I have waited so long for the day when I’d be able to say these words.
There were many nights I lay in bed, unable to sleep because I just couldn’t imagine my situation changing any time in the foreseeable future and it gave me such a weight of anxiety. I’m sure many of you can relate to that feeling of worry and fear.
Well, I can’t believe this day is finally here where I get to announce to my friends and family that…wow, I still can’t wrap my head around it.. I mean, it’s big. Really big.
For 13 years, I have carried something with me. It was ugly and it was heavy. And no, I’m not talking about my old purse.
I’m talking about debt.
When I first moved to Richmond, I took on more than I could handle financially. I had my own apartment and my income was not equal to my bills every month. So, I did what was easy: put it on my card. New couch for cute new apartment? Card. Two thousand dollars in owed taxes? Don’t have that. Card! Groceries, gas, clothes, the entire series of Seinfeld and Friends? Who needs delayed gratification when there is CARD?
I was SO stupid and as the balance on that card grew and grew, I just kept making payments that never seemed to get me anywhere. Interest is a mother, and I was in way over my head.
It took me a while to get to a place where I acknowledged that I had a real problem. Debt truly does take over your life, and I knew I had to get serious about getting rid of it.
My first order of business was to stop spending money I didn’t have. I stopped eating out all the time and I stopped going to Target when I was bored. I still went on vacations to Uganda and Portugal (not advised but so worth it!) but I made sure I was picking up extra shifts at work to fund them. I have driven the same car since 2004 because, well, it ain’t pretty but it hasn’t broken yet and I don’t want a car payment! I wasn’t always perfect but I definitely was making progress.
With lots of hard work and self-discipline, along with God’s provision in blessing me with amazing support from family and a lot of inspiration from Dave Ramsey, I am proud and thrilled to be able to say these words to you after 13 years of struggle:
I AM DEBT FREE!!!
It doesn’t feel real yet, but I know as I’m able to start doing things I’ve said “no” to for over a decade (like getting a newer car!!!) it will start to sink in. I am also confident that I will not go crazy and start spending lots of money because it is NOT WORTH IT to put myself in that situation ever again.
So worth fighting for. Such a hard lesson. So glad I’m on the other side.