I don't think I've ever hesitated to admit that our current debt situation is the direct result of keeping up with the Jones'. I wanted $78 Express jeans in college, so I bought them. As a direct result, my ass looked fabulous and my credit card wore a little thin.
We got our act together in August 2006, and have been diligently paying on our debts for the past 41 months. As of today, we have 14 months worth of payments to go but the plan at our nest is to double up on payments and be done by our second wedding anniversary.
November, people. We will be done paying off all of our stupidity in less than a year. The second (and third) jobs, random eBay listings, and nights spent in will all be worth it in 2010. We will be consumer debt free. And now that we're so close to the end, I can almost feel it.... all I want to do is send every spare penny to our debts. I bet we could get it paid off by August. Maybe if I pick up extra mall shifts... maybe we could be done earlier.
But that doesn't mean that I don't want new jeans. And that I don't want to go out on fancy dinner dates with my husband. Or treat him to good seats at a baseball game on his birthday.
Right now, my current struggle is finding a balance between paying on our debt and living our lives in a way that counts. Of course I'd love to be debt free now. I'd love to see my paycheck be deposited and not immediately send it out. I'd love to sit on a little chunk of savings and spend a few weeks excitedly deciding where we want to go on vacation (Australia). But that would mean working a second job 4 nights a week and not getting home until 10:30pm. That would mean sitting in our house on the weekends, turning down invitations to go out with friends, and general miserableness in our house.
I guess I'm not ready to put it all on the line to be debt free this instant. I've revised our budget to give us some more wiggle room and for once it's not to keep up with the Jones' (because I could give a shit about what they're doing).
Our budget's new wiggle room is due to the fact that I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and what would Ryan have to think about? All the nights I spent working at the mall?
No thank you.
So tonight I'm putting in my two weeks at the mall. Bye bye, new clothes; hello cooking dinner with my husband more than 2x a week. I think it's a fair trade off. We're on track for a big November celebration, but we're being smart about savings and making sure that we've got extra funds around for a variety of things. And best of all, we have awesome seats at the Orioles v. Yankess game on my husband's birthday.
Did we make the right choice? I don't know. But I feel good about it, and that's what counts.
DC . . . With Kids!
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