It was life-changing.
It completely altered the way that we view money and it 90% freed our marriage from arguments about money. Our money works for us, not the other way around. If only it grew on trees, then everything would be peachy. Since it doesn't we had to work together as a family. Together we managed to pay our way out of $28,000 of debt (from credit cards, student loans, and car payments) and save enough to buy our house.
If it weren't for becoming debt free, we would not have our house. I would not get to (mostly) stay home with my babies. We would not have a (partially) fully funded emergency fund. We would not still use cash for all our purchases. I have to keep reminding myself of these facts because after 3 years of proudly exclaiming that we are debt free, things have changed again.
Move over Loser Cruiser, Mama's got a Swagger Wagon:
Our previous van (the Loser Cruiser) was dying a very slow and very sad death. After 125,000+ miles, she just wasn't kicking it like she should. Most importantly, she did not have a working air conditioner. Living here in Kansas, having an a/c is not a compromise; it's a death sentence and not something that I am willing to live without. Multiple estimates came in to fix the compressor around $1800 while the Kelley Blue Book value of the van was only around $3000. Basically, we drove her to her dealth. I am proud of this fact.
Can you hear the justifications that I am making?
We had no choice but to do the responsible and adult-like thing: we saved our pennies, put down some cash, and traded her in for an upgrade but on a loan. We seriously, seriously debated on buying something cheaper with more miles. However, the Toyota won. While cars are not actual investments, SHE BETTER LAST A LONG, LONG TIME because we are back where we started: in debt up to our ears.
INSERT GIANT SHAMEFUL SAD FACE HERE:
Even Cora feels the same way. SAD, SAD, SAD.
Her new name is Tighty Whitey. This was not the name I would have chosen for her. HELLO, I mostly live with a House of Boys, remember? (I was totally out voted.)
Here is how we ride inside her. Yes, I still make my 8.5 year old ride in a harnessed seat. Safety (much like a working a/c in Kansas) is not a compromise. EVER. I don't care if you call it a "baby seat." It is not up to you, kid. I make the rules around here.
We will get to be debt free again, eventually. I am excited to start all over again because I know we can do it.
I don't like to leave things on a down note, so view this video. I totally am that Mother.
Pics via Instragram. Follow me at the @thepools.