Hi. I’m Katie, and I’m in Recovery.

WE’RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!

Last night, we sent out our final payment to pay off the Hubby’s 13-year old Student Loan debt, and it felt gooooooood.

For the past 28 months, I’ve been anticipating pressing the “send payment” button, assuming the heavens would open, the birds would sing a little ditty, and our lives would magically be perfect with the literal push of a button.

But the kids still cried at little provocation. The birds were snuggled in their nests (hey, it was late in the day!), and wouldn’t ya know it, the sky looked exactly the same.

That’s not to say that paying off $77,232.88 in 28 months wasn’t completely and totally worth the hard work and dedication. It was. But the bulk of the worth comes knowing we could stick to something as a family. That we could make a HUGE life change. That we would be provided for through whatever circumstances should befall us.

Now, I’ve never been to rehab, but I am fairly certain what I am feeling this morning is pretty similar to what any addict coming out of their addiction feels. I’m filled with exhilaration at knowing WE DID IT. My pride in our focus is bursting at the seams.

And I’m scared.

I’m scared of “falling off the wagon”. I’m scared of having “extra” money each month and just *poof*,  have it be squandered away. I’m scared to put my money where my mouth is. I’m scared of what the future holds, knowing if we maintain our focus, the future holds nothing but good.

I never really thought of debt as an addiction, but our debt has been around for so long, I’m not exactly sure how to live without it! It’s “the norm”. If you’ve ever quit an addiction, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You have to change EVERYTHING you do. When I quit smoking, I knew I had to change my lifestyle. I had to change my routines. I had to reroute my brain to not include a cigarette. I had to do something different when I woke up. I had to do something different when I drove my car. I had to do something different when I went out with my friends. I had to completely change my life to not include something that had been a crutch for so long.

But I did it. I have said since the day I quit, that it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I even said that after I had kids! (Not that my kids aren’t wonderful and beautiful and everything I’d have ever prayed for). Getting out of debt ranks right up there in my top 3 things I’ve done for ME. (1. Quitting smoking, 2. Dumping Debt, 3. Graduating college. In that order).

So, if you feel trapped under something: debt, alcohol, weight, relationship problems, health problems, an unfulfilling job: CHANGE IT.

It’s scary, but man, it’s worth it.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Hi. I’m Katie, and I’m in Recovery.

  1. Pingback: Q&A: “How Much Did You Make?” | My Daily Bread Crumbs

  2. I dunno if you kept a journal, but if you ever are scared of falling off the wagon, think of those desperate days before you were debt free…for me, being the man of house, it was painful to wait for those vouchers from WIC or what have you just to get milk for my wife and kids, I almost detest milk now and will never drink it, it is not mine and it more needed by my wife and kids. I am in a better place now, but not debt free like yourself. If you ever lack for tragic stories to scare you right back on the wagon of debt freedom I can write you a volume with my own, my family’s and friends who have not made as good of choices that you have.

    Great job and good luck!

  3. You won’t regret it. Saving IS worth it. Here’s the payoff: my husband and I are 57 and we’re retired! I’m working a PT job because I want to. We’re about to buy a large RV and sell our house (this coming summer) and travel around the country and see things. We have financial security and are very happy with our lives. This is all because we saved and didn’t waste money on a fancy house in a tony neighborhood, flashy cars, or the latest designer clothes. We always lived comfortably but well below our income. A long term lifestyle is way more important than those temporary goodies. We did put an extension on our house, which we’ve enjoyed but still paid the mortgage off early. Best wishes to you! Go Katie! (and MC)

  4. We’ve lived debt free for almost 5 years and its AMAZING!!!!!

    I remember having to change our thinking from “must pay-off debt, must pay-off debt” to “Must SAVE, Must SAVE”… And we do reward our dedication, usually with a vacation. We use a certain percentage of what we were able to save that year as our “vacation fund”. After all, its not worth having if you can’t enjoy it along the way!

    Congratulations you guys!!!!

  5. I’m so happy for you guys!!!!!

    It’s got to be an unimaginable feeling, and with being just a couple thousand away from student loan being done, paying off the 4Runner this year and coming a LONG way financially, I anticipate it as well as my someday wifey does too!

    With that said, I know that feeling and I think most others do too. I liken it to the day I saw the FPU light and said “no more” to credit cards. I sat with the cards and scissors staring for a good 10 minutes before summoning courage to break those shackles away. The FEAR of thinking “I NEED those cards” is overwhelming, but I see now it was an excuse to spend beyond my means.

    Nearly two years later.. maybe more… I’m NEVER going back to keeping credit cards again!!!!

    Congrats you guys.. you’re rock stars!!

    EAK

    • Thanks, EAK!

      This process has brought us so much more than being debtless… It’s brought good folks like you into our lives. We are blessed immeasurably.

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