I like to say that paying off our debt wasn't about what we did but what we didn't do. I thought I would share a few things we didn't do.
1. We didn't move into the fanciest house. I have talked before about how much I dislike where we live. I have struggled with contentment here. It's an old house, we manually have to fill the dishwasher with water. We have to run a dehumidifier constantly and our laundry room isn't even in the house. But the rent here is easily $300 a month less than other houses of the same size. And those houses have no yards. And we love to play in the yard at this house.
2. We realized the best entertainment is free. We gave up an expensive satellite package and said no to social events in order to save money. This was hard for my husband who loves sports. But he realized that paying over $100 a month on cable just wasn't worth it when we were chipping away at our debt. For him, the price of missing an SEC football game was far, far less when it meant paying off student loans in an effort to one day help our children not have student loans.
So sometimes, during football season, we find ourselves in the yard, playing with bubbles, going to the park, or reading books.
3. We took the hand me downs. We have been blessed with hand me downs for our sons. But we have also been blessed with hand me downs for ourselves in the form of furniture, a vacuum cleaner and dining table. Even our bed is a hand me down.
4. We said no to the minivan. Believe me, it would be nice to have a minivan where everyone has lots of room. The backseat of my car can be a tight squeeze sometimes. And we did find ourselves looking at bigger cars. But in the end, we realized the money that we would have spent would pay off a HUGE chunk of our debt.
I don't think any of the things we gave up are bad things. Trust me, if given the option to have them, I might take you up on it. But the trade off of living debt free is totally worth it.
What are some things you could live without?