We’ve been on this journey out of debt for a while because when you try to half do it, it takes longer, a lot longer. Even when you are giving it your all (or most of your all – I’ve already posted that we keep very inexpensive vacations in the budget for a variety of reasons) it can still take a while to dig yourself out of debt.
The months and years can feel like an eternity. You feel like you hit every. single. bump. in the road on the way. Every time you see a light at the end of the tunnel you go screaming towards only to find out it is a train bearing down on you. You take 3 steps forward and then something, anything happens and you find yourself 2 steps back. I’ve probably quit this whole thing at least 383 times and thankfully, I’ve been strong enough, weak enough, tired enough or mad enough to start it again 384 times. We’ll get there and when we get there things may not look different on the outside but things will be better on the inside.
I’ve struggled this season with the experiences that we couldn’t give our kids but you know what I could sit around whining about what we couldn’t afford to do and the only ones that would have suffered with my pity party is the kids. We still made many memories and it still was “the best Christmas ever” and we didn’t do much “special”. We had movie nights with popcorn and hot chocolate. They stayed up late and slept around the Christmas tree. We made snowman sundaes for dessert & we let them eat too much candy. We went to see Christmas lights and Santa and we did all of it without spending a lot of money. I stopped saying that we could afford it because really some of it we could afford, we just weren’t choosing to spend our money that way.
Our new theme is going to be less concern about what we can and can’t afford and more thoughts about how we choose to spend what we have. I still have the dreams of surprising kids with trips to Disney (and I really would like for that to be our debt freedom vacation – though we’ll do it as inexpensively as possible – old habits die hard!) but for now we are going to focus on not answering the “want tos” with we can’t afford but answering them with we aren’t choosing to spend our money that we because we want this (fill in the blank) much more a little bit further down the road.
This journey is a constant learning process….