3 Emotions You’ll Feel Paying Off Debt

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“How much is the interest on your student loan? What about on your car? How much of the negative equity have you paid off?”

These were all the questions that my SO, Denis was asking me as he looked at the stack of bills that flooded our new apartment’s mailbox. 

In short, it was terrible and here are 3 emotions you’ll feel paying off debt. . 

I felt terrible for the mess I had gotten in; terrible that he had found out about my debt and even more terrible ( & ashamed) that I didn’t know any of the answers to his questions. 

 

I am more than aware of the feelings you will feel while paying off a mountain of debt. I want you to know, IT’S OKAY & totally normal to feel this way- Dr. Katie said so. 🙂 

 

Below are 3 emotions you’ll feel paying off debt. 

Anxiety - How Bad Is It?

Now that you have faced the debt beast that you have been avoiding for who knows how long, do you have that anxious, gnawing pit in your stomach that keeps you up with a constant stomach ache? 

 

I did too and it’s not a great feeling. 

 

In a world where most of us are suffering from anxiety just living our regular lives, it is more than understandable to feel a little extra anxious when you think about your financial future. 

Here is what helped my anxiety through my debt payoff journey. 

  1. Make a plan (& know it’s okay to adjust your plan)
  2. Exercise
  3. Get enough sleep 
  4. Eat well

Sounds simple, right?

 

Well, when you are caught up in the anxiety swirl, it can be hard to remember these imperative ideals. 

 

There is a reason why “if plan A goes awry, we’ll do plan B” phrase is common jargon these days. Plans and life change. The important thing to remember is to ‘roll with the punches’ and stay flexible. Nothing in life is straightforward but if you have a plan, the important thing is to be able to adjust and stick to it. 

 

Exercising, sleeping and eating well are basic necessities in life but also so important to your success in paying off debt.

 

Keeping your endorphins high, resting your brain and body and eating the right foods will keep you healthy and energized enough to keep working hard to reach your goals. 

Loneliness - Why did I Do This?

Paying off debt sucks. 

 

There, I said it. 

 

Everyone thinks it but I noticed not a lot of people say it. 

 

When you are trying to aggressively pay off a lot of debt in a short(er) period of time it can feel very lonely. 

 

Going out with friends to dinner/ drinks, out on vacation is loads of fun! 

 

But realistically, when you are trying to meet a goal, these are usually the first things to get cut out. 

 

Understandably so, a fun night out at the bar can easily run you $50- $200 depending on where you are going. 

 

I have 2 pieces of advice for you: 

  1. Don’t cut everything you enjoy out. I say this because if you are constantly telling yourself no, you are more likely to eventually binge. It will also make your debt payoff increasingly harder. It’s okay to occasionally treat yourself to something special- just not all the time. 
  2. Find cheaper ways to have fun, If you enjoy going out, perhaps host a game night and tell everyone it’s BYOB. Or if you like getting new clothes, you could do a clothing swap with some friends.


And remember, this isn’t for the rest of your life. You will eventually be debt free if you make it a priority.  

Relief - It's Actually Achievable.

First, let me be honest about something. 

 

When I envisioned the day I paid off all of my car’s negative equity and was able to get rid of my $663 a month car payment, I envisioned fireworks going off and people dancing in the street- clowns handing out free balloons to passersby. 

 

In reality, I think I was in so much shock that it was over with that I didn’t actually feel anything; just another typical ole day- at first. 

 

The relief finally set in when it came time in the month to pay my car payment and I didn’t have one to make anymore. 

 

I had decided that I was going to use that “extra money” now to snowball it into my student loan. 

 

The ability to be able to throw my regular amount of money & add the money that I was used to paying for my car- was the best feeling! 

 

After paying off my car with negative equity, I could finally see that there was in fact a light at the end of the tunnel. 

 

I think that it is super important when you are setting a huge goal (like paying off debt), that you realize where you came from and how much progress you have made. 

 

Because, in the grand scheme of it- paying off debt sucks. 

 

It can often feel like when you were a kid and digging a hole to China at the beach; the darn sand keeps falling in and giving you twice as much work to do. 

 

But, if you keep digging, you’ll eventually get there. 

 

I hope this helped you- if it did, click the share button so it can encourage one of your friends to keep on diggin’!  

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About the Author
Katie Welsh

Katie Welsh

I'm an elementary school teacher documenting my journey as I tackle over $200,000 worth of debt in less than 2 years. I've been featured in Debt.com, USA Today, Rockstar Finance and other publications.
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