A Funny Thing Happens When You Become Debt Free

If you are following me on any form of social media or e-mail, you probably know that Tom and I became debt free (except the mortgage) this month. Check the Instagram post if you don’t believe me. After years and years of working to be more intentional with our money, we finally did it. The funny thing is, 2 months ago I was in the mindset that we would never be out of debt. That this was just a lifestyle I was going to have to get used to. And we only had $2,000 left to pay off. Talk about a Negative Nellie. So what happened after we made that final payment? What drastically changed in our lives within a split second? Well, I’ll tell you…

1 month to debt free

One month before we became debt free I was living in a semi-constant state of panic and I didn’t even know it. I felt like maybe I should put the kids in public schools so that I could start working during the day.

I felt like there was no way I would ever earn enough money to get us out of debt. –Again we had $2,000 left.

Even though the blog had been making money, I still couldn’t help but doubt myself and to see every financial obstacle in my way. I felt like nothing I would ever do would be good enough.

Isn’t it funny how we do that to ourselves? We work and work for something, reach our goal and then decide it isn’t good enough?

That’s where I was at.

My original plan for homeschooling and blogging was to be able to make money from home with a flexible schedule so that once Dezy graduated, the kids and I would be able to travel for school.

We could go to Washington D.C. and learn about our nation’s history. Maybe a trip to Gettysburg? Actually Scooba diving at the Great Barrier Reef?! Wouldn’t that be a dream? That was my original plan and yet somehow, I was constantly working to self-sabotage it.

Finally becoming debt free

As we got closer to the month of February I started looking at our budget to see where we could scrounge and save in order to make our final debt payment. After all, I was pretty sick of watching all my paychecks go right toward debt.

I was able to manage around $1,600 from Tom’s paycheck to put toward debt. That brought us so close to our final payment of $2,048.00.

Knowing that I would be receiving a payment from the blog in 5 days, I still felt a little anxious. Yes, it would be more than enough to finish off our payment, but I was so tired of waiting.

Then it hit me: I already had enough! I had received a payment of around $500 just a few days before. that was enough to pay off our loan and still have some cash left to celebrate with.

I texted Tom with the exciting news and asked him if he wanted me to wait for him to make our final payment. He said, “yes.” So I waited.

My little secret

Even though we were so close to paying off our final debt that we had been working so hard to tackle, I still had this nagging feeling the back of my mind.

You see, 10 days earlier I had purchased a brand-new laptop. I wanted to be able to make more money with the blog, create better content and videos. If I was going to do that then I definitely needed a new laptop. So I bought the laptop…with a credit card.

I told myself this debt was a “business” debt. It didn’t really count toward our final debt payment. Yet, as I sat there, so ready to make a final payment to this debt that we had been working on over the last year, I still felt anxious.

I felt anxious because my brain was still trying to process how I was going to pay off that laptop and make sure our family would make our road trip to California to see our families.

My brain was still anxious because…I wouldn’t actually be debt free.

So, I wiped down my laptop, charged it up and put it back in the box. The kids and I headed back to the Apple Store and I returned it.

You can see more about my plans here:

The final debt payment

So Tom came home, and we had to hurry because we had places to go.

I entered in our final payment online and together we clicked the buttons that officially paid off our final debt…and it was our FINAL debt.

The breath I took immediately after paying off our debt was similar to the breath I took after getting baptized as an adult. It was a brand new breath. My chest felt lighter. I felt like I actually hadn’t been breathing for months. Years maybe.

I had cried all day long knowing that our final debt payment was coming and then when it finally happened, total peace came over me.

Now what?

Almost instantly I realized how many things I had been panicking about over the last few months. Suddenly, my world felt full of possibilities. After all, from here on out, all of our money would actually be ours. Except that mortgage…yeah, I know.

I had recently put in applications for our kids to the local charter school. Once we paid off debt, I realized I didn’t want them to go there. It was like I remembered my dream.

I stopped working so much…and yet, now the blog seemed to be doing better than ever. Weird.

I’m happier. I sip my coffee and actually taste it. I’m reading my Bible again without it feeling like an obligation.

The kids and I are reading more together. We have more fun.

Our lives are suddenly filled with freedom and possibility.

What can you do?

Get yourself out of debt.

It will be hard.

You will struggle.

It will be worth it.

Here’s how to start:

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