When I was in the thick of paying off my personal loan, I always thought to myself, boy, once I’ve paid this debt off, I’m going to feel so good. I’m going to have so much more money to save every month. I’m going to be able to go on a vacation, save for a house, update my wardrobe. I will feel comfortable. I will feel happy.
But I didn’t feel better. I didn’t feel happy. I felt like it wasn’t enough. I needed to start saving for retirement. I needed to pump up my Freedom Fund. And I still had other debts. So then I thought, once I start saving for retirement and pay off my T.V., I won’t have any more consumer debt and I’ll be on a good path to save for the future. I’ll be able to just breathe, because my financial plan will be in place.
So I started a Roth IRA. I paid off the T.V. And guess what? It’s still not enough. Now all I think about are my student loans and my car and how pathetic my Freedom Fund is. I still don’t feel good about my financial self. I feel like I always need to just one more thing (pay off my small student loan, get my Freedom Fund up to 5K, etc.), and then I’ll be happy. Then I’ll feel like I’m succeeding financially. And I’m starting to worry: what if it’s never enough?
This type of thinking isn’t so bad for right now because it pushes me to accomplish more (sometimes to the detriment of my emotional health, but that’s a topic for another post) but what about when I’ve paid off all my debts, bought a house, and am maxing out all my retirement funds? What if I still don’t feel like I’m doing enough? What if I’m still striving for one more financial goal? And what if I’m never happy with my progress? What if I’m never proud of myself? What if I never celebrate my accomplishments, and am just constantly worried about the “next thing”?
Do you ever think this way? Am I being excessively hard on myself? How do you celebrate your accomplishments while still pushing towards goals?