In these last few months of debt repayment, I’ve really been going all in. I suppose it’s because being debt free is so close, ($1,500 to go!) I just want it to happen already. I’ve been funneling more and more of my cash towards my debt, and putting off other purchases because hey, I’m going to be debt free in a month, what’s another 30 days without a hair cut? I’ve been doing this ever since my wedding, because I really, really just want my debt to be gone already.
So naturally, life decides that’s just not going to happen.
When Life Makes Hitting Financial Goals Tough
I’ve mentioned several times that I got a new job. I start October 7th. I’m super excited about it, but it comes with one little hitch. The payroll cycle for the new job doesn’t match my current one whatsoever.
So, I’m going to have a few weeks here and there where I’m a little short on cash, and by a little, I mean by about half. Everything will have righted itself by November 1st, but for the month of October, my money situation is definitely going to be abnormal. If this had happened to me two years ago, I would have been screwed, and probably would have had to finance the difference on a credit card or something – because I didn’t have an emergency fund – and I was spending every dollar I made.
Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore. Today, I’m putting about 52% of my net income towards debt, and if I simply don’t do that for a month, I’ll have more than enough extra cash to cover my basic expenses like groceries, gas and my cell phone bill. That’s one of the the great upsides to living off of half of your income!
This is pretty much the only way to deal with the situation that doesn’t involve tapping my emergency fund – which is good!
The downside to that scenario is that I won’t be making any “extra” debt payments in October, which means I won’t be able to pay off my debt by my birthday like I’d planned, blogged about, and set my heart on. For a chronic planner like me, this feels like a major fail.
Adjusting Financial Goals is Not the End of the World
When realized that I had to delay my debt payments for a full month, I was very discouraged. These thoughts started flooding my brain:
I’m so close!
I’m supposed to be debt free in just a month!
How can I wait another whole month before achieving this thing that I’ve been working so damn hard for?
After a mini tail spin, I had a wake up call. $38,000 in 24 months sounds just as good as $38,000 in 23 months, and a year from now, one month is not going to make a difference. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am, and I think I’ve earned the right to a one month grace period.
In October, I’m still going to make my minimum car payment, and I’m still going to funnel all of my freelance and side hustle income towards my debt, but I’m not going to stress about not making any other payments. Instead, I’m going to focus on diving head first into this new job, and adjusting to working remotely full time.
Paying off debt is important. In fact, it’s probably the best thing you can possibly do for yourself financially. Paying off debt should be a priority – and should come before things like a gorgeous, expensive apartment or a new car. But sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s ok. The best way to balance life commitments and debt repayment is to pick your battles. Not everything is worth fighting tooth and nail for every last dollar. Sometimes, plans change, and adjustments need to be made.
I’m still moving rapidly towards my goals, and that’s the important thing. Who cares if I take an extra 30 days to achieve them?
Do you ever have to adjust your financial plans when life happens?