Read this today in the NY Times Opinion Section...
Saving Takes Time and Discipline - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com:
"Shedding debt is a lot like shedding pounds. It involves slow, steady, disciplined effort before it yields substantial results. It means passing up short-term pleasures for longer-term gains. And getting rid of debt, like getting rid of extra weight, is a do-it-yourself activity for most people. Nonetheless, American’s efforts to reduce debt, like the efforts to reduce obesity, need not be exclusively do-it-yourself."
In her editorial, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, equates paying down debt with saving. And I think she's right. You can't really start building a strong nest egg if you're being dragged down by debt. Credit card bills, school loans, car payments, mortages--all that draws you down. But if you look at paying them off as making an investment in the future, you're off to a good start.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Sonja and I want to build our savings, but we're also faced with the challenge of paying off our debts. We're much better off (in terms of debt) than the average American, but it's still a hill to climb. Instead of thinking every dollar we put towards paying down debt as a dollar not saved, we should probably look at it as a key component of our overall savings plan.
(Okay, I realize this is probably the most boring post I've ever written... but I found the editorial helpful in putting a new perspective on things. If you're in the same boat, I hope you glean something from it as well).