Short Term Sacrifice For Long Term Gain

One of the biggest lessons we learned while getting out of debt was that sacrifice was critical to our success. And by success I don’t mean paying off our final debt before we die, I mean paying off our debt as fast as we could SO WE COULD LIVE…NOW!

Think about that for a second.

People spend money on things they want now (instant gratification), but isn’t that what I was getting by paying down my debt as fast as I could? I was instantly gratified each time I paid down my debt.

And now we are definitely living although we do have some work to do to strengthen our financial situation and our future. What we were doing before was surviving. No amount of crap is worth living life like that. Life is way too precious!

We could have sacrificed less and enjoyed a little more but you know what they say — No Pain No Gain — right? The debt mindset is usually plagued by fear and fear is crippling. This fear causes us to want to do (and pay) the bare minimum so that we experience the least amount of pain possible. We naturally do not like pain but what we fail to realize is that the pain of our debt is greater than the pain of our sacrifices.

Not being able to overcome that fear and get past those feelings of “missing out” is a gigantic obstacle in any financial plan especially when it comes to debt elimination.

My experience has been that people genuinely want to get out of debt but aren’t willing to make the hard choices that will enable them to do so successfully.

It could be the shiny new car in the driveway or it could be a bigger, nicer home that you’ve always dreamed of. Cable or satellite television, expensive vacations, or any number of costly financial “needs” can stop us before we ever get started.

I believe that changing that mindset is crucial.


Your thought process shouldn’t revolve around what you can’t have; it should revolve around achieving the things that are most important to you.

The problem for most people is that they have no idea what truly is important to them because their decisions are made out of fear. It’s also really easy for us to slide into auto-pilot. When we take the time to sit down and ask ourselves what we truly want and desire, we should dream a little bit. What do we REALLY want?

  • What do you want your life to be like in 10 years?
  • What would that look like for you and how would it improve your life?
  • What do you have to do today to make it possible?

The more specific you are and the more thought you give your answers the more beneficial this exercise is.

You have to become intrinsically motivated by figuring out what you really REALLY want. What moves you?

What do you want more than whatever it is that you’re unwilling to sacrifice? Only you know the answer to that and only you can take the steps necessary to change it.

The question is do you want (and like) things the way they are or do you want something different? If you want something different then you only have one option — do something different.

About Brad Chaffee

10 Responses to “Short Term Sacrifice For Long Term Gain”

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  1. Brad, you have a gift for reducing seemingly complex questions and dilemmas to the simple essence. Your last paragraph says it all I think. So often we’re unhappy with the status quo, but rather than taking the bull by the horns, we wake up each day and hope that somehow, by magic, things will change this new day. But if we resolve to be the force behind change, it’ll happen, and when it does our reward will be very sweet and satisfying!

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Wow, thank you for the kind words Kurt! Your last sentence was powerful. “if we resolve to be the force behind the change, it’ll happen, and when it does our reward will be very sweet and satisfying.”

      Very well said! I used to be that guy who looked to everyone else for solutions. I asked the wrong questions. I also didn’t believe in myself either. I looked to the government to provide the things I felt entitled to receive. The day I started taking responsibility for what I wanted in my life was the same day my life would change forever. These days, I dream a little more and when I want something I figure out how I can have it. Having both myself and my wife working from home is a great example of that. We used to think it was impossible. Now my wife works 24 hours as a part time nurse and the next step is to bring her home so we can rock out our health coaching business while enjoying our children. Same with debt. We wanted debt freedom and we went out and made it happen — no excuses. People limit themselves by simply not believing something is possible. Never again will I do that and I’m teaching my kids to create the life they want as well. Thanks for the awesome comment Kurt! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Fox says:

      In these hard times, short term sacrifices must be done for the greater good and for future. Its better to look at the big picture and cut our expenses as much as possible.

      • Brad Chaffee says:

        I might add that even when times are going great, a little sacrifice will go a long way. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Imagine how people are living right now that sacrificed a little while the economy was booming? What bad economy? ๐Ÿ™‚

        We started to get out of debt when the economy tanked. 20 months later we were not really hurt much by the economy at all. Still aren’t. Our life and our finances are largely controlled by us, not the economy or what it may or may not be doing.

  2. Mrs Hill says:

    I needed this post. I was feeling the pull of spending instead of saving. My husband and I are trying to pay off a mortgage in 13 years instead of 30. We have 6 more years left to meet that goal. Having a budget is not enough if I don’t have the right mindset. Your questions will help me remember the the big picture and stay motivated without feeling like I’m giving up too much. Thanks for writing this timely article.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      I’m glad this post was able to help you Mrs Hill! ๐Ÿ˜€ I love your goal of paying the mortgage down earlier than 30 years. I know that 6 years from now (if not earlier) you will have that headache paid off and that is amazing to me. when I talk to people about paying their mortgage off early they laugh at me as if it is impossible. People also don’t believe my wife and I will be paying cash for our next house. I can’t wait to prove to them what can be done when you believe in your mission and resolve to see it through because it is worth it in the end. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Keep up the great work and I hope you update us here at EOD to let us know when you are mortgage debt free! What a day that will be!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. The feeling of “missing out” is a tough one to overcome … especially when you think, “Will I enjoy this more at my current age than I will when I’m 10 years older?”

    If there’s a legitimate chance that the answer is yes — like a trip to Vegas — I’ll save up to do it now. But if it can be enjoyed at any age, like a nice car, I don’t mind waiting, and investing that money instead.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Good point Paula! Still I think if I’m in debt and it is between me going to Vegas or using that money to pay off debt — I’m gonna pick paying off debt. LOL I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to enjoy Vegas a lot more being debt free. I would seriously have a hard time spending money on a trip like that with a pile a debt at home. haha! But we all know I’m pretty damn weird. ๐Ÿ˜€

      It was so great seeing you at FInCon! What a blast huh?? See you next year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Good points. Shifting our minds from the present to the future is a big part of the answer. I found it easy because my parents showed me over a long period how worthwhile it is to make those short term sacrifices. I see folks around me, though, who have a very hard time struggling with giving up something in the now, because it’s all they think they will ever have…

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Most everyone I’ve tried to help with their finances struggle with this badly. It’s really hard to get past the mindset society has driven into our way of thinking but once we do it is SO EMPOWERING!!! I don’t have to have things RIGHT NOW! Getting out of debt was so much better than “enjoying my life because I only live once”. Now I’m debt free and enjoying my life because I only live once. So much more rewarding to do it that way. Struggling at retirement is not something I wish to experience. ๐Ÿ˜€

      People need to overcome the fear that tells them they’ll never have something if they don’t get it now. The only way to do that is to step outside of your comfort zone and just do it! Let go of your stuff! ๐Ÿ˜€ GREAT COMMENT!

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