Sep 12 2014
It’s difficult to shell out your money for it, right?
Warning, this post is a tad emotional. Maybe because it’s Friday.
It was difficult to motivate myself to pay more to the debt because it isn’t mine. Because I know that paying more would mean that I’d be contributing to it.
We have joint finances—our paychecks go to one checking account and everything flows out of that, i.e. bills, savings, food, etc. The debt, though, well, that was another story.
Maybe it’s easier for others to accept debt as a way of life and move forward. Maybe for others it’s not a big deal to share the load and pay more to get rid of it faster. But not me. It took me so long to commit.
It was hard to justify taking money from my salary that I earned from my no-debt education to pay for my spouse’s student debt.
My goals in life didn’t factor doing that. I had big plans to build my wealth as I got older.
But I met someone who I truly love, who had to get into debt so he could earn his degree. He didn’t have the opportunities that I had. He didn’t have parents who had the capability to pay for his education.
As a partner, do I simply accept that some years of our life together would mean putting my wealth-building goals in the back-burner to help this person who I chose to be with pay off his debt?
It took me so long to figure this out, but the answer is yes.
I’m not the kind of person who chooses to be with someone for money. And, because I don’t hurry when I’m making up my mind, it took me so long to realize that that also applies to money in the red and not just in the black.
The person I love is not irresponsible, and that in itself matters and makes a difference in my choice to be with him. Even if he was financially irresponsible, people can change. My wealth building goals in life don’t just include me, it includes him too. The wealth I want to have is a means to a life I want to share with him. Even if I have a massive amount of money, it wouldn’t be as enjoyable if not shared with him. Cheesy I know, yet it’s true.
For better or for worse, right? There’s a lot more to relationships. To be shallow about it, this debt is the worse I’ve dealt with so far in our relationship. It’s true. There’s nothing outside of this financial worse-ness that I’m dealing with. Maybe to some people, that’s really bad; but for me, there are plenty of things that could be worse.
I’m honest to say that I resented it. Part of me still resents it, the ego part. The resentment stems from the fact that my needs are not being taken care of—the wealth-building need. Boy, do I have a spoiled-brat attitude on that! You wouldn’t want to be in the vicinity of when I start rattling about that.
But the thing is, I want to stop rattling about it. I want to stop resenting it. My hope is that tackling the debt with him will help alleviate the egoistic pull of my desires and wants, at least for a while. I argued that my wealth-building goal is not entirely selfish, but ignoring my spouse’s needs in favor of my own desires is selfish.
At the end of the day, my goals in life aren’t just focused on money. I’m continuously working on being a better person in as many aspects of my life as I can. Before I go to sleep, I don’t calculate the money I saved or spent but the amount and quality of time I spent with them. There’s a whole other level of regret when I don’t do well on the latter.
My wealth-building goals will come to fruition. I mean, it’s happening right now, just not fast enough for me. I’m learning to be okay with that. When we’ve paid off the student loan, I’d be there celebrating it with him. I don’t think I’ll even consider it as a success on my part. I’d just be so happy to see a load off of my husband’s back. And a big smile radiating happiness. That’s enough.