Buckling Down


Watching a West Texas sunset while walking the dog always puts my mind at ease.

My motivation to pay off my loans hit an all-time low about a week ago. “I just want it to be over,” I find myself repeating, both out loud and in my head.

I keep thinking that I will blink and it will be the end of October (my expected pay-off date at this point). But it’s not. Instead, I see the long year ahead, and I dread it.

And secretly, part of me wants to give up. That part of me sees the minimum payment required and itches to just pay that for awhile, to back off and relax, to enjoy life. To go clothes shopping.

It’s incredibly difficult to stay motivated, no matter how much Dave Ramsey I listen to, how many blog posts I read or how much I try to focus on the end. October still feels centuries away.

All of this brought me to the big question: should I get a second job to expedite the process and bring home some “fun” money for things not currently in my budget?

I hate the idea of juggling two jobs again, but then I run the numbers and see how that extra income for the next six months could speed up the loan repayment and make life more comfortable while I do it.

A quick text and conversation later, I actually found a second job for nights and weekends doing office work for more than I’ve ever made at an hourly job with flexible hours… and as many or as few hours as I want.

Suddenly, I feel hopeful again. I can do this. There was always a light at the end of the tunnel, but before this, it was faded and far away. Now, it’s clear and bright.

Don’t get me wrong: I see how big of a challenge it’s going to be to balance life and maintain my sanity. But if I can earn a little extra and put half toward my loans and spend half on lifestyle wants, I think I’ll be much less stressed overall.

If you’re in debt and have taken on a second (or third) job to pay down loans, what worked and what didn’t? How did you maintain balance in your life?


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