Although I strive for a debt free existence, life has a funny way of jumping in with a plan of her own. (Yes, in this analogy, life is a woman. A powerful, yet scrappy woman. We’ll call her “Katy.”)
“You say you want to be debt free, but how about I set you up with a mandatory $5000 sewer line and send your husband back to school for a mid-life bonus college degree? And while we’re at it, how about a brand new mini-van?”
But as of July 19, 2013, with the exception of our mortgage, my family is now debt free. No car payments, no consumer debt, no student loan, no nothing.
I switched from 8 to 12-hour work shifts to make this happen, turbo-charging my paychecks and giving us the financial wiggle room to pay down our debt at an accelerated rate. I kept a close eye on our checking account and transferred extra money towards debt whenever possible. I noticed that we tended to be lax about spending when our checking account appeared fat and juicy, so I kept the amount low. Even if that meant our finances appeared frightening.
“Yes, there’s only $114 in the bank, but that’s because we just transferred another $900 towards debt, and payday is tomorrow anyway.” (My husband and I each get paid every other Friday, which means that every Friday is payday!)
I continued to put money aside for our older son’s college fund. Earmarking any oddly earned income towards this goal. And since I blog, clean rental cottages for my mother and resell Goodwill finds, it’s amazing how fast this adds up. My husband and I also continued to contribute towards our retirement funds.
College fund, college fund, college fund.
I know this should have been happening when the boys were babies, (compounded interest and all) but that simply wasn’t possible. Our fixer upper house, my husband’s photo studio and our minimal income kept us living paycheck-to-paycheck. The idea of a college fund was laughable.
So if you see us out and about, and wonder about our giddy grins, you now know why.
Has debt kept you from working towards your long term financial goals? Please share your stories in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”