Legend has it that feeling sore is the sign of a good workout.
Muscles are being built, fat is burning away, features are being chiseled, and abs are being toned. Feeling sore is a sign that your workouts are producing results. No pain, no gain.
You have to earn what you are working for. Achieving goals requires sacrifice.
This is true in the gym, and it’s true with your personal finances. If you are paying off debt, it should hurt a little. You should be paying enough on your debt that your bank account feels a little sore the next day.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
If you are comfortable with the amount you are paying toward your debt each month, that’s not a good thing. It probably means you aren’t paying as much as you could be. Like working out, if you aren’t sore, you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.
We’ve seen too many people play around with their debt like it’s a pet they’ve grown attached to.
Your debt is not a pet — it’s something you need to get rid of as quickly as possible. You should treat it like an emergency and do everything you can to pay it off as quickly as possible.
When you put as much money as you can toward your debt payments, it forces you to figure out how to live on less money in the rest of your life. Getting by with less money makes you stronger, more adaptable and capable.
This strength will pay off big time when you do become debt-free. You are building financial muscles that you can use after your debt is gone. You’ll be able to start saving and investing more than you would have had you not clamped down on your debt payments.
The fight needs to hurt a little, or you’ll never break even. You’ll drag debt around for years and years. It will try to hit back, but if you hit harder, you’ll win. You’ll have the bumps and bruises to show you’ve been in a fight, but you’ll survive and have proof that you won. I bet you can’t wait for that letter that says you are paid in full. Oooh, that sounds nice, doesn’t it?
If you need help organizing your debts and paying them off faster, download our free debt snowball spreadsheet at howdoimoney.com/store.
Derek and Carrie Olsen are monthly money columnists for Ink challenging you to take a closer look at your finances. Visit howdoimoney.com/ink for resources to help pay off debt, grow your net worth and have fun doing it.