So, every time I think that the economic news couldn't get any worse, I click on another story that just makes me sick. I am a chronic 'worrier' (so much so that I have a library self-help DVD in my house right now entitled "WORRY"). However, based on a couple of comments from readers of Finally Frugal, I realized that we can probably find some good news in all the bad.
For example, some people are keeping things in perspective and doing just fine, like Marci:
"What's the worst that can happen? I could lose all my money, my IRAs, my PERS, and SS, and my job. I think I'll still be ok. The house is paid for - and my bare bones emergency budget is under $400/month, under $300 if I defer the property taxes for up to 4 yrs.. I don't think all the pieces of the pie would get lost at the same time. Therefore, I'm just not going to waste time worrying."In response to my post about sending a $1,000 windfall to my credit card company, 'Melanie' had this to say:
"Way to go FF! Those "three check months" can be a real boon - I managed to eat up nearly that much student loan debt in just a few years by throwing every tax refund, "third check" and found dollar I could find at it. I'm now down to under $6k. Have faith, you're on the right track and I'm cheerin' you on."This got me thinking: one of the things that keeps me motivated about paying off debt are the stories from other people about their journey toward financial independence. I LOVE hearing about folks like Melanie who have succeeded in doing just what I'm attempting! Someday soon, I'm going to compile a list of posts from across the blogosphere that highlight and celebrate people who are either close to meeting their debt-free goals, or have actually gotten there.
Here's an example of the type of story I'm talking about, posted on The Consumerist, and entitled: Reader pays off $14,330 in 20 months with our tips. This is a wonderful story, not just because it's a motivator, but because this reader shares her personal strategies, month-to-month, that enabled her to get out of debt.
I guess in the end, I can choose to focus on the gloom and doom, or I can choose to focus on getting myself to a place where I can say: "I'm ok", like Marci, or where I can say that I've paid off most of my student loan debt, like Melanie has. And then maybe my story will help others get motivated to pay their debts, and so on, and so on. . . . .