I made another “extra” payment on my last remaining student loan this morning–$225.
I remember being so overwhelmed when we started actually tackling our student loans. When I was working, I used to listen to Dave Ramsey on my commute home. Fridays were my favorite, because those broadcasts were full of people who had recently finished paying off their loans, calling in to do their “Debt Free Scream.” (You call in, tell your story to Dave, and end it with “WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”)
A lot of times, though, I would be discouraged, because so many people were farther along in their careers and had more ammunition, if you will, to attack their debt. For example, maybe they sold off their third car, or cashed in some bonds, or downsized their home, or sold their time share, etc, and used that to make huge strides in their debt repayment. When Charles and I were starting out, we really had no big assets. We weren’t homeowners (still aren’t), we just had a couple thousand in savings (still do… we’ll beef it up after we’re done paying off debt), and we didn’t have any big things we could sell. We really only had a few hundred dollars a month from our paychecks (and then later, paycheck–singular) to put towards our loans. It felt like a tiny drop in huge ocean of five-figure debt.
But, a few years in, I now see how those little drops have added up. By consistently making small, extra payments on our loans, we really have made a big dent in that once-overwhelming debt total. Like so many other things in life–school, motherhood, health, faith–by staying committed and doing the best you can, every day, little changes and small efforts you make will add up to bring you closer to a goal that once seemed so very far away.