The most common threads on this site are and will continue to be, Debt and Gardening. I know talking about debt is boring so I wanted to come up with a twist. Society tells us to continue to have debt until we retire and then it will be ok. But once you retire after a lifetime of using debt it is hard to get rid of. My father in law has retired and he still has some debt. This boggles my mind. How can a man who is 70 think he can continue to take on debt? Why do we continue to do this? Why is enslavement something we aspire to? So today I wanted to write about what it means to be debt free.
Only a few years ago I was in debt, just like many of you. I sat down with my wife and we discussed what we were going to do about it. How could we have let this happen? Then my dad died. We were left with a small amount of inheritance. What would we do with it? We decided to pay off all our debt but the house. In my head was screaming ‘serenity now’. I don’t want the stress of having anymore debt.
So my wife and I began the journey of paying off our debt. We were not able to pay off everything. As we moved along in our journey, it didn’t seem like it was going to be possible.
I want to tell you what it is like on the other side for those of you on the same journey. We were able to pay off everything before the crash. My existing business was cut in half. I wish I had heeded the same advice in business. I had debt there I had to work through. Though the sales were 50% of what they were the year before, I had to take a 50% pay cut. The amazing thing was we were actually able to make it through. We had money put away for a rainy day and it was pouring outside.
What I never realized until things calmed down what a relief it was to have no debt. I was able to put my head down and go to work without having the burden of payments. I took a hit on my income and survived. It seems like things are easier though I still do not make as much money as I used to.
I have realized when you have to work because all your money is spent before the paycheck comes is harder than wondering what to do with the extra you have since there are no payments waiting for you.
Victory is the ability to say to your existing job, ‘I quit’. It is working less with better quality of life. It is working more and retiring early. It is realizing you are not a slave anymore. The freedom and liberty which comes from being debt free is almost like witnessing birth. Just like kids, I wish I could have 10 of them. Debt is something I wish I never had. I am only glad I realized it earlier rather than later. It is an accomplishment worth sacrificing for. I know you can do it. If you do nothing else, getting out of debt will change your mental state.
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother