Keep going, it’s the best and only option.

Staring at your bank account won’t make it grow faster

Sometimes the needle isn’t moving as fast as I’d like.

At least that’s how it feels when I check it constantly.

Checking our bank accounts for massive growth EVERY DAY is a recipe for disappointment.

It’s like watching water boil.

It’s a slow and painful experience when you just stand there and stare at the pot.

I often feel like the effort we are putting in to our financial growth and the actual growth don’t match up.

You guessed it, I feel like the effort FAR outweighs the growth.

But when I take a step back and stop staring at the water, take my mind off it, maybe even stare out the window for a minute, the next thing I know the water is boiling over!

The same thing is happening to our bank account right now.

It’s about to boil over… in a way…

sorta……

let me explain.

how-do-i-money

Bubbles are forming in our bank account!

We are on track to become 100% debt free VERY soon.

(About a month away if a few things work out the way they are supposed to!!)

When we blow our debts off the face of the planet once and for all (and add in a few other savings explained below), the pot will start to boil.

Like flipping a switch, we will soon be debt free AND see an increased cashflow of around $1,000/mo.

WHAT?!?!?!

Yeah dude, here’s the break down:

  • $400/mo for last years taxes. (Gone when we pay it off next month.)
  • $400/mo in extra tax payments for this year because we started paying late. (Gone when we send in a check to get caught up.)
  • $100/mo student loan payments. (Gone when we pay them off next month.)
  • $100/mo drop in rent because our deposit has been rolled into our rent until now.
  • $50/mo drop in car insurance because we switched.
  • $20/mo drop in life insurance because we switched providers and got more coverage!

Total = $1,070

There’s a really good chance we will be able to accomplish all of these things next month. (Carrie has a client that hasn’t paid in a while and we are expecting a five figure check in the mail at anytime! That’s where this “extra” money is coming from.)

At the very least we will do all of them except catch up on this years tax payments. Worst case scenario we are up $670/mo. Then we continue to make double payments on this years taxes and get completely caught up in April. Then at that point we will be saving the full $1,070.

Words. Can. Not. Describe. How. Excited. I. Am. About. This.

So what’s up with all this frustration dude?!

I’ve got one answer with both practical and emotional undertones. (And so it goes with everything money related.)

Fighting your way up to the starting line doesn’t feel like progress, but it is.

Imagine having to run 10 miles just to get to the starting line of the marathon.

Can I shave off 10 miles at the end of the marathon please? I just ran 10 to get to the starting line! NO?! WTF DUDE!

Spending so much money just to get to the starting line doesn’t feel practical. It doesn’t feel like progress. It feels like wasted effort. Effort that the only credit you get for is the ability to start the race all over again. Sheesh!!

Another force is at play…

The difference between un-realistic expectations and reality is disappointment.

In other words… Just because I think or feel like we should be making progress faster than we are doesn’t mean that the progress that we are making isn’t right, earned, correct or good.

If I wanted to make 100k progress every month but only made $75k progress every month I would be disappointed. But being disappointed in $75k progress every month would be ridiculous.

But that’s how it goes. Unmet expectations.

Stronger because of the weights you’ve thrown off

If there’s any good news at all…

You could say that we’ve been walking around wearing $1,070 pound financial weights.

And we’ve been getting by just fine.

More than just fine.

We’ve been enjoying life, taking trips, eating food. We even have a car, a house, heat, two kinds of water (hot AND cold). We’ve got this machine that washes our clothes for us. We have electricity that powers computers and access the this wonderful/terrible thing called The Internet. We can afford to go to the doctor when we need to. We have everything we need.

Having the financial weights has forced us to prove that we can make it by just fine WITH the weights.

When the weights come off we will be stronger because we carried them for so long.

Had we never had the weights we might not have forced ourselves to carve out the extra $1,070/mo. It was forced on us, we had no choice. We aren’t above the lure of lifestyle creep or the temptation to spend as much as you earn. We are human too! If it weren’t for the debt forcing us to meet it’s demands, we easily could have just spent the $1,070/mo on something silly.

Maybe this is just an optimistic way of looking at a less than ideal situation that we’re stuck with anyway. (But not for much longer!)

One foot in front of the other

I don’t usually feel this mix of frustration and excitement.

I think it’s because we are soooooooo close to becoming debt free that these feelings have crept up to the surface.

A few years ago when debt-freedom looked like far off smoke on the horizon I didn’t think about it as much. We just put one foot in front of the other.

Now that it’s close I’m reminded of why we are in this situation. What it all means. And how different things will be very soon.

All those months of putting in the effort when the water refused to boil is finally paying off.

The effort we put in over the months and years is the reason why the water boils now.

The world is paying attention to our efforts and we will be rewarded.

We will shortly be debt free and able to start saving and investing $1,000/mo.

And it’s only up, up, up from there as we increase our income. It’s off to the races folks!

