What’s Standing In the Way of What You Really Want?

559984_10100212820887979_393330045_nI’m not currently living the life I want. I’m living the life I need to in order to get the life I want. I’m more than happy with our life given our current situations but not how I want to live forever. My so called ”dream life” involves things like a more appropriate family home, a second vehicle, more vacation time, likely more children and overall, less worrying and more enjoying. All of these things I will have when our debt is paid off.

A few years ago I would dream about these things but not do anything about obtaining them. I had accepted my debt and thought it was my prison sentence. I allowed my debt to define our life. I would read stories about people who worked towards paying their debt off and living the life they always wanted but I had it in my head that it was impossible for us. I had absolutely no grounds for my thoughts since, at the time, I hadn’t even calculated a budget for us. I was doing nothing to get the life I wanted, yet thought I deserved. I just expected it to arrive at my front door.

To be fair, some stories are written in such a way  that it seems so impossibly easy it’s unfair. ”Just get a job that pays 200k/year and you’ll be fine!” or ” I was given a cash gift of 25k to help me…” I couldn’t relate to anything and my situation felt unique. It was through blogs that I realized that I wasn’t alone. Reading blogs like yours gave me a realistic perspective about our situation. Sometimes I feel great that we’ll be in a really good financial situation before we’re 35 while others makes me feel terrible for waiting so long to deal with our debt. All that matters is that we are doing something, now.

For me, what was standing in the way of us doing anything earlier was a combination of laziness and sheer ignorance. I wasn’t willing to do the homework required on our finances. I wasn’t willing to put in the hard work to make the money that was required to make the extra money we needed to get this debt paid off. I’m happy to report things have changed.

For me it took becoming a mother to put my life into perspective. Some people have the initiative and know-how from the beginning but I didn’t. It took a lot of mistakes and education (and blog reading!) to get to where we are now. While I’m so glad we’re finally here, I’m a little bummed we weren’t at this point five years ago. I guess everything happens for a reason and we’ll be better people for having endured everything we have financially. I know we make better decisions overall in life because of lessons learned so that’s a positive.I work my ass off from the moment I wake until well past what should be my bedtime and I won’t ever complain about it. Yes, I’m exhausted (and amazed at how well I function on such little sleep) but it’s energy well spent.

Until we get this debt dealt with I won’t stop holding my breath. I look forward to the relaxation and enjoyment from our hardwork but for now, that’s light at the end of a seemingly long tunnel.

I have isolated what was standing  in our way. What was, or is preventing you from getting the life you want?

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?


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  1. I SO could’ve written this post, Catherine. We struggled for years to with laziness and ignorance. We thought we were doing our children a favor by buying them nice clothes and taking them to every show for kids imaginable, when in fact we were hurting them by not providing them with financial security. Like you, I often struggle with regret that we didn’t wake up sooner, but the good news is that both of our families WILL be debt free one day. 🙂 Thanks for a great post!

  2. I can definitely relate Catherine. When I was struggling with my debt so much of it came down to me being lazy and ignorant to the gravity of my situation. I look back now and wish that I wouldn’t have wasted the time that I did, but I know that it provided some valuable lessons. I had the same issue when starting our business – I let fear hold me back for years. What I’ve learned through both of those is to be sensitive to those things so it doesn’t go on…but I know that is easier said that done many times. 🙂 Good post Catherine!

  3. I believe the most important thing is to keep moving forward. I no longer think about what happened in the past I just keep on pushing forward. Since I finally woke up and decided to work towards becoming debt free it has changed my whole perspective on life. It made me want to revamp many other areas in my life.

    Your right about blogging. So far I have made some good friends, and educated myself. Blogging has also rejuvenated the old me again, and I can’t believe how much fun I’m having.

  4. I very much hear you on scaling down right now in order to have what I want later. Student loans are holding me back right now, though at this point I only wish I could contribute to retirement more and possibly start saving for a wedding. I’m pretty content with everything else, which is something that might not have happened had it not been for debt.

