Sitting in my desk drawer is a check from Toyota Financial Services. That’s right, Toyota owes us money. A whole $1.88. We’ll take it. Last month, we made our FINAL car loan payment. The wonderful machine sitting in our driveway finally belongs to us!
After paying off our student loans and credit card debt, we were on the fence about pursuing the car loan. We kept telling ourselves it was a low-interest loan, and we were anxious to build up our savings. However, now that it’s done, we’re beyond RELIEVED! And it happened much, much faster than expected. We figured it would take about five or six months to pay it off, but we poured everything we had into our goal, and managed to do it in two months!
Now, each month, approximately $300 is going toward our family, not a lender.
So, that’s it. Student loans. PAID. Credit cards debt. PAID. Car loan. PAID.
In total, when you add the car loan in, we paid off about $30,000 in debt over roughly 26 months. The journey took DIY education, planning, and discipline, but was essentially painless. It happened over time, with gradual but consistent changes to how we lived and viewed the world, and our places in it. For the past two years, we lived on a budget, and only bought things we truly needed. It wasn’t a hardship at all. It became second nature, and made us grateful for everything, especially our health and our family.
My parting advice to you: Don’t live under the suffocating burden of debt. Reclaim your future. No matter how long it takes, or how many times you stumble along the way, you’ll get there. And it’ll be completely worth it.
If you’re looking for resources to get started, may I recommend:
Educate yourself about Dave Ramsey’s “debt snowball” method. THIS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING FOR YOU.
“Your Money or Your Life,” by Vicki Robin
“Tiny Habits,” by BJ Fogg
“Atomic Habits” by James Clear
And, the blog that started it all for me: Mr. Money Mustache