This is my brain. This is my brain on student loan debt.
Actually, this is a pretty accurate representation of my brain while I’m paying down these loans. I feel downright fried.
That’s why I’ve made it a priority to adopt a new “Treat Yo Self” philosophy, even when I’m paying down massive amounts of debt.
Why I’m Fried
It’s not only financially exhausting trying to pay down $7,600 in student loans before 2014, it’s emotionally draining, too. Since I’m focused on paying down these loans, I’ve had to say no to a lot of things in my life lately. Cooking at home on Saturdays instead of eating out, forgoing a new set of biking clothes, and even decreasing the amount of money I save each month. While each of those sacrifices on their own may be doable, they add up to a lot of “no” in my life.
Going full-throttle while paying down debt feels like I can’t do anything fun.
And it’s not just me: research suggests that repeatedly making a decision, weighing an opportunity cost or just saying “no” can feel exhausting and actually diminish your willpower over time.
No wonder I feel so run down!
So in an effort to feel better about life, keep my sanity and still save money, I’ve made it a priority to treat myself to something reasonable once a week.
Don’t Forget to Treat Yo Self!
When I’m so fixated on kicking debt’s ass, I sometimes forget that money exists to actually enjoy life 🙂 But I’ve realized there are a lot of little (and affordable) things that I can do to make me feel good while I’m in the process of digging out of debt.
So far, my once-a-week “Treat Yo Self” is working. My little treats have been as simple as a bottle of new nail polish ($3), a Goodwill shopping spree ($23.95), or even driving out to the vineyard for wine tasting with my friends (about $10).
That’s about $35 that makes me feel great. And sure, that $35 could have paid off my interest rates this month and shaved a week off my debt in the end, but these little treats make me happy right now. And that’s the point of life, right?
So use this post (and the hilarious video below) as a friendly reminder: Whatever your financial goals may be, don’t forget to treat yo self!
Original Drawing: TeamofMonkeys.com
Original video / photo: Parks and Recreation
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