Yes, stop paying down your debt so fast and furious that it is causing you to have such tunnel vision you stop living life, can’t see where you are going or how far you have come.
I talk to a lot of stressed out people that if they are not meeting their goal of becoming debt-free on a certain date you would think the world would end.
Now, don’t take me wrong. I am all for you hustling hard on getting your finances in order. Pay off your debt, boost your savings and join financial freedom, but if you are going to be a stress-case while doing it then we need to talk.
I’ve heard money guru’s tell people they shouldn’t go to their best friends wedding that will cost them 1,500 dollars, even if they have it in cash, because they have 4,000 in credit card debt.
That kind of nonsense drives me up the wall. You cannot replicate going to your best friends wedding!!! Go to the wedding and then come back with a plan to hustle even harder. And I mean hustle! It’s all in having a plan. If you’re just wandering around with no plan, then yes, going to your friend’s wedding will keep you going further into debt.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain.
Now, if you’re in debt and want to go buy a new car because you are bored with your perfectly fine 8 year old car that is still running great and that’s paid off then I’m sending you a virtual smack on the head! Buying a new car is not a life experience you can never replicate.
If you think that manicures, 200 dollar a month cable-TV subscription and weekly dining at Morton’s steakhouse with a few bottles of wine are more important than paying down your debt, here’s another virtual smack on the head.
My approach is balance. If life has thrown you a bunch of curve balls while working your way to a better financial life, realize that as long as you are not using those as an excuse to give up and go back to your “use credit cards for everything” life then moving that finish line is okay. Focus on how far you have come, create a new plan and keep going.
If trying to keep that finish line date is going to cause you so much stress you’ll end up at the hospital with a stress related illness – move the darn finish line! Make a new plan with a new time line that includes balance.
Life experiences like your best friend’s wedding, anniversaries, family gatherings cannot be replicated. They are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Find a balance between enjoying life and becoming debt-free. Only you will know what those are and what is more important to you but don’t get so tunnel visioned while getting out of debt that you’ll cross the finish line only to have regrets of missing out on life experiences you can never get back.
It’s easy to get so focused on an end-goal we forget to enjoy the journey. I would love to hear what you think. Share in the comments below.