Financial Reality and facing your debt
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Are you living your financial reality? Or are you in a fantasy world? This question was posed recently by my favorite money guru - Suze Orman! She always says that we need to face our debt to erase it.
Well, that being said, I had a recent encounter with my youngest daughter where she was overwhelmed by student loan debt and the process of paying it back at this point in her life. She has had some set backs lately (car accident, quitting college one month shy of a degree, brain injury) so I really didn't want her to add this to her list of stressors. She would say things like "I have $100,000 in student loan debt" and then I would hear her talk about it and say it was $75,000.
I finally asked her if she really knew how much debt she had? She said she was guessing and didn't really know for sure. I told her that we need to get online and look it up so she can face exactly how much it is (plus, I didn't think it was that high). So that night we looked up her federal and private loans and guess what? Not even close to what she thought. $26,000 in Federal and $16,000 in private so $42,000 total. She felt a little better about that because she was building it up in her mind to be this incredible mountain that could not be managed when in reality it is less than half what she imagined.
This was a really good exercise and I think it helped my daughter see that it is better to KNOW than to GUESS.
Now, she is working on getting a job, healing, figuring out the rest of her life as it unfolds and going through some therapy.
Note: I am still paying on my Student Loan debt from 1998 - I have it down to $6K now from $22K. I might have it paid off before I turn 50! LOL.
That's enough sharing for now.
Do you have any financial stories to share? Success or failure? Sometimes we learn more from the failures, but I love a good success story.