  5. As Dave Ramsey says….”live like no one else today, so tomorrow you can LIVE like no one else”

  6. Most of “what we want” are far future goals. A family, house, and well-educated children.

    Right now, we’re saving as much as possible so that we’ll be able to afford it comfortably.

    That’s not to say we don’t live comfortably now, but I do still think about whether purchases are worth it. Still, we’re taking a few weeks of vacation in October/November, that way we don’t feel like we’re saving for some far future expenses without any short-term relaxing.

    One interesting you brought up is about being gifted money. While being gifted a house would be super cool, would I feel weird because I didn’t “earn” it?

  7. Are you reading my mind??

  8. What stands in the way of living the life I want? Usually myself…my own excuses…my own denial…my own stubbornness (as I wrote about today). If I could just get rid of myself, then I could live the life I want. 🙂

  9. I think a huge factor that goes against a lot of people’s financial goals is simply the failure to track their money. I always recommend apps like Mint or Check to my friends that track every dime coming in and out. So many people then realize that it’s not big purchases getting in the way of them getting out of debt, it’s all the little ones (coffees, fast food, etc.) that add up and create a huge bill at the end of the month.

  10. I think my current job situation is the thorn in my otherwise pretty great life. I’m not even in a relationship and don’t care as much about that as I do about finding happiness with my work. But like you I’m working towards changing it. I don’t quite have a clear path, but I’m slowly moving AWAY from what I don’t like. I guess that’s something, right? 🙂 Being able to save more now is helping with that too. I don’t feel “quite” as trapped. I can really relate to this post!

  11. Debt and time are getting in my way. I have put some of my dreams on the shelf too. I feel like I won’t recover until I’m 40, but I keep hustling and working! Hopefully one day we will be able to relax.

  12. Hi Catherine—I just came across your blog link over on budget and the beach and read this post. Don’t give up! You are so right that while it might not be easy it will be worth it. My husband and I started out with enormous debt when we were younger and we didn’t really get it until we were older than you are. But we did GET IT and started the hard work you are going through right now. And yes–we made it! We are now debt free and have been for about 4 years. It was the BEST thing we ever did.

    Besides learning all the things I’m sure you are learning along the way another BIG thing was learning to choose and prioritize. Because even now we are still faced with choices about what to spend money on and what to turn away from. We are very comfortable but not rich. We do lots of fun and interesting things, but we don’t do everything. Pick and choose. Still, is it worth it! YES! Please continue on. I so wish we had learned this earlier ourselves but you are very lucky to be doing it now. ~Kathy

    • Hey Kathy, Thanks so much for stopping by! I know it feels like forever but we’ll get there. Congrats to you guys for making it!!

  13. Don’t finance a car – EVER! It may seem like the only solution, but don’t ever finance a car, just save and buy what you can afford to cash. I just sold a good car for $3K – so they are out there. Great blog!

  14. DEBt DEBs says:

    Catherine ~ I applaud your plans and efforts. One thing that I have to be careful of is focusing too much on the end goal and not enjoying the journey. We think that when we are debt free, things will be easier and maybe less stressful where money is concerned. But if we are hanging on to this dream as ‘utopia’, we may be disappointed and are potentially sacrificing our current happiness in the process. I’m re-reading (it’s very deep) The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle to help me achieve this.

  15. Hi Catherine, it’s amazing how isolated you can feel at the same time there are so many people in the exact same situation as you are, living how you do and doing what you need to do to keep going. For me, getting out of debt is one of my primary goals , and I’ve got a lot of work to do. Little by little though I’ll start making progress and hopefully sooner rather than later I’ll be able to live the way I want without all the financial pressures I have now.

    • Catherine says:

      It’s true there are so many people in the same situation, or worse (and yes better) It’s great to keep perspective of it all.


  1. […] from Plunged in Debt: What’s Standing In the Way of What You Really Want? Time and […]

  2. […] Catherine over at Plunged in Debt wrote an awesome post this week called What’s Standing in the Way of What You Really Want?  This post, packed with good info, could’ve easily been a follow-up to my earlier post, What […]

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