Why would you want to wait to save up for a vacation when you could use a credit card and earn cash back or skymiles and take the vacation now instead of having to wait? Why would you save and save for a car that you don’t necessarily like when you could just go get a $20,000 loan for one that you do like?
These are all questions/statements that my husband and I have received since starting the debt-free journey from our friends and family. I think they all thought we would have abandoned this journey a long time ago because Lord knows I like looking good in a car that looks good. (Seriously, I’ve had 7 cars and I’m not even 30 years old yet…)
So why? So why are we making sacrifices and delaying fun in order become debt-free?
If you read my “Is an Emergency Fund Necessary” post, you’ve already heard a little of this story. You see, back when my hubs was technically still self-employed (he was working for another company but to avoid paying taxes on my hubs they paid him as a 1099 contractor making him self-employed) we ended up dealing with a major financial blow.
I had only been graduated for a few months and my student loans weren’t technically due yet (I was in the six month grace period), we had an 8 month old baby, we had private health insurance, two credit cards, and a car loan. We had also just “paid for” a fancy vacation to Mexico on our credit cards and then….
My husband fell out of a two story window at work.
He shattered his left wrist and fractured his right elbow two weeks before our planned vacation. My hubs had to have surgery on his wrist and was facing months of physical therapy. Oh and did I mention that he’s left-handed and was working in construction? That meant he couldn’t work because you can’t swing a hammer if your wrist is shattered.
Of course, we still went on our planned fancy vacation but we returned home to face the music…..our vacation bill, Pat’s medical bills, and the fact that my hubs could do very little work.
That left it up to me to work as many side hustles as I could to bring in income and it also meant that our savings was completely drained.
Once we had paid for the medical bills and my hubs returned to work….we were pregnant with our second child. We were facing bringing another mouth to feed into our home with no savings and no real plan for our money.
But, that is isn’t the seed that took root to us wanting to become debt-free….it was the realization that had my husband become permanently disabled we would have been screwed financially. I would have had to go back into the work force which would have cost us in childcare plus care for my now disabled husband plus it would have meant that my income would have to pay for our $55,000 of debt and the mortgage on top of that.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we would have ended up in the poor house had that happened. So, we decided after reading The Total Money Makeover* to literally makeover our financial lives and become debt-free. We didn’t want to lose any sleep at night over money and we wanted to be prepared for life’s hard times.
There you have it. The whole story on how in a few months after my hubs’ accident we decided it was time to change the way we think about money. Now, don’t get me wrong, being almost at the finish line to 100% debt freedom is incredible but it doesn’t make us rich. It doesn’t mean that we get to go buy a $20,000 car just because we have no other debt. It means that we only make purchases we have the cash for and that usually means we have to save up our money in order to make those purchases.
Are you debt-free? What was your reason behind jumping on the journey if you don’t mind sharing?
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