A person is in debt; consumer, medical, educational – doesn’t matter. They have two choices.
1. Forget about it, so to speak. Keep living like they have been living. Pay off debt over a long period of time. In the end, pay back double/triple the original amount in interest, but generally get to live their life how they want in the meantime.
2. Put their life on hold to pay it back as soon as possible. Forgo birthdays, holidays, vacations. Live as frugally as possible, throw every cent against the debt until it vanishes. In the end, pay the least interest and become free quickly, but suffer socially/mentally/personally in the meantime.
I mean, obviously I’m choosing number two, incase you haven’t figured that out from the blog. But I find myself sometimes wondering – what type of person chooses option number two over number one? What characteristics make a certain type of person who chooses #2? What qualities does this person have?
I’m almost comparing this to a “suffer now or suffer later” type of equation, even though it’s not. If given that choice, I’d almost always choose to suffer now. Get it over with. But debt is more like a “really suffer now or suffer less but for a lot longer”. I’m choosing the extreme and quick over the mild and long.
I doubt there are identical characteristics across the board, but I think I personally am a “suffer now” because of my personal characteristics: Type A personality, ambitious, perfectionist, constantly need a project to work on, impatient, list-maker, control freak, fidgety, organizer, future-planner, sees things in black and white sometimes, COMPETITIVE, nit-picky, constantly seeks approval, sees everything juuuuuust short of perfect if only I could change this one thing and this other thing and oh this other one too.
That list is full of qualities that aren’t really that great. But it’s gotten me this far and hasn’t given me a heart attack yet. It’s the only way I know. Suffer, survive.