When it comes to our debt freedom goals we are pretty far off from where we’d thought we would be a few years ago. Of course, life has thrown some unexpected curve balls our way. We moved to Atlanta for a job that didn’t quite work out and then the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the entire world. Through it all, we have been able to maintain at least the minimum payments on everything and have avoided taking on new debts altogether. So, slow progress is better than no progress, right?
Our Slow Progress
If you read last month’s debt freedom update, not much has changed. We’ve made a payment on each of our accounts to stay current but there are not any huge changes. In June, we will make a little bit more money, but most of that will be stashed away in savings as we prepare for our firstborn child to arrive at the end of the summer. There are only 10 short weeks before she makes her appearance!
While the slow progress can be a bummer at times when we consider where we wanted to be by now, there are times we sit back and think to ourselves, “Wow, look how far we’ve come.” Just a little over four years ago we were living in a motel. We were trying to pay off rental debts to get into an apartment. Things looked pretty bleak and we were taking on new debt just to improve our lives.
Flash forward to now when the only significant debt we hold is our car and my student loans. We’ve paid off accounts in full, moved four times (once four hours away to a different state). Debt or no debt, we love the lives we are beginning to create for ourselves.
A Few Motivational Thoughts
Sometimes this slow progress can be discouraging. However, slow progress is better than making no progress at all. Or worse, we could be going backward. Thankfully, we are trucking forward. Here are a few reasons even slow progress is a reason to pat yourself on the back.
- Slow progress doesn’t mean you are failing. Progress is progress. You are not failing just because you are moving slower than the person to the left or right (or how fast you think you should be going).
- It adds up over time. As mentioned above, my husband and I have come a long way. We were essentially homeless living in a motel a little over four years ago. Every financial change we’ve made has been for the better, even if the progress has been slow for us.
- Slower progression allows you to adapt to more things. If there’s anything I can attest to it is that we’ve both become adaptable to changes as they come. We have a tight week financially? No problem! I’ll just trim the grocery budget. We’ve learned to roll with the punches.
- You become resilient. Slow progress will make you more resilient. You will learn not everything is the end of the world and that, eventually, you’ll reach the goals you have your sights set on.
- It teaches you not the give up. Most importantly, slow progress teaches you to keep pushing forward. Things don’t always work out according to plan and that’s okay!
Readers, how do you monitor your debt freedom progress? Share your methods in the comments!
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.