Tuesday, June 2, 2009

1 year 15 days DEBT FREE!!

I was so focused on my nephews “golden birthday” I totally skipped it.. a very important day in my life. It was the first anniversary of being debt free for my husband and I.. May 17th 2009 marked that day. I just can not believe it took me until today June 2nd to realize this. But I'm looking back and realizing that the way I view money, the way I treat money, the way I spend money has really evolved.

Today I am still debt free, I do use my ONE credit card with the maximum limit of $1500 once per month for ONE item. Usually this item is a more pricey item from $600-$1200. One month we bought a new bed mattress and box spring, the next we bought an expensive nice bike for my husband. Next month we are finally moving into THIS century and getting a lap top computer. My son has had a lap top for almost 2 years but it's time that we leave the old clunky desk top turned off and move up in the world. Each month I pay this credit card off in full, some months even paying off what would be due the following payment period. We feel this is our way of contributing back to the economy.

What has shocked me was one specific amount of money. I am leaving on a womens retreat this weekend. A friend I have known for around 5 years has invited me every time this retreat comes back to our area. It happens twice per year. Each year I say it's “too much money for a weekend” this year I actually looked at the price and thought “wow they lowered the price, probably because of the economy and NOW I CAN AFFORD IT, I'M GOING” I talked with my husband about it and he was very supportive.

I wrote out the check, mailed it, got my confirmation of receipt and made my plans to take Friday off so I can get there on time. This week I went walking with the friend who has invited me over and over and I had some specific questions for her. I asked her “how much was it in past years?” and she said “yikes they raised the price this retreat!” and here was me “WHHHHAATTT REALLY??” I seriously couldn't believe it.. I actually was walking next to her silent thinking “how did I miss that?” The answer is quite obvious. This year I am not unemployed and I am not in debt. The amount is affordable to me. Plain. Simple.

I have found that my husband and I are much “looser” with spending. I'm not couponing hardly at all.. I do shop at Woodmans and Aldi the two cheapest stores in my area, however, he'll run to pick up beer and snacks for poker games and just run to Jewel and spend whatever. We eat out a ton more than we were and if my son calls needing money I don't hesitate to slap $20-$40 on his debit card without even asking too much detail why he needs it. As I write this, I'm realizing I need to pull those reigns back in and control our outward/unnecessary spending before it becomes an issue once again.

I am so glad I found the groups I did and moved in a positive cash flow direction. My life is easier, the stress levels are considerably lower in my life and my husbands. Our marriage is stronger, however, my husband still has yet to take over the finances as he promised he would in past years. “once everything is paid off then I'll do it” he said that time and time again. Here we are but the difference is, I enjoy paying the bills and looking at our balances from month to month. Paying my property taxes was actually exciting because the money has been there, waiting in a savings account for me to transfer it, write a check, mail it and be done. Now, I think I would miss doing our bills. I would miss the happiness I feel now versus the depression I once felt every time I opened up our checking account on line. It seemed hopeless.

If you missed them, I wrote two segments explaining how we paid off our debt. I didn't give exact amounts but it was the jist of the story. You can read them
part one here and part two here. Enjoy


Precious said...

Congrats Melissa! Being debt free is so freeing as you have realized! Enjoy your retreat!

slugmama said...

Happy Anniversary!
Isn't it wonderful to have such a healthy relationship with money now?!

Here's hoping your story can be an inspiration to others.

Anonymous said...

congrats on getting out of debt and staying that way!!

Jennifer said...

That is so awesome girl!!! Sounds like you are doing well!! Proud of you!!

Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

Awesome and congrats on that milestone. Must feel great to accomplish something that many people never do in their lifetime. We are still trucking along--getting SO close I can almost taste it at this point!

Keep it up, girl. :)

Together We Save said...

Wow - debt free! Awesome.

Amanda said...

Congrats. I know you worked really hard to get debt free.

The Deal Diva said...

Happy No-Debt Anniversary! I just wrote a series on my blog about living debt-free. What a great accomplishment for you! Congrats!!!

lin said...