Debt Is A Temporary Condition – How Long It Lasts is Up To You!


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Today’s post is my contribution to the #DebtIsNotForever movement started by Jackie Beck over at The Debt Myth. You can participate as well by taking a picture of your “Why” you want to get out of debt, or why you’re working to get out of debt right now and posting it to her Facebook page. Check out this link for more details – Jackie is also hosting a giveaway for all that participate in the movement, and publicly take a stand against debt. Will you stand with us?

Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour, or a day, or even a year.

But eventually it will subside, and something else will take it’s place.

-Eric Thomas

Over time, once vivid memories of significant events in our life tend to fade. Some, however, are so powerful that they live forever at the forefront of our mind and can be recalled at a moment’s notice. One such memory for me is the one of sitting at my computer desk late at night in June of 2009. The rest of my family had gone to bed, and I sat alone with 5 letters from Chase stacked in front of me, and a number staring at me from the monitor. The letters were informing me of a policy change that would more than double our monthly minimum payments. The number on the computer screen told me how much we would have to pay each month. Coming to the realization that we would no longer be able to meet all our monthly financial commitments shook me to my core, and is a feeling that I will never, ever forget.

Things changed dramatically once we enrolled in our debt management plan. Our perspective completely changed because we now had a finish line. It was so far off in the distance that it was almost impossible to comprehend, but we could see it. It would take hard work, and major life changes but we had a finite number of months until our debt would be gone.

Our crushing credit card debt was a temporary condition. It would not last forever.

As the months marched on, paying off our debt just became a way of life. Our focus was not on that finish line, or on the next year, or even on the next month. We were simply focused on making the right decisions for that day. We just put our heads down and kept moving forward, knowing that with each day that passed we were that much closer to the finish line. Sometimes that’s the only thing that kept us going.

Our pain lasted for 55 months, and then we were finally free.

Just as the quote above says, when our pain was gone something else took it’s place. With the huge monthly debt repayment plan payment gone, we now have the freedom to choose what we do with our money. No longer do we have to exert so much or our time and energy towards living a frugal life to pay for past mistakes. The choices we make now are to both get the most out of life now, as well as to build the foundation for our future.

Debt will not last forever. If you put in the time and the effort, eventually it will subside, and something else will take it’s place. Exactly what that is will be up to you, but I promise you’ll like it a whole lot more.

Are you in the midst of paying off debt and feel like you will never reach that finish line? Have you paid off a large amount of debt? What took it’s place for you?

About Travis

25 Responses to “Debt Is A Temporary Condition – How Long It Lasts is Up To You!”

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  1. I paid off a good chunk of credit card debt around 10 years ago. Saving and investing my money took its place. I was tired of being tied down, owing money to someone else. Now I invest my money and have it work for me. Every month, it grows with interest and dividends. It’s a great feeling knowing that you are getting ahead financially without doing much work.

    • Travis says:

      I never understood just how much the weight of debt pulled me down in almost every facet of life until our credit card debt was gone. I have such a different perspective on life, and it’s just so much easier to enjoy each and every day. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jon!

  2. We killed off our mortgage in early 2000s (when fixed rates were 6-7%!). Doing so freed us up to make life-changing decisions. Best choice we ever made, I think!

  3. Although it wasn’t a crushing amount of debt, I totally know what feeling you are talking about where you come to the realization of where you are in your financial life. It’s terrifying!

  4. Debt Hater says:

    I’m one month over two years into my debt repayment journey, and I’m over halfway done with paying them back now. Not too bad considering my student loans originally had a ten year payback period! I’m hoping to eliminate them in half that time or less.

  5. We don’t have credit cards, but we do have a mortgage that we’re trying to pay off in the next few years. I can’t wait to be completely debt free!

    • Travis says:

      Nice work on staying out of the credit card game. Keep pounding away at that mortgage – I’d love to hear from you when that mortgage is done!

  6. We have a small mortgage, but we don’t have any other debts. It wasn’t always this way, but we took serious steps to pay off everything we owed several years ago. It was worth the struggle- I love being debt-free!

    • Travis says:

      I bet you look back at that decision to take those serious steps as a time when your life began to get noticeably better and better. Thanks for dropping by!

  7. That freedom is so worth it in the end, isn’t it Travis? I remember sitting there realizing how much I had to pay off and felt like I’d never reach the end goal and began by taking it one day and a time and over a period of time it all began to build on itself. Thankfully all we have is our mortgage and are working our way against that.

  8. Debt is only temporary if you do something about it. Such an important point for people hiding from the bills and the numbers.

    • Travis says:

      Those bills and numbers are so easy to hide from too…..that evil villain named “The minimum payment” hides the true state of your debt too well!

  9. 50 months was our debt repayment time, but the pain last a lot longer then that. Living in debt for many years prior. What’s taken it’s place it a sense of security now, it’s amazing what a little common sense and change in behavior can do for yourself.

    • Travis says:

      That’s a good point, Brian – while our debt payment period was 55 months, it took us 13 years to accumulate that debt. Oh man, if I could go back in time…..

  10. My debt feels like it’s forever, but I know it will only be a few more years. I’ll still be relatively young by then, so I just have to keep that in mind. Debt is not forever if you don’t want it to be!

  11. I can relate to your introduction about vivid memories. The best ones and the worst ones tend to stand the test of time. I remember the low point of our financially stressed years. The benefit of memory in cases like this is that it keeps reminding me that I DO NOT want to go back there. I can put up with lots of frugality and relative “deprivation” to avoid that scene.

    • Travis says:

      I sometimes hate how vivid those bad memories are…..but then again, it reminds me to never get to that point again. Also, I seem to associate a good memory with every bad memory. For example, when I think of staring at the ceiling wondering how I’m going to get through the next two weeks, I also think of making that phone call to make our last payment. 🙂

  12. Larry Serano says:

    One of the most notable advantages of enrolling with a debt management program is that you get a chance to educate yourself properly about ways of getting on track as far as your finances are concerned.

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