Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Debt as a Mental Prison

I'm not sure if you've been able to tell in my tone, but man, this debt has been taking a great toll on my mental stability. I've compared myself to a hermit, in private thought of my life as a hell, then moved on to thinking of it more as a form of purgatory, a limbo stage that I must pass through before I can move on to a brighter future. It got me thinking about the psychology of debt and how it is affecting all of the other areas of my life.

For example, work is the one element in my life that is most directly related to getting out of debt. I loathe going to work everyday because I feel like it is a form of punishment for my debts. I get frustrated with work because it is not helping me get out of debt fast enough and I feel like I am trapped working there because of my debt. No matter how much I don't like going there everyday, I feel like I have to because if I don't, the debt will only get bigger and bigger.

How messed up is that?

Another example. Like I posted before, I feel like my social life is suffering because of the debt. I can't go on vacations. I can't buy new clothes. I can't spend money to go out and do fun things. Any sort of pleasure that involves spending money is laden with guilt.

Realizing all this, I know that I cannot constantly be looking towards my "life without debt" as the oasis on the horizon. I have to stop using my debt as an excuse for why I can't do this or I can't do that. Debt is just one aspect of my life and it shouldn't rule all of the others. So hurrah for me, tomorrow is a new day!

On another note, a while ago, I was selling lots of books and CDs on Half.com and Amazon. I managed to make some extra cash that way and get rid of lots of clutter. I had totally forgotten that I still had stuff listed on Half.com until yesterday when I was checking my online bank statement and noticed a deposit from Half.com. I was confused because it had been months since I sold anything and just assumed that I had forgotten that there was any money in my account and this was just old money. I checked back at half.com's website and saw that there were 4 books that had sold in January. Being the ditz that I can be at times, I thought "Oh January, those must be the old ones and marked them all as shipped". Duh! I guess I have no concept that the month we are in now is January! Maybe this is part of the problem of living in California; every month of the year seems to be exactly the same. I then realized that I would have to go back and issue a refund for each of the books that I sold because I gave all the ones I didn't sell to the Good Will but of course, I had another blond moment and checked on "issue full refund + return shipping" charging my account more than the amount that the buyer had actually paid. Oops. I guess lesson learned; if you're going to sell stuff online you must remember to take it off once you no longer have it!

add to del.icio.us saved by 0 users


Anonymous said...

I think you are doing great! You and I are in the same spot debt-wise. It will be done soon, and then you never have to do it again!

I read on Boston Gal's Open Wallet that today is the most discouraging day of the year. Some dude took the time to figure it out. So, maybe tomorrow will be the most exciting, eh?

Hope so!
"The prisoner in the next cell over!"

~Dawn said...

I understand where you are coming from... I try to think that a few years of no vacations and getting on the right track is worth a better mental state and longer life with no debt.

Keep it up, you will be glad you did.

pkthunder said...

Right now I'm reading Your Money or Your Life and I think its advice might be helpful to you. Instead of viewing it as constant deprivation, like a diet, you actively review what you spend money on and determine if it's worth the "life-energy" you spent on it for the amount of *true* fulfillment it gave you. Check it out.

Will Kirby said...

Stick with it, nobody ever said getting out of debt would be easy! The fact that you're sticking with it and prospering the way you are is an inspiration to everyone. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I hear ya! I feel the exact same way about feeling deprived. The traveling part is the worst thing to give up for me. I have been able to go on some vacations by camping instead. If you tent it in a campground near a city and eat two meals a day out of the cooler it can be done way cheaper. That's how I spent a week in Washington D.C. last summer. I felt just as renewed as after any vacation and didn't pay big money for hotels or food.

stevie.be. said...

lol. mental note made!

i can relate to work being purgatory. we are slaves to the pennies and that's all there is too it... or is it? i will let u know when i find out :)

much continued success in your pursuits!!!

SELF said...

If debt is burden maybe all you need is a little more encouragement, courage, faith and knowledge about debt to actually take advantage of debt and make a profit from your own debt. Sort of lemon to lemonade. Won't take you any time to check out www.go2self.org/stop. Not a scam or MLM or anything of that sort. It is an educatonal site. Hope it helps.