During this lull in my finances, instead of looking ahead one month at a time, I’ve been extrapolating the data out farther and farther to try to set a plan for the future.
I used to think there would always be bills to pay. No end in sight. That’s just the way it was — and I think a lot of people think that way.
I have to admit, that sort of feeling really sinks in when you grow accustomed to carrying a $20k credit card balance from month to month. It almost became, dare I say it, comfortable?
There was no end in sight, but you know what? That was okay.
Keyword being *was*.
Though I find myself broke today, and a little uncomfortable as a result, I’m not carrying a 5 figure balance anymore. That feels good.
That’s better than comfortable.
It’s been a, for lack of a better term, crappy 3-4 years trying to get rid of my credit card debt, but now that I’m on the last leg, well, things feel great.
The line, “I’d rather live for a few years like most people won’t, to live the rest of my life like most people can’t,” really applies here.
I look at some of the things I’ve put up with over the last few years, and while I’m not struggling, compared to those around me and those with similar income, I’m practically camping in comparison.
Last week, I saw CleverDude’s photo of the inside of his home and laughed out loud at the comment where someone called it “ghetto”. I was thinking the same exact thing.
The funny thing is, he’s a guy who’s got his finances totally in order and is headed in the right direction — someone to look up to really.
So then I go home and see that I’ve got cheap shower curtains hanging in my doorways and think, “You know, this looks bad but I’m just a couple of steps behind CleverDude. I’ll get there.”
Side note: while his “doorways” are to prevent heating unused parts of his house, mine are for dust control. Adding insult to injury, my living room has piles of crumbled plaster all over the shredded and unfinished hard wood floor and exposed knob-and-tube wiring all over the place. You could say we’re in the midst of a construction project, but it’s looked this way for nearly six months.
See, told you it was ghetto. ;0)
I truly have been living the life most people won’t. Thankfully my wife has gone along with it.
But that’s the thing, I’m *that* close to being able to start living the life most people can’t.
Some may interpret that quote differently than me, thinking the “good life” is the one where you buy your own tropical island, but I tend to think things through on more realistic level.
As I said earlier, it’s almost the norm to carry huge amounts of debt these days. Finance everything. Enjoy now, pay later. The premise of the good old Lending Tree “I’m in debt up to my eyeballs” commercial.
Now that I’m on pace to be debt free in a matter of months (excluding the mortgage), I’ll already be living the life most people can’t. That’s exciting. I mean, I’ve almost grown accustomed to piles of broken plaster right inside my front door but I certainly wouldn’t mind a whole nice new room instead.
Pretty soon, I’ll be able to do it. And be able to afford it.
That’s the good life.