I am sick and tired of seeing any kind of bill (debt) show up in my mailbox. Just Sick. And. Tired. I feel like I am swimming against a hurricane wave at times but I am determined to get to the "island of debt-free" that I see in my mind.

What makes me so tired is seeing the debt stop me from getting things at a decent interest rate if only my credit rating were better, the debt makes me mad because I am limited in the activities I would enjoy with others. And all this pent up anger towards my own mistakes and stupidity makes me sick to my stomach.

I have read all the personal finance info via books, blogs and news articles about digging out from debt. The debt issue is pretty simple: Stop using credit cards, live below your means, know what your means are but keeping track of spending and so on. It is actually pretty logical but the action of doing it is like digging out from under the mountain of debt with a spoon!

I've watched the movie Shawshank Redemption about a dozen times and I love part of the movie where Red explains the reason for the endurance of Andy Dufresne as he plans his escape. I initially saw the film as story on hope but as I dig myself out of this prison, I find that the movie is also about taking one's anger and focusing it on a goal to alleviate that anger.

While the character of Andy was in a prison even though he was innocent, I can't say I'm in my own prison and declare innocence. Considering the hell he went through while in prison involuntarily, he took the time to understanding his surroundings, make the best of a bad situation and make plans for getting himself out and as far away as possible, no matter how long it took.

For Andy his means of escaping his prison was a rock hammer. My means of escaping this debt prison is one survey check and rebate refund at a time. I may be digging myself out of debt with a spoon, but I've found a way to focus my frustration and I've got a plan.


  1. David@DINKS Finance // Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:00:00 AM  

    "The debt issue is pretty simple: Stop using credit cards, live below your means, know what your means are but keeping track of spending and so on. It is actually pretty logical but the action of doing it is like digging out from under the mountain of debt with a spoon!"

    You forgot one key ingredient - increase your income. Either increase your income, or increase your income streams, or both. This is something important that should not be missed. If you could make an extra $10,000/year, would that not be huge? Then why do you not consider attempting this?

    Just thought I'd throw my input out there.


  2. Moneymonk // Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:08:00 AM  

    I agree with David, you can get out much quicker with earning more money, get a side job to knock it out faster.

  3. Klingtocash // Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:49:00 PM  

    I know where you are coming from. This weekend I had the same feelings you are. I started to think we'll never pay all of this off. I started to doubt my ability to get into grad school (to increase my income) and the thought of living like this for the next 8 years just about broke me.

    Then my husband and I sat down and talked. He reassured me that we could do this. We'll sell some stuff and we are both doing side jobs to make extra money. We won't have to do this forever and once we get out of debt, our lives will be pretty nice.

    You'll get there. What method are you using to pay off your debts? We are using Dave Ramsey's snowball. I like to because we are knocking out debts pretty quickly right now and every time I knock one off the list I feel better.

  4. Dawn // Wednesday, August 26, 2009 3:47:00 PM  

    @David and MoneyMonk
    Absolutely! Increasing the income is the other scale to keep things balanced. Whether it is selling stashed away stuff in the closet or bringing in an extra $50 a week from a job.
    Thank you both.

    I also want to get back to school to increase my income - currently I work 60 hours a week between two jobs.

    Your husband is a good guy to sit down with you and reassure you that it will work out and won't last forever.

    I'm currently working on high interest cards and building a better savings for emergencies - so no specific person's plan but my own {wink}

  5. BeyondBankrupt // Thursday, August 27, 2009 1:21:00 AM  

    Never take for granted your debts and try to prioritize them first. Create a debt management plan with your creditors so that you can fairly settle your obligation.

    Avoiding, Understanding and Surviving Bankruptcy

  6. Dawn // Thursday, August 27, 2009 10:58:00 AM  

    My debt management plan is my own, no creditors involved in this one.

  7. Lawrence @ CRB // Friday, October 30, 2009 2:15:00 AM  

    Just keep swimming! It may feel like you are getting nowhere fast. One great way to get out of debt quickly is to take a 2nd job and plan to keep it just long enough to pay off your debt. Apply all of the pay you receive from your 2nd job and you'll see that debt disappear in a much quicker fashion. It will lift your spirits and you'll find motivation in seeing the reduction of debt.

  8. Marc Brown // Tuesday, October 16, 2012 5:13:00 AM  

    Talking about getting into the ‘island of debt-free’ and then instantly about the movie Shawshank Redemption reminds me of the movie ‘The Island’ where all the inhabitants yearn to go because of a better - contamination free life.

    Well, yeah I definitely agree to you that it’s really irritating when the lender denies you of lower interest rate as your credit rating falls a bit short of the lender’s expectations. The situation really - stinks and a bit creepy too that’s what I feel.

    However, the spoon (one survey check and rebate refund at a time) that you are thinking of to dig your way out of debt is really sufficient enough? I was just wondering how much debt you have incurred then!!