This post is probably going to break all of the “rules” about blogging. It's not going to be 1,200 – 1,500 words. I'm not going to optimize it so that it shows up on Google or any other platform.
I honestly am not even really that concerned if it helps thousands and thousands of people (which I know sounds weird for a blog that reaches thousands and thousands of people).
If it gives one person the extra push that they need to start or finish their debt-payoff journey…I'll be happy.
Today, I'm just going to share a message that I wrote in the private M$M FB group this past weekend.
Every once in a while, I'll see something that inspires me to write. It can be something huge, or even something as small as an off-hand comment about student loans that I heard somewhere.
This message was actually in response to someone that was asking a question along the lines of:
“Why do people pay off debt when they can invest instead? It's always smarter to invest when the math says so.”
If you're anything like me, the answer to that question can be hard to explain to other people. I guess I could have invested in lieu of paying off my student loans. It might have been the “smarter” thing to do, and there's a decent chance that the math would have said I should.
I probably would have outpaced my student loan interest rate with my investment returns.
But I think way too often, people discount the human side of personal finance. We're not robots. We don't all just see money as this tool that we're supposed to use with zero emotion.
My student loans, for whatever reason, felt like they had a lot of baggage tied to them. There was something different about them. They weighed on me daily, because I knew that they felt insurmountable. They were keeping me in a job I didn't like.
Most importantly…they were keeping me from the future that I wanted for myself.
The funny thing is that it can be a different story depending on the particular debt.
I have a mortgage now, and it doesn't make me feel anything like the way my student loans made me feel. I'm actually opting to invest instead of aggressively pay that down, which is the total opposite of what I did with my student loans.
The interesting thing is that I have a lot of readers that feel the same way about their mortgage as I did with my student loans! It's holding them back, keeping them trapped, etc.
So needless to say, I get both sides of the argument and can relate to people who desperately want to pay off their debt, and people that don't really feel like their debt has much of an effect on them every day.
The message that I wrote in my FB group the other day is for my people that want their debt gone. I think I probably still feel a stronger connection with readers in that situation than anyone else. Paying off debt can feel pretty lonely sometimes…especially when nobody around you understands why you're doing it.
So…here's what I wrote. I hope it helps:
Why pay off debt?
I've seen this question over and over again since I've been running M$M, and I think it's a fair question.
Plenty of people here have discussed this topic back and forth (politely I might add because you guys are rockstars), and I think great points have been made on both sides of the “aisle”.
Rather than argue the math or take a side…I'll just share my thoughts on my own student loan payoff journey instead:
Making the last payment on my student loan debt was the best feeling I've experienced in my life, outside of getting married.
It's not even close to anything else that I've achieved professionally or from a personal finance perspective.
I've built multiple businesses from the ground up.
I've made more money in a single month than I thought was even possible for someone like me.
I'm on track to be FI in my early 30's.
And every time I achieve one of those things, the feeling is never quite as stunning as the fleeting second that my student loans went away.
At that moment, when I clicked the submit button…all of the stress, worry, and burden that I felt from my student loans were gone.
I felt like I could do anything in life. It was amazing.
The only feeling I think I'll experience in the next 5 years that will beat it is when my wife and I have our first child.
It was that powerful.
So if you're someone that has a debt that makes you feel the way that my student loans made me feel…
I get you.
I understand where you're coming from.
And most importantly, I can't wait to see you make your dreams come true.