Friday, January 22, 2010

On keeping up with the Jones'.

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.

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.

9 comments:

Bre said...

That is what matters, and Nov. will be here before you know it. Besides, your friends would be very sad if you had to turn down fun invitations with us. We love hanging out with you! Good luck tonight, don't cry... I mean it!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I think there is a fine line between being responsible and actually enjoying life a bit. The one thing that I know for sure is that time is precious. If you can spend more of it with your husband, that is a good thing. Skipping the new jeans (or finding some on sale) is great too.

Sue

Molly said...

That is a question we have struggled with. My hubby was putting so much into our retirement, that we didn't have much room for play for now. We changed it up a bit for the same reasons you did. We want to enjoy life while we are young and can travel, but still be smart about our future. It's hard!

Anonymous said...

Joneses.

Claire said...

Yay for you Katie! You have the right idea :-)

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Genavee said...

That's such a smart way of looking at things. I suppose the ultimate goal is to have a good and happy life, which does mean removing the stress and limitations of debt and competition, but also sacrificing a little security for more time and joy in the now.

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Mrs. Newlywed Giggles said...

I love your motivation! We are in the same boat, we have debt, but we still go on vacation every year. Nothing like Australia (which I'm dying to go!!!!!!!), but somewhere where we can getaway for a week. Sometimes, you have to enjoy life at the moment because it will pass you by so quickly.

Congrats for you and you're almost done!