When I moved in January I packed the Debt-o-Meter away in a box with some of Terry’s things and I haven’t had the heart to take it out since. It’s not laziness, it’s that the mere thought of it brings back the happy memories of making it and colouring it in each month, which I prefer to remain boxed up until I am a bit stronger and can take those memories and cherish them the way that they should be cherished (without a breakdown).
I wish that I could pack away my debt and not think about that, either, but unfortunately I have had to keep making payments. I miss the feeling of acomplishment as I coloured those few hundred pounds of debt away every month, but I can’t bear the thought of colouring in the debt-o-meter without Terry. This led me to look into other ways to visualize my debt payoff and I stumbled across the idea of making a paper chain. The idea is that you make one link for each $1,000 of debt and then tear it off as you pay it off. I wouldn’t be able to take a chain off each month that way, so I adapted it to be one link for every payment that stands between me and my dream of being debt free. I just so happened to have a paper chain hiding away with the Christmas decorations that I never did get around to making and it had 45 links, enough for my 44 remaining payments and 1 for luck. So I made my paper chain and I hung it on the wall of my new bedroom. Today I checked my US bank account and my student loan payment has been paid off, so I happily ripped off the first of many paper links. It felt pretty good.
The chain is spread across 5 nails and as my debts get paid off, I’d like to hang a picture on each of the nails until instead of a paper chain I have a wall of happy memories, with many more to come once I’m debt free!
And so I am looking at 43 links for my 43 remaining payments and already looking forward to that next chain coming down. I think Terry would like this idea, and he would be really impressed that I managed to put 5 nails in the wall without breaking something.
On a side note: when not paying off debt, I’ve been doing quite a bit of baking. This weekend I baked a banana cake with Nutella frosting and have been happily devouring it since.