I’ve been getting a few questions about how much total debt my husband and I actually have. I’ve always prided myself on being very transparent with our debt payoff process, so I don’t want people to think that we’re trying to hide this information from them. I’ve mentioned it here and there throughout a couple of blog post, but I’ve never actually really went into deep discussion about our total amount of debt. It’s taken me a while to get to the point where I don’t have a downright anxiety attack every time I talk about it. $212,000 isn’t something you just breeze by in conversation. It’s a number that causes people to pause and stare at your like you’ve just announced you’re actually from an alternate universe.
Our total debt amount is the reason why on our Broke on Purpose board we only put the total amount we’ve paid off and not how much more we have to go.
Lately, I’ve grown to embrace our total number. Sure, $212,000 of debt shows how careless we were in our jobs as stewards with Gods Money, but it also gives us a testimony. It shows me where we’ve been and our progress tells me where we’re going.
Before, I would constantly ask me myself “can we really pay off $212,000 of debt?”. I struggled with doubt, and the desire to just throw my hands up and walk away, but something changed when we kept at it and started to see traction.
By the end of 2015, we’d paid off over $29,000 and just this past June we successfully reached the $50,000 mark. We’re almost a third of the way there! Instead of wondering if we’ll ever make it I’ve changed the narrative in my head and I’m now starting my sentences with “When we become debt free…”
What I’ve learned throughout this entire process is that you can’t let this number define you. It doesn’t have to be a permanent part of your life. Your decisions and actions today, tomorrow, and in the future determine how big or how small that number will be, but you just have to start.
Each day you choose to make better financial choices effects the size of your number. This is why we post how much we’ve paid off every month. Each month is a step and the amount we pay off lets us know how big of a step we can take. Some months we tip toe other months we leap regardless of the number we’re still moving forward.