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Discussion Starter #1
I hope this does not sound like a weird question.

My husband and I have been putting in extra money to pay down credit cards. We generally focus on one at time getting all paid off. When one is paid off, that monthly money goes to help pay off another credit card.

I feel like I should be excited – or at least happy – about paying down this debt. I am not really feeling anything. I know it will benefit us a lot in the long run. Years from now we will have more money. And it may even allow us to retire a few years earlier, which is a pretty big deal. But it is hard to get worked up when I do not get any benefits for years.

I notice other people seem to get pretty excited about paying down debts. How do you get your enthusiasm? Does it just come natural? Or do you have some kind reward or celebration when you pay things off?
 

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Some people get excited over little things, other people it takes something larger. I was in your boat. I wasn't excited about paying down debt, I just knew that things would be better once I had. I didn't reward myself when a debt was paid off, at least not specifically because I had paid off said debt. I would sometimes allow an adjustment to certain areas of my budget because I had less money going to debt.

The point is, does it matter if you are excited? If you are staying the course, just allow it to be what it is, another area of life you are improving. Do you get excited when you clean the toilet? How about when the lawn is mowed? I don't get excited about too many things, but I still enjoy my life because my unexciting choices and actions allow for things that would otherwise be difficult to handle.
 

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I agree. I don't think it's that important to be excited about paying a bill, only that you do it and get that much closer to your goals.

Are you tracking your progress? Is there a way that you can set a goal for early retirement, and translate the payment of each debt into a date that gets moved closer every time you pay something off? Maybe that would be something you could get more enthused about. Sometimes making a goal more tangible helps, instead of just having a vague concept that somehow paying things off early will someday result in something good happening.

We paid off a huge chunk on our mortgage last fall and moved our last payment up by four years. We were pretty excited about that. Even though we got nothing out of it right now, it was still something we could see in black and white that brought our goals closer.
 

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~Another "Embrace the boring" poster here. Most money matters are rather tedious really. I think the possibility of any of it ever being fun or excitement is to make a game out of aspects of it. It's why so many people here participate in "Challenges".
One thing I like to do to give myself more satisfaction over my job well done with the boring stuff, is to use a future value calculator to determine how much I saved over paying in the future if I hadn't paid today along with how much that savings will grow over time. And then I dream about the higher quality of life(with tangible details) we'll have later because I was prudent today.~
 

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I'd like to encourage you to have celebrations every time you reach a milestone. When our house was the last thing left for us to pay off it was looooong and boooooring. It took three years. So each time we hit a $5,000.00 increment we had some kind of little celebration. This helped me to stretch a little to round off the amount I could contribute with each payment.

I really missed the quick wins of checking off the boxes when we reached the smaller goals. It seemed like we accomplished something within 6 weeks and then within 3 months. The house thing was not fun. So we made fun in other ways.

Also, it was helpful for me to post my progress. No matter how small, when I posted things on FV, folks cheered me on. It was very encouraging.

In any case good for you to pay stuff off!

Respectfully,

Sally
 

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Nope, paying bills is not exciting at all. But what is exciting is planning what you'll do with the money you've freed up monthly once they're gone. Start thinking now about a treat for when it's all done...maybe it's something as big as a nice vacation you pay cash for, or as 'small' as dinner out at a restaurant you've always wanted to go to but it was a little too pricey. It's downright painful sometimes when you're in the midst of digging out, but get far enough into it and you'll begin to feel that crushing weight lifting. You may not even realize it's there right now, but it is! That's when it becomes more enjoyable and less of a chore. Keep at it- the rewards will be great-promise!
 

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It excited me not to be controlled by someone else.
Our house is now our house and we are not partners with some company.
Not that I ever want DH to lose his job but if he did things would be a lot better than if we owed tons of CC debt.
I love that I can go out and buy a washer/dryer cash and not have payments.
Maybe you could make a game out of it for yourself. The best reason to be excited about it is it may make you do more??
 

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I get excited about little things. If you don't get excited about the little things, well, I am impatient. It takes too long for the big ones to come around. I look at it as one more step towards my goal. I also have a house spreadsheet that I record each payment and when, in theory, it should be paid off. As I pay off the house, the spreadsheet gets shorter.
 

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I agree with what Sally said. I would set benchmarks for rewards, even if it is something as simple as a great meal out. I also think posting the progress is exciting.
 

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We printed off the amortization of our mortgage loan, then crossed off lines as we paid extra- it was amazing how extra here and there took off entire years of our mortgage (especially in the early years of a loan). This was very satisfying to see our progress and helped to keep us on course.
 

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I did the same as pb. I also reran the numbers to see exactly how much less I was going to pay in interest when I put in extra payments. Seeing the expected interest paid dropping by THOUSANDS of dollars was a good motivator.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone. I feel better about not being excited.

I looked over what we owe this weekend and it is kind of ugly, even though we have been paying extra for a few years.

My husband says we should have all the credit cards paid off in about 3 or 4 years unless some emergencies come up. So I am feeling pretty good about that.

It is not really that long when I think about it. Short enough that I can start to daydream about it.

And when I think about the saved interest money, it really does make a huge difference. Much more so than most money saving things I actually do.

Maybe we can have a little celebration for each card that gets paid off.
 

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I agree to you. Paying down debt is very excited. I think we should also celebrate our success in debt payment.
Some people get excited over little things, other people it takes something larger. I was in your boat. I wasn't excited about paying down debt, I just knew that things would be better once I had. I didn't reward myself when a debt was paid off, at least not specifically because I had paid off said debt. I would sometimes allow an adjustment to certain areas of my budget because I had less money going to debt.

The point is, does it matter if you are excited? If you are staying the course, just allow it to be what it is, another area of life you are improving. Do you get excited when you clean the toilet? How about when the lawn is mowed? I don't get excited about too many things, but I still enjoy my life because my unexciting choices and actions allow for things that would otherwise be difficult to handle.
 

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I really did take me a bit of time to get excited about paying off my debts, because you start to see what might be possible on the other side once you get that going. I am sure that you are going to find that it becomes much more appealing once you start making a real dent in your debt.
 
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