Determining the Debt
When we made the big tally of how much we owe in student loans, I was truly shocked. The numbers had been right there in our mint.com account all through law school, but I don’t think I ever paid much attention to them. If I ever glanced at the student loan category, I was in denial and thought “oh, that can’t be right.”
Among friends in law school, we talked about debt often, but in general terms. We talked about how we were excited for a steady income and how we were eager to pay off our loans. We shared ideas about saving money. I think we all felt comfortable admitting when we couldn’t afford certain activities or things. Actual debt dynamics and digits were never discussed.
Are we Alone?
Both my husband and I have a thrifty and frugal upbringing. Throughout law school we lived frugally. Knowing the money I was using was really a loan, I tried to ask myself “Am I willing to pay interest on this?” with most purchases. Still, after 4 years of school we were Six Figures Under.
After recovering from the shock of realizing how extreme our debt was, I wondered if we were the only ones in this deep. Here I felt like we were financially responsible people and were among the most frugal law student families, yet here we were (ahem… “are”) Six Figures Under. Surely there were others in a similar situation, but I didn’t know of any of them for certain. I wanted to discuss debt, but it seems that discussing the details of debt is discouraged.
Debt is Discouraging
Why do we suffer in silence when it comes to debt? I suppose because personal finances are usually, well, personal. Perhaps we are worried about keeping up our appearances among co-workers and clients, friends and family. In an effort to maintain our image we probably even increase our debt (and discouragement).
Of course we aren’t proud of our debt and certainly don’t want to announce it. Being a servant to creditors isn’t something to flaunt, so instead, we keep our debt discreet. We may be discouraged, even devastated, by our debt, but we have no one to share our burden with. We are too embarrassed even to share our successes with those around us. We climb Everest, so to speak, on our own, without any support or anyone cheering for us.
Join the Debt Discussion
What if we had a safe place to divulge and discuss our debt without being judged or criticized? What if we rooted for each other at each small victory (you know, the ones that others wouldn’t understand without having been there)? What if we shared ideas and advice generously and gently?
I believe some heartache is spared when a burden is shared. I am so excited to have a place where we can discuss debt openly and encourage one another. I hope that as a community, together we will:
- Offer Advice in the spirit of love and encouragement.
- Share Ideas of ways to save and earn more money.
- Give Encouragement without judging or criticizing.
- Ask Questions because surely someone else has been there.
For those of you who are “debt graduates” or those who “just didn’t go there,” a sincere CONGRATULATIONS to you! We are thrilled to have you join along and kindly share your experience and ideas. Hopefully the tips, ideas, and encouragement, can help you continue to save money and stay on track for other financial goals.
Each Wednesday I will start a new Debt Discussion topic and hope you will join in!
Throughout the week I will continue to post on topics related to saving money, earning money and paying off debt, so subscribe to the site or follow/like on social media to stay in the loop.
If you have a topic, question, or idea for our Debt Discussion, please fill out the form below. Otherwise, just leave a comment and let us know you are ready to join the Debt Discussion!