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Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Dark Side of Debt Reduction: What I Could Have Bought...

Saturday is bill paying day and I was feeling pretty good. We paid everything, our overflow (which is our cash leftover after two weeks) gave us the ability to refill our coffers from our recent Ninja Bill, and we have hit my initial savings goal for the month already.

Then as I was tallying something hit me. Over the last 60+ days we have been able, as a family, to pay off about $4300 worth of debt. This is due to my checks being a bit higher for those two months and applying all of that plus our budget savings to draining the debt pool.

Then it hit me...this isn't just a number, this is payment of a lot of things that we just couldn't wait for; dinners, rounds of golf, guitar stuff, a couple new furniture pieces, etc..

Holy smokes, if we were debt free, think what we could have done with that money!

  • Taken a trip to Sandals, Jamaica - We have never even really had a couples vacation. we have wanted to go to the Caribbean for along time.
  • Bought a second used car - Since I changed jobs, no more company car. It would be much more convenient to have two and it would be paid off.
  • HUGE Christmas - Could of gone nuts!!! Lots of plastic pieces to step on YEAH!
  • Killer Guitar - Their is a great guitar that I could get a great deal on, once in a lifetime deal in fact!
  • Doubled our savings! - Nearly $7000 in savings for Emergencies or to help us begin our re fiance program.

Anyway you get the point...what I am paying for is dinners that were a long time ago, that we couldn't obviously afford and other stuff, most of which is gone!

Instead of depressing me it really helped to clarify why this is so important to accomplish. I just don't want to be alive, I want to LIVE and experience all the great things life has available to us.

Think about this the next time you pick up the plastic...are you alive or Living!

You deserve better...


CatherineL said...

Hey we've all done it - paid for things we'd forgotten about a long time ago. And it doesn't feel good.

But congratulations on making a positive move towards clearing your debt. Soon you'll be able to have that holiday and not worry about paying for it afterwards.

Mrs. Micah said...

Well you DID buy back a bit of your freedom, which is also valuable. And you bought some experience for the future--so that you won't get into debt again and can afford those other things.

RacerX said...

@CatherineL - We WILL start saving for the vacation once we clear a couple of our medium term savings goals are met. And when we go (eventually) it will be 100% paid for!

@Mrs M - You are right about the freedom. I like to think of each dollar as a link in the chain and everytime we pay some off some debt those links are cut off!

I hope the post wasn't seen as a negative. It really was a positive epiphone for me and a good reminder to leave the plastic where it belongs...in the trash :)

Thanks so much for reading and comenting!

Fiscal Musings said...

I don't like to think about all the things that i charged and then now have to pay off. Once you make the decision to pay off your debt, I just view it as a number and get after it.

RacerX said...

Don't disagree. Just pointing out how we all can get wrapped up into think that hese are scores in a game, when it represents real money (at least to me!)

Thanks for commenting!

Heidi at BankerGirl said...

I think about this every time I send a credit card payment. I am proud that I'm taking control now - but sometimes I can't help but look back on some of my past choices with regret.

RacerX said...

Don't forget about how every dollar break one more link in the debt chain.

You have really come a long way. I wish I was doing what you are now doing when I was in my 20's!

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

hey, not going to Sandals Jamaica is a good thing. :)

I don't think getting out of debt really puts me any closer to being free - freedom is a state of mind, imho. But, it does bring me closer to being in alignment with my intentions.

I do like to remind myself what those debt numbers mean (ie, that shirt I absolutely had to have) for those times I find myself wanting to buy something else I don't need. But I don't dwell on it, or it would be too depressing.

RacerX said...

If you don't want to say free,at least, less nimble!

It takes away better choices that are available.

Great points!

Thanks for commenting!

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