Where do I start? I was driving alone listening to 99.7 when I heard this annoying man talking about debt and how it was dumb. I turned it off immediately. Who wants to hear someone drone on about budgets and cutting up credit cards? We for sure weren’t on any budget and no one was cutting up my Mastercard. I’m not sure how it all happened but before I realized it this guy had me hooked. I was secretly listening to his show almost every day. Don’t worry I didn’t tell anyone for fear of being branded as weird. There’s part of the show where people call in and scream ‘we’re debt free’ claiming to have paid off $25,000 dollars in just 26 months making just $45,000 a year. Yeah right! What did they think we were dumb? No one does that! Besides our life was pretty good.
Anyway, I’m not sure how it all happened but before long I made the mistake of telling my wife about this crazy guy saying debt was dumb blah blah blah and all of the sudden there I was standing in the middle of the kitchen with credit cards in one hand and scissors in the other. What was I doing? Nashville boasts of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Morton’s and other fine expensive establishments that I’d never get to visit without these precious cards. My wife said cut them and with a click the credit cards were in pieces on the floor. I didn’t know whether to cry or call the credit card company and order new ones. That was 11 years ago. Everything changed. Our living room sat empty for a long while until we could buy a couch. Then it was a chair. And, finally the bookshelves. You get the point. We felt free for the first time since our first credit purchase a few years before when we had to have that little bundle of joy, Java the miniature pincher.
Then last year on a beautiful spring afternoon I’m not sure how it all happened but I was standing at the car dealership when I spotted her. Black with a red top. Upgraded leather seats. High performance engine. Satellite radio. 36,000 mile warranty. Roadside assistance for 3 years. Harman Kardon audio system equipped with 8 speakers. And amazingly it had been discounted and was a special order car the salesman told me. Wouldn’t you know it, in walks a couple from our church who were there to pick up their matching cars very similar to my beauty. They confirmed it was THE car to buy. I had to to have it. Sold! After all those years of no payments and I had just allowed my caraholic senses to take over. But it felt so good on the drive home. It seemed the car knew me and responded perfectly. Ah! Life was good.
That is until the third payment came due. What the? I was not used to remembering to pay a flippin car loan. The courtesy call from ‘the bank’ came wondering if I had forgotten. My fine automobile was becoming a nuisance. Was that dirt on the hood? Somehow the black didn’t shine quite like it did a few months ago. Whew, I’m not sure how it all happened but there I was standing in the middle of a used car lot about to test drive a car older than my 13 year old daughter. Unbelievable! What in the world was wrong with me. I was getting out of my amazing car, newer than anything on their lot, to test drive a vehicle that had enough miles on it to have driven around the world a few times.
But, this month I will not receive a call from the bank nor will I have a car payment to pay because I sold my car payment almost two weeks ago. Done. Finished. Never again. This isn’t a blog to brag or make anyone feel bad about a car payment. No, it’s about realizing that we have choices to make on our journey and some choices own us for life and others for 60 months at 3.9% interest. Next time I fall off the wagon I hope it’s because I ate an extra brownie.
Until next time,