A Story About Paying Off Debt and the Obstacles Along the Way

, ,

Winning, July 2018 Edition

I've got to be honest: I'm having a rough couple of weeks. 

Sometimes certain aspects of life can be so demoralizing, with no obvious or immediate solutions. That's where I'm at right now. I feel backed into a corner, stuck in an endless cycle, frustrated, and somewhat depressed. Also clueless. How do I make this situation better? I have no idea.

Sorry to vague-blog. At some point I'd like to be more transparent. But even without specifics, I bet you can relate. I bet you've been there, too, one way or another.

Regardless, I'm trying to take note of the things that are going well...

...which brings me to a new edition of WINNING, a semi-monthly series (semi-monthly because I have a bad habit of forgetting to write it) in which I give us a hearty pat on the back for the stuff that's going right, particularly from a financial standpoint. 

Why? Because it's important to acknowledge and own badass-edness, even when I don't feel like a badass in any way, shape, or form.

So here it is:

Winning, July 2018 Edition:

(1) We took a mini-vacation and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. You can read our full vacation summary here, but the gist of it is that we celebrated our credit card payoff with four days in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, where we gorged on ice cream and tacos and soaked in as much outdoor beauty as possible. Granted, we overshot our budget by about $300, but I can't be mad about it because the trip was nothing short of magical. We needed this getaway. We achieved a big goal, and we deserved the chance to celebrate.

(2) I opened up my own IRA! I finally rolled over the small amount of money I had in my retirement account from my previous job. Truth be told, I had no idea what I was doing, so I just threw the balance into a growth index fund that's received several good reviews. Murphy's Law being what it is, the market has of course dropped in the days since I opened my account - but what's important is that I now have another spot to sequester savings once we've paid off the student loans.

(3) I landed a bonus at work! And guess what: every penny of it is going straight into our savings account. After a month of discussion and debate, Fortysomething and I have decided that rather than going all-out on student loans, we're going to first use some of our "extra" cash to build up our emergency fund. I plan to share more about that decision in an upcoming post. The long and short of it is that we have at least 1.5 more years of debt repayment ahead of us. Over that kind of timeframe, all kinds of expensive shit can hit the fan, and I'll be damned if I have to pay for it with a credit card. We're not going there again, so we need more savings to help float us in an emergency.

(4) I signed up for an ultramarathon! A couple months back, I shared that a big goal of mine is to run a really long raceIt took awhile to find one that met all of my criteria: 50K or 50 miler, within driving distance, sometime in the fall, nothing too high in elevation or too hot. I finally selected a 50-mile race that will take place in Tucson in November. I've got my training plan in place (I used the free Santa Clarita Runners ultramarathon training schedule generator) and I'm already into Week 3. The price of entry was kind of steep ($115), but this is a bucket list item for me. It's worth the investment.

Needless to say, this will be an adventure!

What about you? What are some of your wins this month? Or alternatively, is there anything that you're struggling with right now that you're trying to work through?

Disease Called Debt


  1. My win is that when weather problems snafued airline travel plans and stranded me and my daughter, I uttered an expletive, pulled out the credit card and bought us new tickets home. Paying the bill will not be a problem.

    1. Oooooh, that IS a major win! Wow! I bet that felt great.

  2. My money win this month is that I am out of my timeshare, as in it's sold and is no longer my responsibility (taxes and maintenance). It was a good purchase for a long time, but now it's become a burden as these things do and it was time to get rid of it.

    Sounds like you had a great mini-vacation, and a bonus is always a welcome event! But I'm most impressed by that ultramarathon signup. Taking a good walk is an event for me, so I can only imagine what it must take to run 50 miles.

    1. Congratulations, Gary! I hear it can sometimes be difficult to get out of timeshares. Another burden lifted!

      I am really excited about the ultra, but also terrified. LOL.

  3. I saved us $50 on our dogsitting bill! I can't remember anything else right now but I love the idea of this series! I'm trying to do small wins on my Thursday link loves so I can remind myself of the good things.