Doing It Yourself, Just for the Satisfaction

Over the past 9 months I have been focused on paying off my student loans.  My goal is to pay off all of my student loan debt in 10 months, which amounts to finishing everything up by the end of April.  As I am getting closer to the finish line I realized I was further away than I had anticipated. Instead of being next to the finish line in early April, I was really just making the turn down the race track of financial payments.  As I realized the failure I have looked into every which way to increase the repayment, but in the end it amounts to just keeping my head down and taking a couple extra months to finish up the race.  Then I thought back to what Kapitalust did with his student loan payment plan and thought maybe that is the answer, have someone lend a helping hand along the way.  What I had to ask myself is would it be the same satisfaction?

A quick back story first.  When I was paying off my credit cards a couple years ago, I realized that the math said to do a balance transfer, unfortunately the interest rate wasn’t really the big problem, I was.  I needed to make more money and make bigger payments, not reduce my interest rate from 8.99% to 2.99%, it was a band-aid, a quick fix and in the end I didn’t like it, even if it did probably save me a few dollars.  Towards the end of my credit card repayment I decided to ask the wife if I could borrow money from her savings to pay off my credit cards.  We keep our finances together but still run individual accounts as we work together towards financial independence.  She lent me the money and I paid off my credit cards for good, the problem was it didn’t feel that great.  So I saved a few dollars in the long run and paid Mrs. Even Steven back interest free, it had no satisfaction, no jump up and down feeling that you get from making a big shot to win the game.  Even when I paid her the last dollar back, it had no satisfaction, in some ways it almost felt like I cheated.  What kind of satisfaction is that?

Fast forward to present day and I realized I was contemplating the same situation all over again.  I could borrow from Mrs. Even Steven and save I don’t know $50 over the course of 2 months in interest or I could finish what I started, what I set out to do.  Nobody would be helping me.  I wouldn’t use a balance transfer, borrow money from someone, or use any other crutch to get to the finish line.  I want this to be 100% me, I want the joy, the satisfaction of punching the student loan in the face for the last time, even if it is in June instead of April, and even if it costs me $50.  I want the satisfaction of completing the race, strike that I want the satisfaction of winning the race.


Have you ever asked for help to only realize it would have been better to do things on your own?  Do you prefer the satisfaction of winning or saving money on the interest?

10 Responses to “Doing It Yourself, Just for the Satisfaction

  • I admire your determination and desire to truly finish off this race yourself. I agree that the more help you get, the less complete that you feel after you’re at the finish line because you know an outside influence helped. But when it’s you – I mean completely and entirely YOU, it’s a new level of satisfaction that is darn tough to beat.

    Good luck to you. Once you’re finally through, that’s going to be one magical post on your blog, too. 🙂
    Steve Adcock recently posted…The 3 most critical steps towards early retirementMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Thanks Steve! I think not knowing the satisfaction from before with my credit cards has motivated me to get the satisfaction I have worked for. Haha I’m not sure if it will be just 1 magical post, but either way magic will be involved;)

  • I don’t know if I consider that help when you and the Mrs are batting for the same team. But I get that you want to say you did it yourself.

    Looking forward to the post when you make your last payment.

    Your so close, keep it up!
    Gen Y Finance Guy recently posted…March 2015 – Detailed Financial Report #3My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      It’s something the wife and I have talked about previously. Anything that we came into the relationship with we are ultimately responsible for, student loans, credit cards, house, we will support and help in any way we can but nobody hates their own debt like themselves. Thanks Gen Y!

  • You’re so close to the finish line that it really doesn’t matter which way you go. I asked the Mrs for a loan to pay off my student loans and it save me around $700 in interest. I just finished paying off the Mrs last month and I’m glad I asked her for the loan because I would probably still be paying if it wasn’t for being able to save that much in interest.

    $50 wouldn’t make that much of a difference though. And don’t feel bad for not accomplishing your goal in a set amount of time… just know that you’ll do it because you set your mind to it. So what if you were off by a few weeks?
    Aldo @ Million Dollar Ninja recently posted…3rd Annual Ski TripMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I congratulate you for paying off your debt. Like I mentioned it didn’t feel as good when I paid off my credit cards by paying off my wife, almost felt dirty.
      I did a quick calculation and it would be around $55.35, yeah it’s so small that it’s worth it to me. If anything the shorter amount of time would make me go the other direction, if I missed by 2 years or something then I would consider asking for a loan from Mrs. Even Steven.

      I always wonder when we say it saved my X amount because of the interest, would you have worked any harder to make larger payments and pay off the debt quicker if you didn’t have the safety net of borrowing from the Mrs? Or would that make you pay it off even faster because you hate owing her money. Pretty large variable to figure out for each person.

  • Mind games are funny thing… No matter how much you may want to save that money, the personal satisfaction can be worth WAY more than the dollars in your wallet. We call it personal finance for a reason – it’s personal. We are all different (thank goodness), and we are all motivated in different ways. In the end, you have to look in the mirror as you brush your teeth every morning. Do what it takes to be happy with what looks back.
    Mrs. Maroon recently posted…Excel is My Friend – A Peek at My SpreadsheetMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Personal finance really is personal. I know it is easy to say if I pay off X at Y percent I am done in Z months, but it’s so much more than that.

  • I think this is a great lesson. The tortoise always wins the race and there is a satisfaction of doing something yourself, the idea of work ethic. The thing I worry about is that the tortoise mode isn’t sexy and it isn’t fast and the more we emphasize the quickness of things I think we lose certain tried and true maxims that have worked forever, but get pushed aside. I guess I am thinking of my students who have this need to get everything done now.
    Jason recently posted…Paying Off Debt UpdateMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Taking the time to do things yourself is so important, whether it’s making a student loan payment or just understanding how the world works. We are such a society of I want it now and I want it done yesterday that doing things the right way for your own satisfaction is under-appreciated by so many.

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