Hey y’all! Happy Tuesday!
Today I am continuing with part 4 of my story of how I got out of $230,000 in debt and started living the life of my dreams. 😀 To read parts 1,2 and 3, please follow the links below:
Part 1: http://thelovelylittlewitch.com/2014/11/08/finding-freedom-my-journey-with-money-frugality-and-debt-part-one/
Part 2: http://thelovelylittlewitch.com/2014/11/14/finding-freedom-my-journey-with-money-frugality-and-debt-part-two-dont-consume-create/
Part 3: http://thelovelylittlewitch.com/2014/12/07/finding-freedom-my-journey-with-money-frugality-and-debt-part-three-let-the-clutter-go-invite-prosperity-in/
For those of you that have been following along, to do a quick recap of my money story so far….
I got into a huge amount of debt, realized that none of it made me happy, found spiritual meaning in my life through Wicca and decided it was time for a change. I learned that life’s joy was found not in consuming, but creating, and I was ready to be free. I released huge amounts of clutter from my life and gave away over $40,000 worth of material things. I opened up space for fresh, prosperous, new energy to enter in and quit amassing more debt to add to my already huge $230,000 sum.
And I was ready to start seeing that $230,000 number go down – FAST. But how?
As I mentioned in a previous post, though both Caleb and I were working full time in jobs that made good money we were barely able to pay the minimum payments on all of our debts each month. And of course, most of those minimum payments went into paying interest, so though we were working hard and paying everything we had, our debts were barely going down at all.
If we ever wanted to get free, we had to knock off a significant portion of our debts – QUICK.
And on top of that, we had to somehow scrape together enough money for a cheap old truck, too, because Caleb needed one for work. Shit.
A few days later, Caleb made the decision to sell his current car so that we could pay for the truck he needed. The next day he and I took that money and drove out to Northwest Texas in search of a cheap old Dodge truck that we had seen on Craigslist. I was skeptical about this truck before we ever left, because I had always had nice, new cars, and I came from a family who had always had nice, new cars themselves. In my mind, used cars were a bad idea, fraught with problems, hidden expenses, and highway breakdowns in the middle of the night.
I mean, that’s the way my family had always done it, so getting new cars had to be the way to go, right?
When we pulled up to the old, country farmhouse to see this truck, my face fell. There it was, sitting out in the front yard – all banged up, truck bed full of junk, and with a VERY flat tire. Needless to say, this was NOT my idea of an ideal reliable vehicle.
Caleb convinced me to talk to the owners anyway, seeing as we had driven so far. I reluctantly got out of our nice new Honda CR-V (that I was paying $453/month on), and went to take a closer look at that piece-of-crap truck.
Turns out that the truck was owned by a teenage boy who had received it as a gift from his father. Apparently he wasn’t too fond of crap-truck either… As we looked at it, he told us that he was almost old enough to drive and he wanted to sell the truck so that he could get a cool car. The whole time he was talking, I was thinking “good idea, buddy, because this thing looks like a piece of shit!”
While I was busy judging crap-truck, Caleb was busy looking it over. He realized that the engine was sound, that all of the working parts were well-maintained, and that apart from physical appearance and a slow leak in one tire, things actually looked pretty good. He asked the teenager if they could take all of the junk out of the back and air the tire up a bit, and then he took it for a ride.
Thirty minutes later and much to my chagrin, Caleb sat down at that little farmhouse table and used the money from his old car to purchase crap-truck for $3300. On the way out the door, he handed me crap-truck’s keys and said “Wanna drive it home?”
I thought about saying no.
I am so glad that I said yes.
I hopped into crap-truck, taking extra care to notice all of the dents, dings, and the rip in one seat. I fired up the engine, rolled down the windows, put it in drive, and promptly fell head-over-heels in love.
This truck felt comfortable. It felt sturdy. It felt safe. it felt fun. And it felt free. As I followed Caleb in my shiny CR-V down the country roads back home, I had a revelation. Here I was, in this crappy, beat up old truck having more fun driving than ever before – definitely more fun than I ever had in my CR-V. Yes, the CR-V was sparkly and new with all the bells and whistles, but it wasn’t me. Somehow, on some level, this truck just resonated with my very soul.
It reminded me of country roads, sparkling stars and campfires in the night. It made me think of a simpler life filled with fresh air, homegrown food, and evenings spent sitting on a wrap around porch in front of a little farmhouse out close to mama earth.
I didn’t fully know or understand it at the time, but that truck was the catalyst that made me see the first glimpse of the hopes and dreams that were truly in my soul.
We stopped to get gas about halfway home. Caleb moseyed over to the truck as I was filling up, and casually asked me how I liked it. I promptly replied,
“I’m keeping this truck. It’s MY truck now. I’m selling the CR-V.”
If he was shocked, he took it in stride. To this day, I sometimes think that Caleb on some soul level knew that this was meant to be. He simply replied, “Guess you like it ok then, huh?”, gave me his little lopsided grin that I love so much and walked back to the CR-V.
Two weeks later, we sold the CR-V to a lovely couple with a newborn on the way, and Caleb sold his motorcycle that we had been making payments on, too. In selling those two vehicles, we had almost instantly knocked out just over $30,000 in debt.
What a way to start letting go.
And this truck did so much more for me, too. It helped me to start looking at the world in a whole new light – to realize that it was time to start questioning my current lifestyle, spending habits, financial patterns, and my money beliefs, too. What else I doing with my life just because that is the way I had always done? How many options were out there that I had never stopped to consider before? Was I even living the life that I actually wanted? Or was I living someone else’s dream?
And this leads me to the next part of my story… Stay tuned for part 5! 😀
Chat with you soon!