Three years ago this week we retired our last debt – our mortgage. Our debt-free anniversary makes it onto the family calendar as a special day right along with birthdays and family gatherings. We worked very hard to get to the point of being debt free, and perhaps like getting a college degree or getting married, you aren’t quite sure what life will be like when you meet this hard won goal.
You might imagine life with no payments looking like hitting the mall with a wallet of cash and vacations anytime, anywhere.
Our life is not like that. A wallet of cash at the mall and perpetual vacations will not keep you debt free . . . that’s the catch.
We still work our budget just as ever before. We are still having budget meetings every Saturday. Being debt-free has given us freedom, and at times the freedom is like the water a fish swims in… we forget the freedom is even there. The freedom being debt-free gives us is the freedom to plan our life with a good deal of our income. Sure, some of the choices aren’t super exciting, such as retirement and college savings, but having income to make those choices IS a great blessing. The fear of losing the freedom to plan our lives is enough to keep us working a budget.
So, what did we do on our debt-free anniversary? We had a family weekend getaway that included driving all over the place to find a Webkinz for our daughter. Mom and Dad enjoyed staying in a room on the executive level of the hotel, which was the only thing ensuring a decent night’s sleep with a bunch of hockey kids roaming the other floors. After a ‘polar vortex’ winter, we came home refreshed and appreciative.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my reflections. If you are new to our debt-free journey, you can start at the beginning.