Student Loans: The Emotional Investment
Everyone knows that student loans are a financial investment, but very few talk about the emotional toll they take on you and your relationships. So let's talk about it.
Every so often my fiance and I get to talking about where my student loans are at:
How much did I pay into them this month?
How much interest accrued?
What's the new payoff date?
How much do you owe now?
You see, having student loans doesn't just affect you when you're living with your partner, it also affects them too. My soon to be wife has been saving her whole life. Let's just say she could pack up and hit the road traveling the world (for at least a short time) if she wanted. Instead she's stuck, with me, at our tiny apartment, trying to help me figure out how to pay off this debt quicker. The chains of my student loans have shackled her too and that was never my intention. The results are two people who both care and want to help each other, but feel stuck. Unable to help, assure, or even comfort the other. Sure she could travel without me and she has! But it's so much easier, less stressful, and more fun to travel with someone else. Unfortunately because of my student loans I'm unable to save a lot beyond my "Oh Shit" fund and have very little extra for travelling and fun. It sucks.
So what do you do? We talk it out. We plan our once a year vacation, and a couple getaway weekends within driving distance, and start budgeting for them. This helps keep a clear line of sight on how much I need to save ahead of our trips, as well as how much I can afford to put into my loans during those months.
It's not always easy talking about my student loans. It hurts. I feel a lot of people purposely avoid the subject hoping if they don't talk about it, it'll just go away. That's not how it works.
So let's talk about it. Let me know what your story down in the comments below. We can tackle this together. It's not easy, it sure as heck isn't fun, but we all have to deal with it and the best way to do that is to own it.