While my wife and I are currently debt free, I know that many of my readers struggle with knowing how much to pay towards their debt and how much to cut back on their lifestyle. When my wife and I just got married (and were not making any significant amount of money), we had to sacrifice out lifestyle a little bit in order to make ends meet. Luckily, we had an emergency fund to keep us going through the bad months, but we only survived because of our sacrifice. If you are trying to pay off your debt, you will learn to balance debt payoff and enjoying life in the present.
Why Attacking Debt Aggressively is Important
As I’ve talked about before, paying off your debt aggressively is very important. It not only is a shifting point in your mentality, but it is a great way to pick up the pace to living debt free. Instead of prolonging the period where you have lots of debt, by attacking it aggressively you expedite that process. There’s no better way to live than debt free so why not get there as fast as possible, right?
Why Balancing Debt Pay off and Enjoying Life is Also Important
Yet, at the same time, we all know that life isn’t that easy. If it were that easy, many of us would already be debt free and not struggling. The simple truth is that we all want to enjoy life while we have it. After all, we may not be around 2 years from now. You don’t want to work too hard to the point where you live with regret.
The first way to search for a balance is to make sure to question your motives when wanting to splurge a little. Do you really need tickets to see willy mason live? Or do you really need that new pair of shoes? There’s not going to be an easy answer to these types of questions, but many of the times you will be able to notice which ones are obviously unnecessary and which ones might be a good use of your money.
The next way to help find a balance in splurging and paying down your debts is to set quantifiable limits. Tell yourself that you will spend X amount every month on guiltless spending. Or you will do 2 fun things that require money each month. Make them personal, but be as specific as possible to keep yourself from going over board in the moment.
Again, while my wife and I are not currently in debt, we do have investing goals for the future. Balancing our investments with our fun money is similar to balancing debt because it means figuring out how to enjoy ourselves while also planning for the future. It’s never going to be easy, but it is possible. Start with the two tips above and keep going from there. Not only will you live with less regret, as you are making conscious decisions about where to direct your money, but I think you will also see yourself become more responsible and pay off your debt faster.