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You Are More Than Your Debt: 7 Ways Life Tries to Define You

It’s been a little over 5 months since I made the decision to go all out, pay off my car loan and become completely free.

Each month, I’ve documented my success and shared the 6 ways I’m paying down debt faster in my blog series. I’ve been gaining tons of momentum and each month, I’ve been able to pay off more than the previous month.


This month has been rough, to say the least. I’ve lost my momentum due to unexpected medical expenses (nothing serious, my health is fine) and some larger than normal bills.

I’m feeling a little discouraged, as I’m looking towards the end of the month, knowing I will probably only be able to pay off half of the amount, compared to last month.

I keep telling myself, paying off some debt is better than nothing, but I’m very goal oriented and really want to have this paid off ASAP. I have more important things I want to do with my money, than to keeping paying interest to the bank.

After getting down on myself and feeling more and more inept as a personal finance blogger, I had a thought come into my head.

“You are more than your debt”.

That totally resonated inside me, like a ripple affect. I was measuring the amount (or lack of) my debt repayment as a success or failure in my personal finances as a whole. But that’s not true!

My debt doesn’t define me as a person, my mistakes don’t disqualify me to share advice or my experience. Once I finally got up and stopped feeling sorry for myself, I found 7 experiences in life that will also define us – if we let them.

You are more than…

The Amount of Debt You Have

Debt is one of the major things we all struggle with. It’s considered “normal” to have debt and it can take years and years to get out from under it. Like the saying goes, you’re a “slave to lender” and it can feel like a tangible weight we carry around.

The Money You Make

The majority of humans look at someone who makes a lot of money and classify them as successful, smart and the ones who “have it all”. Likewise we define those who don’t make a lot of money to be failures, moochers and who will “never amount to anything”. This type of thinking is completely wrong, and has nothing to do with who they are as a person.

The Car You Drive

One of the first things a doctor or lawyer does when they get their first big job/salary, is to buy an expensive car (or as I call it, and expensive car payment). Just like with the amount of money you make, the car you drive defines us outwardly to everyone else. This is a sad, but true fact.

The Clothes You Wear

If people looked at me by my clothes (or hair color) they would without a doubt, define me as a troublemaker. I don’t use fancy or brightly colored clothes to express who am. Does that make me any less professional or unworthy? No. I prefer to let my actions, speak for themselves.

The Job You Have

If the collapse of the economy has taught us anything, it’s that we are all on the same page when it comes to jobs. CEO’s, presidents and people with multiple degrees have to work at minimum wage paying jobs just to survive. Instead of looking at the job they have, we should be proud of them for having the courage to find another job at all.

The House You Live In

In my life I’ve been blessed with two mothers. My real mom who raised me for 15 years, till she died of breast cancer, and my step-mom who raised me as a teen, until now. I experienced two very different ways of running a household and observed something first hand.

The house you live in, is nothing if you don’t make it a home. No one wants to live in a big “showy” house, that’s void of warmth and memories. It’s better to live in a small house filled with love, than a big empty house filled with loneliness.

The Mistakes You Make

Sometimes failure is the best option. It’s the best way for each of us to learn and grow. The mistakes you make should NOT be used as an overall gauge of your success or failure in life. What we should all look at, is how we handled every situation.

The journey is often more important and worthwhile than the destination.

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