The financial sages will tell you that there are hard times in the pursuit of becoming debt-free.
Usually that's discussed in the context of digging out of a mountain of stupid debt, like credit cards, car notes or excessive student loans.
Then there's the debt-free slog for the ultimate prize: 100% debt-freedom with a paid-for house. This takes far longer than you dream possible, even when the outside world would say you're moving faster than anyone would dream possible.
But you know the truth: Putting money aside to save up for annual expenses, preventative maintenance, retirement savings and...and. It is a daily battle that often leaves you feeling like the needle isn't moving as much in the direction that you want.
These are the dog days of becoming debt-free. Long. Hard. Days (weeks, months and years) where only pure determination keeps you moving along.
These are the days when you feel pleased with your efforts, everything is going along ok...then you realize on a beautiful early summer evening that you'd love to have a covered patio but pledged to not do renovations until the house is paid off. Frustration!
Or you sit down to crunch the monthly budget and realize that, despite scrimping here and saving there, you aren't putting as much extra on the house payment as you'd hoped. Frustration!
Only the knowledge that the prize is worth the (seemingly) never-ending effort keeps you moving along.
Just to be clear: The Boy and I are living the dog days right now and both of those frustrations reared their ugly heads this weekend...causing us to raise some ugliness of our own.