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Posts tagged with: consumer debt-free

WE DID IT!!!!!!!

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I thought we’d have to wait until the end of the month, but hubs’ month has started out on an upswing, which gave us the extra leeway to make the call.

Actually, I’d tried to call yesterday but I called at 3:40pm Arizona time (=5:40 EST), and they closed at 5:30pm EST. Rats!

But that didn’t dampen the mood any this morning when I called bright and early and made the request:

Customer Service: Thanks for calling PenFed, what can I do for you today?

Me: I WANT TO PAY OFF MY CAAAAAAAAAAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I think the representative got a bit of a chuckle out of my excitement. He even gave me a hearty congratulations and “Wow, good job!” after looking at my payment history.

It takes 2 days to clear and then they’ll start the process of getting the title mailed out to me. He said it can take up to a month total. But that doesn’t stop the excitement from growing inside me.

IT’S MINE! IT’S MINE! THE CAR IS OFFICIALLY MINE!!!!!

Actually, this was our last consumer-related debt (only remaining debt is medical and student loans – see latest debt update here), so really EVERYTHING we own is officially ours!

No more monthly payments for furniture loans (see here), vehicle debt, or license fees (see here). Everything we own is OURS! Not a payment owed to anyone! No one can come and take anything from us.

It’s a glorious feeling, friends! So freeing! About 100 times better than I’d even expected!

Hubs had to work today so he wasn’t here to witness the actual moment of pay-off. But you can bet I did a happy dance around the living room and made the girls give me repeated High Fives all around!

I can’t stop smiling! It feels so, so, so good!

I know we still have a long way to go (I just want to acknowledge the obvious), but for today let me just soak up the feeling. Feels so freeing! If you’d asked me two years ago, not in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be sitting here today! In fact, my original goal was just to pay off our credit cards (a measly $10,000 compared to the over $50,000 we’ve paid in the past 2 years). Seriously – the power of this community is incredible! The support and the accountability it provides! I just. I can’t. I’m so happy!

Hugs and high fives all around! I feel like this is as much an accomplishment for YOU as it is for me. You’ve pushed me along and gotten me here, after all. For that, I’ll be eternally grateful!

Hope your Mondays are as INCREDIBLE as mine has been! : )


5th Wedding Anniversary

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When hubs and I got married we’d already been together for nearly a decade. We met the first week of my freshman (his sophomore) year of college. The rest is history!

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When we got married in 2010 I was about $70,000 in debt and still in grad school (racking up more debt). Our parents helped us with much of our wedding costs but our honeymoon was up to us. With little to our name (and yet, apparently still feeling that we “deserved” a honeymoon), we decided to go the cheaper route and head to Mexico. It’s close, (relatively) cheap, and easy.

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My real desire was for a long Hawaiian honeymoon. I’ve heard stories about the island chain (my mom lived there for a few years in her early 20s), and of course I’ve seen photos and videos of its beauty. It’s just sooooo $$$$$!

At the time I resolved in my mind that we’d have a second honeymoon for our fifth wedding anniversary. Destination? Hawaii. Because, of course, by the time our fifth anniversary rolled around we’d have it all together financially. Right?

I can’t help but to laugh, though I’m also so proud of how far we’ve come. If it weren’t for the accountability of this blog and the journey we’ve been on the past couple years to get out of debt, it’s highly likely we would have gone on that Hawaiian vacation. We’d end up putting much of it on credit cards and still have a mountain of other consumer-related debt (not to mention the daunting student loans).

So, our fifth wedding anniversary was November 6th.  My mother-in-law was in town for a visit. She graciously offered to watch the girls (free childcare!) and even gave us a giftcard to our favorite steak house as an anniversary gift. Score!

We did exchange gifts, but we’d set a $50 limit. Much higher than our usual gift-giving budget (which is in the $15-$25 range). I got hubs a nice leather belt (which he desperately needed after his major weight loss! He’d been using an old one that he’s punched extra holes in!) Hubs got me a Fitbit, which I’ve been wanting but was NOT expecting because they’re $100+. Turns out he found me a (very) gently used one on Ebay. Still had all its original packaging and no signs of wear. Works great (except for the sleep tracker, though that has nothing to do with the thing being used)!

I wanted to post on Facebook about our anniversary but decided maybe I’d hold off until we’re fully consumer debt-free.  A few close friends and family members know about our debt-free goals but I honestly don’t think anyone realizes the extent of our digging the past 2 years to try to get out of this hole. The extent of the sacrifices we’ve made or of the actual amount of money we’ve put toward debt ($25,000/year for the past 2 years)!!!  I don’t want to be overly obnoxious about it, but I’d like to acknowledge it. If for nothing else than to give others hope that they, too, can dig deep and find the willpower to get out of debt. That it doesn’t have to be an illusion or dream. It can be REAL. I’d post something along the lines of….

In November we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, I’d wanted a Hawaiian vacation. Instead, we buckled down and got to the business of paying off debt! After the past 2 years of hard work and over $50,000 of debt paid down, I can officially say we are now DEBT FREEEEEEEE!!!!!!!*

*Note: This really only applies to consumer debt, as we’re still working on student loans, but it just feels like a HUGE milestone to have made it this far. Also, we’re taking a big ALL CASH vacation in April to celebrate my Mom’s 60th! We are blessed!

The note part will be a comment on the original post (because I do think it warrants the explanation that we’re not fully debt-free, though I don’t want to dampen the original post by tacking it on there. It belongs more as a footnote in the comment section).

So, mark my words….this will be a Facebook post happening very, very soon. Will it be December? January? I don’t know. But I know it will be soon. And when it happens I’ll take a screenshot to show you guys so we can all celebrate together. I’m counting down the days/weeks/months until (consumer) debt-freedom!!!

Anniversaries happen every year. Only once in my life will I become consumer debt-free. Why? Because once it happens, I’m NEVER going back into debt again. NEVER.

Hawaii, I will visit you one day. Not this year. Probably not even next year. But it will happen. And it will be the BEST vacation EVER because it will be guilt-free, paid for in cash with cash to spare. Just as it should be.


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