Keep going, it’s the best and only option.

It will pay off. It might feel painfully slow now but it will happen in it’s own time.

-Derek

14 Responses to "Keep going, it’s the best and only option."

  1. Jay   November 29, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Thanks for this blog post – it’s a reminder that I personally needed to hear. Sometimes I get caught-up in the day-by-day details and feel discouraged when I don’t see big overnight gains. But realistically, I should take my eyes of the boiling water and just keep pushing. Thanks for the reminder, and good luck with your progress paying down your debt!

    Reply
    • Derek   November 29, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Cool man. Here’s to taking our eyes off the water and just doing the work!

      I’ll give an update (probably it’s own post) if/when we are able to pay off all our debts next month.

      Wish us luck!!

      Reply
  2. Steven Goodwin   November 29, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I feel ya totally on this one! Sometimes we build up the big event in our heads so much that once we actually hit the goal, it loses it ability to provide contentment because we are already off dreaming about the next big thing! It’s not a bad thing to be excited, but make sure you take some time to revel in your accomplishment before you are off and running to the next thing.

    I remember when we were getting so close to paying off our debt too. I was trying desperately to find any money I could to throw at it.

    I would just want to let you know that building savings and inclvestments can be a little harder to be as motivated because it can be so open ended and can really bring discontent with how good we have it if we aren’t thankful for where we are.

    Can’t wait to read your debt free post soon! 2017 is going to be so awesome!

    Reply
    • Derek   November 29, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      I’ve heard others say it’s not as exciting and motivating once you are debt free and start to build up savings. There’s not a HUGE milestone to cross anymore. Even a million dollars isn’t a drastic or exciting a milestone as becoming debt free is. It’s just different. Hard to explain. (Not that I would even know!)

      Reply
  3. Nicole   December 4, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    I gave up on looking for progress with savings because it just wasn’t happening. The same with debt because the bulk of the earlier payments were going to interest so it seemed like money down the drain. Then, all of a sudden, I started to notice a little bit of progress with the debt. All of this is to say, the point you made, to…..

    Keep going, it’s the best and only option….. That makes all the difference because when we stall or give up then the little bit of progress rolls backward and it’s the start of a downward spiral all over again.

    Reply
    • Derek   December 4, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      You are so right.

      I had not thought of it like that.

      You said it perfectly here…. “when we stall or give up then the little bit of progress rolls backward and it’s the start of a downward spiral all over again.”

      That’s a GREAT reason to just put one foot in front of the other and KEEP GOING!!!!!!!

      Thanks for stopping by Nicole. See you around!

      Reply
  4. Ty   December 5, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I love this post! The great thing about finances is that you can attack them from multiple angles.
    * A debt paid off means you can save more.
    * Eliminating needless crap from you life means you need to save LESS to retire on.
    * The more you have saved/invested, the FASTER it grows.

    Every positive thing you do seems to have a multiplier effect. And when you don’t watch your numbers every. single. day! then you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you do check on them. This is the same reason I took the scale out of my bathroom. (TMI?) 🙂

    Reply
    • Derek   December 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      “Every positive thing you do seems to have a multiplier effect.”

      Ohhhhh….!!!!

      I really like that idea. So true.

      The place in my life I’ve experienced a “multiplier effect” (both positive and negative) has been in my physical health. When I exercise, I feel so much better. I have a better mental attitude, I get more done, I’m happier, I’m nicer. But when I don’t workout for weeks, my mind gets foggy and I have a bad attitude.

      Multiplier effect. I’ll have to remember this idea and apply it to my life in money and other areas too. Thanks Ty!!!

      Reply
  5. Liz@ChiefMomOfficer   December 6, 2016 at 4:40 am

    Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and look how far you’ll walk almost without noticing! Definitely hitting a huge goal can sometimes feel anti-climactic, but take the time to celebrate just how far you’ve come. It’s like climbing a mountain-hard to believe all those small steps will take you up something so huge, but if you just keep going you’ll reach the summit.

    Reply
  6. Derek   December 6, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Yes. This.

    I guess I’m not the only one who feels this way!!!

    Reply
  7. Lake Girl   December 20, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I remember when my debt was almost gone. I started throwing more and more money at. I couldn’t wait to hit the finish line. Congrats!!!!

    Reply
    • Derek   December 21, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Thanks Lake Girl.

      I can’t waaaaaaiiiiittttt!!!

      Reply
  8. Mark   December 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I love the analogy of running 10 miles just to get to the starting line. I am about halfway through the marathon now, but had to run a full marathon just to get to starting line. Now that I can see my retirement goal in sight in 5-8 years, it’s good to remember how far I have have come when I get impatient about the future.

    Reply
  9. John@AmazonHackers   January 1, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Great post! Its amazing how changing your perception and having a “can do” attitude can make a huge impact on your finances. (atleast thats what happened to me about 2 years ago.).

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.