Getting Your Swagger Back

So, you’ve finally made it to that point.  You’ve gotten sick and tired of making the minimum payments on your debt and not getting ahead.  It’s time to be free if debt, you tell yourself.  It’s time to pay it back.  Pay it ALL back.  You want to get rid of the student loans, the car loan, the credit card debt, the mortgage and any other type of debt.  So, you try to find out how to do it and find some great resources on the internet.

Reading the PF blogs, you  find tons of other people who have done/are doing the same thing.  This puts more wind at your back, and you decide that it is time to start getting your financial house in order (and  your serious this time).  After all of the stuff you’ve read, it shouldnt be that bad.  Sure, it will be hard, you tell yourself, but it can’t be that bad.  There are guys that started out over 150k in the hole, for crying out loud.  Who could be that ignorant/irresponsible, you think to yourself.  That’s the price of a modest house where I come from!

Your situation isn’t as bad as that guys, you tell yourself.  You’ve got some credit cards, a student loan or 2 and a loan on your car, but you’re doing alright.  You haven’t missed a payment yet and you’re making good on  your minimum obligations, even though it seems like you have to clamp down on spending a few days before each payday.

Alright, you tell yourself, it’s time to dig in and figure out where to start.  Well, the first place to start is to gather all your bills, a piece of paper, pen and calculator.  It’s on, and when you find every last bill, you start to list the bills by name (car loan), amount (12,038).  And on and on….

As you keep writing, you think to yourself…well shit, I guess I have more bills than I realized.  Finally, after what seems like far too many entries in your list (12!?!?!?!) you break out your trusty calculator and start mashing numbers.  Then it hits you. You’re in way deeper than you realized.  You ARE that person you scoffed at 2 paragraphs ago for being 150k in the hole.  Holy shit.  This realization knocks you on your ass, and immediately you begin to recall all the turbulence that your favorite bloggers have faced getting out of the hole.

You’re one of those people that is burdened with debt, barely making ends meet that you read about in the news (I recently found out this is an acronym) paper or see on cnn.  You’re not a “normal” person who is struggling but still (barely) getting by.  You’re now one of “them”, those people got into debt way over their heads and can’t (or haven’t tried to) get back out.

Hardest part about getting out of debt is admitting you’re in it, then realizing that even though you are one of those people you’ve been scoffing at, you can (should and need to) change.  It will take hard work, sacrifice and it wont be easy, but you can pay it all back.  Once you do that, you’ll be free to do whatever you want with your money!

Before you think about how to pay it all back, you need to get your swagger back.  Sure, you used to be one of those people with a crushing amount of debt, but you’re determined to get out of it.  You have done your about-face and are, from this point forward, heading in the right direction.

To get your swagger back, remind yourself that you’re changing your habits to make your life easier later, so you’re sacrificing now.  That person that spent all that money they didnt have is gone, the only one still around is the one who is going to grab a bucket and start bailing out the rowboat while simultaneously trying to plug duct tape the many holes in the boat.

As we know, personal finance is personal.  A large part of success is having the right attitude.  Do you?

Yakezie Short Carnival

We are moving to Asia at 151 Days Off

Bliss at Digging out from our Mess

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Review at Money Beagle

Creative Commons License photo credit: moneydick

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About Jeff

Jeff is the founder of sustainable life blog and has been interested in sustainability for most of his life. After realizing in 2007 that his finances were a total wreck, he started reading financial blogs and quickly realized that what is best for your wallet is typically better for the earth, and is usually healthier. On sustainable life blog Jeff shares his journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. For updates, subscribe by email or like us on facebook.


  1. [...] from Sustainable Life Blog presents Getting your Swagger Back, and says, “After reading stories of people thousands and thousands of dollars in debt, you [...]

  2. [...] Getting Your Swagger Back – This post I wrote for those who have just figured out how deep in the hole they are.  It’s a crappy feeling and you feel like a huge useless moron, but things well get better, just focus on what you need to do and then do it! [...]

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