How Debt Free REALLY Feels


This was a big ol’ week in our household. 

My husband received the promotion he’s been working towards for the last several years, we finally paid off the last debt outside of our mortgage, and I turned down a trip to Walt Disney World.

Epic strides were made by all. 

I mention ‘the trip that wasn’t meant to be,’ because it directly relates to our debt-free hoorah. You see, this was a week where adulting took on a whole new meaning. The trip would have been a tag-a-long with the hubby to Orlando, hotel and travel expenses taken care of, with only the theme park tickets to fund. A no-brainer opportunity, right? Somewhat sadly though, if you’ve ever been to Disney World, you’ll know that ‘just the tickets’ for a family of five still equates to over a grand of cold, hard, non-magical dollars. 

So, begrudgingly and without any help at all from pixie dust, I chose to put on my big girls pants and declined the offer. Hubby jetted off to work and ‘play’ with the mouse, and the littles and I sat home and counted our blessings through gritted teeth (just kidding…kind of). 

I share this because that $1000 or so dollars I mentioned earlier for park tickets, was more than just an eye-watering amount of cash for one day in what equates to a heavily themed human zoo — it was the difference between us and debt freedom. In lieu of splashing out on the getaway, we put that money towards the final payment of our minivan instead. A payment that literally allowed us to pay our vehicle off 39 months early, and thus concluded our five-year debt freedom journey. 

How Debt Free Really Feels

Sure we could have gone anyway and simply postponed the payoff for another month or two, which earlier on in our journey wouldn’t have seemed like such a big deal. But now, so close to the finish line, it seems more black and white than ever before. And I believe this choice, personally painful as it was (I’m team Disney to the bone in case you were wondering), marks an era of new behaviors and new possibilities for us.

Debt free or not, it turns out that sometimes you just have to be able to say a hard no, and accept that while another adventure WILL COME, patience and self-control are really the only roads to contentment and progress. So here we are…done and dusted with ‘Baby Step Two,’ with all of our debt (and it wasn’t a light load, let me tell you) paid off. Zero balances all around — whoop whoop. 

I keep getting asked though how it feels, and my honest to goodness answer right now is ‘tired but satisfied.’ I’m so glad it’s over, I’m proud that we made it, but I’m really, really tired from the haul that brought us to this place too. And because I don’t want to landslide, I don’t want to go back and re-accumulate mindlessly and needlessly, I’m going to remind myself every. single. day. just how good a ‘no’ can actually make you feel. 



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