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Debt Help

The Debt & Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Will You Walk The Road Alone?

The road to financial freedom is a lonely road, and sometimes it's a road one has to walk alone.

Our family grew significantly last year with the arrival of twins, so my husband and I knew that we could no longer evade the inevitable: we were going to have to get a minivan. With three small children and a dog, we could no longer afford the luxury of our mid-sized SUV; we needed more space, and we needed it ASAP. Many young couples like ourselves would have used such a family expansion as an excuse to take on more debt, rushing to get a brand new minivan in the name of necessity. We, however, are on the road to debt freedom, so financing a new vehicle was out of the question.

My husband found a very nice used minivan at a local dealership that he felt was reasonably priced and possibly worth more than what the dealer was asking. The only drawback was that it cost more than what we had in our savings. In order to get what we wanted, we would have to save very aggressively in addition to paying all of our current bills! Needless to say, it wasn't much fun at all.

There was no take-out, no movie night, and no clothes shopping for a while. Delicious wheat bread was replaced with not-so-appealing white. Some of our friends even thought that we had come upon hard times. We weren't paupers, we just conserved in every way possible, and those who are still in a debt-controlled lifestyle just didn't understand. However, when we had finished suffering for a little while, we were able to get what we needed without owing a dime. The van is gorgeous, and those who scoffed at our penny pinching have all since bitten their tongues. The best feeling, however, was not the feeling that we had received the fruits of our labor or even that we had done what others would not or could not do.

The best feeling was the freedom of knowing that we owned it - ownership is the strength that keeps us on this lonely road.

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