We drive dinged-up older cars that define the word “used.” One has 150K miles and the other is pushing 200.
Our mismatched living room furniture leaves much to be desired. In fact, all of our furniture leaves much to be desired.
Our dining room table belonged to my husband in college. And our TV now requires a good whack on the side for the picture to go back to normal. Many of our clothes have previous owners. And name-brand anything is a treat.
After church, we often come home to peanut butter and jelly and mismatched leftovers. I always feel self-conscious about my car in the school pickup line. And most all of my son’s friends’ houses dwarf ours.
It hasn’t been easy. We live in a wealthy area where peer pressure flows like the vineyard wines.
So one may want to ask, has living like this been worth it? I generally avoid any and all profanity on this blog, but I do believe we’ve earned the right to stand here and say:
YOU BET YOUR ASS IT HAS.
Because on Nov 19, 2014 at 7:35 a.m. we made the final payment on my student loans. The payment went through and all is well.
So WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEE!!!!!!!
If you caught my previous post It’s Just A Stupid House, you know all about the heartache and struggle we felt after getting blind-sided by a job loss, and losing our dream house 5 years ago. And you know how far we’ve come, and how JOYOUS this occasion is.
We vowed to never again be in vulnerable financial shoes, and we’ve been working on becoming debt free ever since. We learned a lot of hard lessons, but we are in a much better place now.
After the difficult loss of our house-and feeling of security-bit by bit, chunk by chunk, we knocked out credit cards, car payments, a home equity credit line, a motorcycle, medical bills, and the biggest obstacle… My student loans.
Our oldest son, now 7 was only 2 when it all went down back then. When we knew struggle.
He doesn’t remember the time we went broke and lost our house. He just remembers the little walking trail at the apartment complex we lived in afterwards, and the little family of ducks that walked around there.
He remembers going to the little stream nearby and throwing rocks in the water. And rolling down the little hill by our building on his Hot Wheels trike.
He remembers the fountain in the middle of the little pond that sometimes worked.
He remembers the little pool party with hot dogs, where his daddy was a finalist in a hula hooping contest with a 10 year old girl (the girl won, but it was great to watch!)
In lean times, you still have the power to make life great.
We drive by there on our usual rounds every now and again, and he always exclaims “That’s our old house!” And he has asked if we can move back there more than once.
I’m glad he doesn’t remember the struggle.
It will keep us in line to continue modeling good money habits, because I really want to raise grateful children in an area where few kids want for anything.
We still have our now-modest house payment and utilities. And now we buckle down and go straight into savings mode to replace vehicles and beef up our savings account. And then we’ll knock out the house. And maybe improve the home furnishings….
But we are finally at the summit of the biggest financial mountain! No more car payments, credit cards, student loans or any other payments. The future’s so bright…..We’ve gotta wear shades.
Paying off debt is not easy. We got tired of being on a budget. I fell off the wagon. Danny fell off the wagon. Then we both fell off the wagon. But we GOT BACK ON. And we kept going. And now we are here. The time has come. It is finally done!
We can’t control the future, but we know that no matter what we are faced with, we can make it through anything. And one thing I know for sure:
Dear Debt: WE. WILL NEVER EVER EVER. Get back together.
To read the full back story on our debt-free journey and tips how we did it, see the following:
- It’s Just A Stupid House
- Staying Together In a Money Crisis
- Saving Big at the Grocery Store Without Coupons
- How I Maximize My Grocery Savings in the Kitchen
We at long last got our finances under control using the following products: (affiliate links)