For fun today I thought “wow, wouldn’t it be great to know when I will have my debt paid off?” Even more fun fact: it’s not as great to know as you’d expect.
You see, the problem is that everyone around me (not everyone, but there are many people) is older and says things like “way back when I was your age, I started out with nothing.” Up-hill both ways, no shoes, in the snow, that sort of whatnot.
I would be ecstatic (to say the least) to start out with nothing
But as life would have it, that’s not what I started out with. I went to college because I was told that that was the good thing to do – the thing that would make my life better because I’d be able to make enough money to afford my bills and whatnot.
Know this: I do not regret going to college. Not even for a second. I met some of the most amazing people there (including my now-wife). I learned so much about myself and the world. I know that I would not be where I am today and living the life I am today if I had not left my hometown and went away to college. I am proud of my accomplishment and I do not regret it.
I am also working toward my Masters degree. Again, I do not regret this. It’s helped me further my career and I know that in the future it will aid in my career as well.
So, I left college with much, much less than nothing. I am still gaining some loans (though smaller) for my last year of graduate school, but I am currently living at $-103,046.94 in the hole. That’s after paying on some of them. Not to mention the credit card debt of $4,271 that I racked up.
Unfortunately, there is more, though. I left college with much less than nothing and then I married someone who also went to college and graduate school and left with much less than nothing. The sad truth is, there really isn’t any other option unless your family is rich and you get lucky enough to get a “daddy-degree,” but let’s be real – most of us will never get that luxury.
So, with her $72,444.79 of debt (after a year of paying on it) and my $103,046.94 of debt and our combined credit card debt of $7847, PLUS our car debt (because unfortunately both of our cars broke down and we were stuck with no money to put toward a car and a need to buy a car) of $5,614.61, we are far, far less than nothing. Our combined debt at the moment is $192,453.40.
Let me reiterate that so that it can fully sink in.
Tell me again how you “left school with nothing” and were worse off than we are?
I’m not trying to play a pity party here and I don’t want any sympathy. I fully expect that my wife and I will pay off our debt, by ourselves, and we will be debt free and in a good position to buy our own house and raise our family – eventually.
So, back to the main point of this post. I decided on some frivolous notion to determine how long the world thinks it will take for me to pay off my debt if we simply pay the bare minimum. I went to a debt calculator. Entered it in. Entered in the minimum payments. The result?
“I can’t pay off my debt”
No joke. That’s legitimately what the calculator told me. See for yourself.
So, my minimum payments will get me nowhere. Okay, cool. So, I tried another formula. What if I double my minimum payments?
Awesome, so if I double my minimum payments I can pay off my debt by 2042. Holy cow. That’s a long time. Wait, tell me again how it’s worse to start off with nothing?
So, let’s try another formula. What if I put $3,000 a month toward my loans?
Okay, that’s better. That’s 6 years from now. That removes 21 years from my sentence. That’s pretty good right? But with me working in ministry and my wife working in social work, it’s pretty rough to find an extra $3,000 just laying around each month.
Wait, do we even make that much?
Anyway, just for fun I decided to see what we would need to pay if we wanted to pay off our debt in one year – by September of 2016. Well, the answer is pretty clear – $10,000 a month (actually, that can’t even be accurate. It would be way more than that…)
So, it’s unrealistic. But doesn’t it look pretty?
Thankfully, I plan to get out as quick as possible and we have already decreased our loans significantly. I have faith that we will get there. Stay tuned to learn ways that we are saving money and paying down our unbelievable amounts of debt! Follow us here!
Have ideas of your own for getting out of debt? Share them in the comments below!
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