Friday, January 8, 2010

The other side of being debt free

8 seemed like forever that it took us to get rid of the heavy load of our credit cards. It was not an easy task. 

Now, one month after paying off the credit cards, I have seen so many changes! For one, my husband and I are more relaxed about money. We have a padded emergency fund which is getting bigger every pay check. That means less fighting in our marriage. A LOT less worring when I miss a day of work and will miss a day's pay. A lot less worring about "what if's".  And it's only been a few weeks!

But, there is also another side of being debt free.  We are able to do more. Next month, we are going to a comedy concert. We have wanted to enjoy this stand up comedian for some time but it's sooo expensive. We paid cash for the tickets. We don't have to worry about it destroying our budget for the month. We also can get a babysitter for the kids and know we can budget the extra money for that.

Also we are able to do things as a family that we couldn't do before.  We have always wanted to go to the Public Museum. The cost, even with a coupon, would have ranged around $40.00 for the family. When you add parking, travel and food, that can be an expensive trip!  So, yesterday in the mail, we got a flyer from the public museum. They have an exhibitian that I reallly want to see!   2 tickets for that exhibit would be $54.00! The flyer stated that you can get the family membership pass for the year, 2 tickets to the exhibit, 2 tickets for the plantitarum and membership into the kids club for the kids all for $100.00. Also, the family membership pass will get us free admission into our other 2 favorite museums and discounted parking!! So we started adding up the savings, knew we would be excited to have free admission to the other museums and knew that we have the cash to pay for it without going into debt. We had a family meeting and decided together that we wanted to do this!!  

In our pre-debt free days, this wouldn't have been possible. We had too much debt to do this. Sure, we could have paid for it on credit card, added to our interest rate and made the family debt load worse, like so many families do. But, by living frugally and saving our money, IT FEELS fantastic to be able to do this and know we aren't adding debt to the debt load and carrying that emotional toll!!!

Also, due to my husband not having full time work, we normally are worried, scared and concerned. Yes, we still have a level of that, but it does go down dramatically when you have no credit cards or car payments.  We know how much we need to keep the 4 walls in tack and how much we need to plan for our future while still getting to enjoy things.

I hope if you are on the debt free journey, you are proud of how hard you have come, how much you have saved and how hard you have worked. This journey has taught me about pride, work ethic, and other things I never expected. I realize there is a whole group of people who don't get it.

I am glad to have made it. I am glad we are doing well.  I will keep you all posted.



Jess said...

What a great post - so happy to hear of your success! Spending time with family is such a blessing, have a great time at the concert!

pennyscents said...

Great post!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Way to go! Keep up the good work!

Frugalmommie as been on WITI FoxNews6 Television Milwaukee, WTMJ620 Radio, Several local newspapers, The Wisconsin State Journal, and is in a feature article in All You Magazine in the April 2009 edition.