We are actually debt free except our house, have been since July 2013.
My wife and I have grown to dislike debt intensely as we have learned what freedom it’s taken away from us in the past.
Being in debt never allowed us to live the life we get to live today. Any extra money was used to reduce the debt. Things like tax returns, extra paychecks, bonuses, among other things. We made some pretty big cuts to get out (other than the mortgage) and really like the other side. This weight was so important to us to lift that we even weighed it in our consideration when we were planning to start our family and have children.
Now we were not in a crazy amount of debt. We were in $27,000 of student loan debt that my wife had accumulated getting her bachelor’s degree in a field that she works in now. We also had $5,000 because I had decided to take an options trading course to learn how to hedge options and, even though the information was good, I was not at a place to invest at that time, so the money was basically wasted. We also had car payments on one of our vehicles, but we were able to get out from under that pretty easily and actually in the beginning, we actually refinanced one of our vehicles three times to pay off some other debts quicker. By doing that, it allowed us to consolidate the debts and get our payments down quicker so we could focus our progress.
The biggest thing I remember from being in debt was that it was not sustainable the way that I was using it. We had gotten to a point where our expenses were higher than our income and we knew that we had to turn things around because we weren’t heading in the right direction.
Also, I remember the weight of the purchase for a TV I purchased. I spent $1500 on a 32" Sharp Aquos 720p tv (still have it in my basement), all on a credit card. I remember feeling guilty months later about the purchase since it still wasn’t paid off and I was now behind in the “tech” world. I had partially bought that tv to have one of the coolest tvs in my social group. That was way too short lived, lol.
Being debt free has brought so much more freedom in that we’ve been able to improve our lifestyle by cutting expenses. We’ve actually been able to go down to one income and take a pay cut to improve our lifestyle by allowing me to become a stay at home dad of our 2 girls. It really is amazing what options open up when you aren’t giving all your money to car loans, student loans, and credit card companies.
I have found this to be true as well since we have been building our emergency fund and investments. I guess maybe we are hard wired to like a good count down since there is an end goal in sight? I think I need to set up some goal points and a finish line with my investing and savings so that it will motivate me more. I think with investing, we know that the number is probably so huge that we feel it’s too big to overcome.