Being a grownup

If people talking about their finances offends you, you can go somewhere else, this post is not for you.
Today I took a small step towards financial health. Not freedom or independence, but health. I’m working towards getting myself out of debt. It’s going to take a long time, but at least I’m working on it. My actual amount of debt is the same, I just moved around who stuff was owed to. I refinanced my car loan for cash on my lunch break today. But in doing so, I have managed to eradicate all of my reportable debt except the car loan, leaving only the money I owe my parents.
It might sound stupid, but I just have to say, my car loan is one if the things I’m most proud of. I was the stupid 18 year old with a credit card, and I am still terrible with money. I worked up some pretty serious debts, pretty darn fast. With my mom’s help I managed to get myself out of the huge hole I had dug, but my credit report was still a mess. When my car was falling apart, I asked my dad to help me get a new one. My parents were not the type that bought my sister and I cars for our 16th or 18th birthdays. My sister and I both bought our first cars ourselves. When those cars died, my dad bought our second ones to save us the high interest rates, but we paid him back every cent. When I went to him again for help, he said no. He said he wasn’t paying for the whole car this time. If I could get a car loan, he’d help me with the down payment. Which, in my mind, meant no new car, because with my credit I didn’t think I’d ever get a loan.
But I went to my bank. I filled out the application, and I sat in the chair and sweated. But I got the loan. I could not believe it. And I think the thing that I am prouder of than anything is that I have been paying on that car loan for 39 months. That I have never, even when I was unemployed, missed or been late with a payment. And today starts a new chapter. As of tomorrow, my car insurance will be paid in full for 6 months, which will free up some cash each month (I usually make monthly payments), my only credit card will be paid off, and I’ll finally be able to start chipping away at the money I owe my parents, which has been slowly adding up over the years.
It may not sound like a big achievement to anyone else. It may sound like what we all have to do. But I’m proud of myself for actually taking the steps to enable myself to do it. Because now I can stop squeaking by and having all kinds of payments every month. Because it’d be nice, at some point in my life, not to be living paycheck to paycheck.

2 thoughts on “Being a grownup

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