10 Things to Expect During Debt Repayment

  1. Don’t expect everyone to understand or agree with your wanting to pay off debt. If you are seeking approval for your decision to aggressively attack your debt, be careful with whom you share this information with. Most people are deeply indebted and live paycheck to paycheck, and who can blame them, it is socially accepted and never discussed publicly. However, if you want to get a thumbs up on the debt repayment journey you are about to take, consider carefully who you share this news with.
  2. Expect disagreements with your partner from time to time. Even if you and your partner are on the same page with your debt repayment journey (this is the ideal situation as a lot of sacrifices will need to be made), expect to disagree sometimes. Talking about paying off your debts and actually doing it month after month are completely different things. You don’t know how your partner will adjust to all of the changes and the things they can no longer spend money on. If you are more of the financially prudent one, be patient with them and allow some room for mistakes or slip ups. However, be sure to stand your ground if spending gets out of hand. The first 6-8 months and the last 6-8 months of the debt repayment journey are the hardest. Once you can get past that time period, your chance for success greatly increases.
  3. Don’t expect to divert financial resources and be successful. Single-minded focus is key. The larger your debt (i.e. paying off student loans or a house), the more you need to be single-minded and focus entirely on the debt. Diverting financial resources will slowly kill your motivation to finish the debt repayment journey. Instead, focus on one debt/financial goal at a time and you will find you are more effective.
  4. Plan well in advance what you will say to get out of social gatherings that will cost you money you weren’t planning on spending. Whether you have told your friends about your debt repayment journey, many of them still won’t get it, or it might take them a while to see how serious you are. I think for your close friends and family, it is important to let them know to some degree that you are focusing on paying off or down your debts. It is up to you how detailed you want to get. Not telling them will create situations where you have to lie to avoid social gatherings. Soon enough it will come off as rude and they may take it the wrong way. Honesty is the best policy. With that in mind, be ready to come up with a reasonably believable reason why you can’t attend sometimes. Even if you have told them about your debt repayment journey, it gets awkward after a while to remind them of this.
  5. Don’t bother defending your financial choices with anyone besides of your partner. Everyone will have an opinion. Your parents and siblings may have a different opinion as to how you should spend your money. In my experience, I found it pointless to depend our stance on why we decided to pay off our student loans as quickly as we did. At the end of the day, we are all adults and we will do what we want.
  6. Be ready to be criticized for your decision and to hear a number of different things you could do with your money from your friends and family. This is an extension of number 5. Don’t expect everyone to ‘get it’ or to be super excited for you even if you have explained your reasoning. If anything, you may even want to prepare yourself for criticism from your closest family and friends. During this time, it is important to associate with like-minded people, so only discuss the progress of your journey with people that support your decision.
  7. Get ready to start feeling less stressed out and happier. Debt brings with it a lot of emotional burden. As your debt starts to reduce, you will feel more optimistic about life, your current financial situation and even your perspective will change.
  8. Get ready to feel differently about where you work and how you work. Whether you love your job, hate it our somewhere in between, getting out of debt brings with it new perspective. You will be happier with your work situation and even if you are not, you won’t feel hopeless about your state. You will also be able to think more clearly about decision you make about work moving forward as money will not the only deciding factor.
  9. Family and friends may ask you for money. Depending on your culture and family dynamic, you may have family and friends asking you for money. Since you have paid off your debt, you must be rich right (rolling eyes).
  10. Keep a positive attitude and find ways to stay motivated. The zeal and drive to get out of debt won’t always be there every day. Some days, you may just want to throw in the towel and spend money like it’s going out of style. Engage with other people that are going through a debt repayment journey either in person or through blogs or pod casts. Engaging with like-minded people helps to reassure you of your decision and keeps you motivated.



Categories: Debt

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