Today is an exciting milestone anniversary for us. It was on this day seven years ago that we paid off our house to make us 100% debt free. It was a long time target to be debt free when our son turned 16 knowing there were many big expenses to come.
In the last seven years, there have been the expected expenses of college and life. There were also other less expected but still large expenses that included new heat, A/C, and also new windows for the house. A car accident resulted in the need for a replacement car around this time a year ago.
Heck, this week, we have joined the many others in our area experiencing leaky pipes due to the record cold winter storm.
As I write this, I am just a few feet away from a tub of water I am using to refill the toilet since we have no running water. It will be a few days before we will know the exact damage and cost of the repair. Stressful? Yes but way less than if we also had a mountain of debt to add to our worries.
No debt + a high savings rate = freedom, peace of mind, and preparedness for when the unexpected comes along.
Was it hard to hold strong to get out of debt and then to stay out?
I will admit that the temptation to finance the car was compelling given the low interest rates at the time. The car dealership finance guy gave us a bit of a hard time saying he never understood why people pay cash when they could make more with money in the stock market.
We thought about it but just could not do it. Just weeks later, the stock market had one of the largest drops in history, the nation fell deep into the pandemic and suddenly it looked like jobs were in great jeopardy.
I personally just can not imagine the additional stress that a pile of debt would have provided during all of these “unprecedented” and “historic” events.
It truly is my hope that the crisis that was 2020 and is in progress still for 2021 will be a wake up call for many. If these times do not create a line in the sand-no more, moment then I do not know what it will take.
If you are in debt, get a solid emergency fund in place and then go crazy to get rid of it as fast as you can. You will sleep better at night for sure and then soon will be well on your way to secure your financial future.
Trust me. It can be done!