18 responses

  1. Michelle
    September 16, 2013

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful post and analogy. I really think it will resonate with a lot of people. I can’t wait to read your debt free post!!!

    • Travis
      September 17, 2013

      You’re welcome, You’re welcome, you’re welcome, Michelle! :) I’m looking forward to writing that debt free post – just a few more months!!! Thanks so much for reading!

  2. Kurt @ My Money Counselor
    September 16, 2013

    Like any big task, the best way to tackle debts is to break it down into not-so-overwhelming steps and set many sub-goals along the way to The Big Goal: being debt free. I think your analogy to long distance running is very apt. With both, there’s going to be setbacks, frustration, and despair along the way, but also exuberance and in the end satisfaction and financial reward.

    • Travis
      September 17, 2013

      That’s exactly right, Kurt – as someone that has ran three marathons there are times during the race that you think you’re going to break down and give up. You simply want to collapse on the roadside. But you keep going, keep pushing – and there’s NOTHING like the feeling of crossing that finish line. I imagine I’ll feel exactly like that on February 28th when we make our last payment!

  3. Kathy
    September 16, 2013

    Travis,

    Thanks so much for putting this into perspective (“In six more payments, we will complete our debt management program.”)

    I’m 1 yr & 1 month away from paying off mine and I keep thinking….grrrr IT’S A WHOLE YEAR! I paid off one of my cards a couple of months ago (early) & it snowballed the payment into the next lowest balance. So, I’ll be paid off even earlier.

    I just told myself that it’s another 12 months and I’ll be debt free…and, what do you know, my whole reaction was completely different. To the point of…well, what do you know, it’s only 12 more payments (and maybe even 11 or 10).

    Thanks again and congratulations to you and your family for your debt free dream coming true very soon!

    Kathy

    • Travis
      September 17, 2013

      That’s awesome, Kathy – that one year will seem to go by like the snap of a finger. I just went back and ready my post from the half way point….it seems like I just wrote it! Great to hear from you!

  4. Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans
    September 16, 2013

    I never get tired of the “paying off debt is like running a marathon” comparison. As someone who is trying to both become debt free AND more fit, I think it’s always good to see the similarities between the two goals.

    • Travis
      September 17, 2013

      I’m glad you liked it Lisa – this isn’t the first time I’ve written using this example, and I would doubt it’ll be my last. :)

  5. Glen Craig
    September 16, 2013

    The long run. I remember those. I did my first marathon before cells had GPS mapping as an easy app (that sounds like I’m old but it wasn’t that long ago). I’d have to take time and map out where I was going to run to make sure I made my training distance. I also had to plan out possible stops if needed. Getting out of debt needs planning too.

    Another thing, people want instant gratification. We want it now! When we don’t get it we give up. But you have to slow down and put your miles in. Once you ease off and appreciate the miles you need to train then it gets easier and you aren’t struggling the whole time (not fun by the way). You don’t get out of debt super quick either. It takes time.

    • Travis
      September 17, 2013

      I still map my runs out the old fashioned way, Glen….I get in my car and drive them – lol.

      That’s a great point – people want things NOW – I know this all too well as that sense of entitlement is part of the reason we ended up so deep in debt. It’s a change in mindset – people have to get back to the perspective that if you want something you have to EARN it – and the item you’ve worked for will be so much more appreciated when you purchase it AFTER you’ve worked hard to save up the cash to buy it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Glen!

  6. Prudence Debtfree
    September 16, 2013

    Lately, I think our debt repayment is more like a long cycling road race than a marathon. That’s because we’ve had to stop for months to save up for the removal of a tree from our backyard ($2,000) and a new roof ($10,000). It reminds me of a cyclist who has to withdraw from the race to pump up the tires or to replace the tubes. It’s frustrating and feels like a time sink, but it’s necessary. The part I have to keep reminding myself of is that we’re not getting into more debt with these big expenses – as we would have in the past. We’re paying them outright.
    6 more payments is not very many! I bet you can just taste debt freedom now. Whether you’re running that last bit or cycling up the final hill, keep your eye on the finish line. It’s coming up : )

    • Travis
      September 17, 2013

      Wow, Prudence that’s awesome that you’re able to handle those expenses by paying them outright – that’s a true sign that you’re handling your finances correctly! Keep pushing and you’ll be out of debt before you know it. We can definitely see that finish line…….it feels GREAT!

  7. Daniel
    September 18, 2013

    Great analogy between the running (and breaking it into pieces) and the debt reduction. Recently, I’ve been feeling frustrated / discouraged by the length of time it’ll take me to payoff all six of my “senseless” debts (I’ve excluded mortgage and student loan as I see those differently than credit cards and 401(k) loans). However, when I narrow my focus to only the first payoff date, the goal seems muich more attainable.

    • Travis
      September 19, 2013

      Exactly, Daniel – One Goal at a time! Once you achieve one of those goals you get a feeling of accomplishment that will give you motivation to keep going. Good luck on your journey, Daniel, stop back again soon!

  8. Mackenzie
    September 18, 2013

    Can’t believe you are only a few months away from paying off your debt! That is so awesome :)

    Great post, by the way!

    • Travis
      September 19, 2013

      Thanks and thanks, Mackenzie – The entire Pizel family is getting VERY excited – February 28th here we come!

  9. Tammy
    September 19, 2013

    These are some pretty interesting comparisons between paying off debt and running. It’s very important to be patient and persistent in your efforts, more like a long distance run. Your blog post title reminds me of a quote about improving credit ratings, ‘it’s more of a marathon than a sprint’. And the same goes for a lot of other financial goals.

    • Travis
      September 19, 2013

      Very True, Tammy – retirement planning, and saving up CASH for all your purposes does take a lot of patience. The great thing about saving up CASH for all your purchases is that you don’t have to give a rip about your credit rating!

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