This, folks, is the post I’ve worked so hard for the privilege of writing.
I made my LAST debt-payment ever on April 15th (Tax Day, ironically), with my second-to-last paycheck from my job in the insurance industry. It was $963.70 to be exact. I must say, I have never been so happy to fork over $963.70 to anyone, but that was all I needed to buy my freedom. Let’s recap my debt board:
Student Loan: $0.00
Car Loan: $0.00
Credit Cards: $0.00
Total Debt: $0.00
So, that wasn’t really necessary and completely snarky, but I couldn’t help myself:)
I’m so happy that I met my goal of being debt-free before the wedding! Not only did I get to marry R., but we got married without anything holding us back from the life we really want. Anyone who’s still on the fence about becoming debt-free – I’m here to tell you that only good things can come from unshackling yourselves from debt:
We were able to save all the wedding money we received as gifts without earmarking it for debt payments.
We got to go on an amazing honeymoon to San Francisco for 2 weeks because R. was already debt-free and saved up the cash to do it.
I was able to quit a job that I no longer had passion for and go back to school for something I love because we don’t have debt.
We’re rescuing a puppy that we get in a few days because we have margin in our budget to care for a puppy properly. Debt-freedom gives us options.
But, it’s not just about the material things. We don’t throw dollar bills up in the air like we just don’t care. Being debt-free has significantly reduced my anxiety. It’s given me a sense of peace. We don’t live in a constant state of chaos, wondering how we’ll pay the bills or praying we don’t have a financial emergency because we can’t pay for it. I can’t speak for R., but I feel like I can breathe again.
That being said, we still have to exercise discipline in handling our money. I’ll admit to you all that we fell off the wagon for a few weeks after the wedding. However, after the panic of not knowing where the hell our money was going, we sat down and finally made a married budget.
We now create a combined budget and have our monthly budget meetings. We still can’t buy whatever we want – we have to have a discussion about it, and if it doesn’t have a category in the budget, then we both must agree and the budget has to balance. I know it all sounds highly bureaucratic and boring, but it’s not! Planning out how you’ll spend your paycheck BEFORE it hits your account is the same as making a life plan. The two are joined at the hip (whether we like it or not), so PLAN YOUR LIFE!
Dave Ramsey often says “People wander into debt, but they don’t wander out.” You have to plan to be debt-free. No one else will do it for you. So do it.
I want you guys to start dreaming again! What is something you could do if you didn’t have debt? Or, is there something you were able to do because you’re debt-free? I’d love to hear. Comment below and don’t forget to like this post and subscribe via email!