out of pocket money to pay for school. It kills me when people don’t take debt seriously and just let it rack up!

    • Moriah Joy

      Good on you! I have a friend who graduated in three years because the money ran out. I took on loans, but I’m very serious about paying them back and hopefully (other than a mortgage) it’ll be the only loans we ever have to deal with. Fingers crossed.

    • Moriah Joy

      Thanks! I want them gone so fast… It’s killing me. Haha. It’s going to be such a wonderful day when they’re finally gone.

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