We did it. 3 years and nine months of grueling self denial, long work hours, and watching our money disappear into a seemingly endless black hole is over.
And we are never going back.
When 593 people liked my post on my Facebook group, the reality began to hit home. We actually did this. We didn’t give into cultural norms and think living with debt was ok. We fought it. We agonized. We cried and argued and forgave each other when one of us messed up and encouraged each other. We had to deal with feeling selfish when we had to say no to a cause or friend in order to make another snowball payment (a payment larger than the required minimum payment). It was hard to remind ourselves that this was OK for then because someday we would be able to live and give like no one else.
We paid off debts and celebrated briefly only to feel the next one roll over us like the weight of a gravestone. We said no to new clothes, handbags, and vacations countless times. We reminisced over the days we used to travel and spend our own money on fund-raisers for causes we loved and longed to be free of the weight of the payments. We wiped the tears from our eyes and said, some day. Some day. Some day we’ll buy and give what we want to buy and give, this time with cash and no debt. This time we’ll do it free. But until then, slap another extra payment on the debt and do it another day. One more day. One more day. One day it will be one more day until freedom.
And when the day came it was so unexpected, after so many false almosts, and prolonged dreams and deferred hope that we didn’t know how to feel it. We didn’t know how it could be possible. Figuratively we had arrived at shore with tattered clothes and empty pockets after floating on a bit of driftwood. And we knew we were home.
Our Debt Free Scream:
We lived on faith, hope, prayer and the Taylor Swift lyrics to Long Live:
“Long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
And long, long live the look on your face….
Bring on all the pretenders
We will be remembered…”
And maybe it’s not that big of a deal to the world that we paid off $134,000 in 3 years and 9 months starting at making only $28,000 a year, and maybe we won’t be “remembered.” But for us, well, we’re dragon-slayers.
And I cannot describe the peace that sweet victory brings.