When I was a small child, the one time of the month I remember avoiding my mother wasn’t when you would expect. It had nothing to do with her cycle and everything to do with when bills were due. My parents carried a large amount of debt, so each month involved a dance of when they could pay what. It was our normal, but that doesn’t mean that we liked it.
When I was just out of grad school and swimming in debt with barely any money to my name, I moved in with a friend and her family. They were friends of mine from college and raised in the same debt culture I was. They were now stuck in their own cycle of getting a paycheck, using it all to pay bills, and then needing a credit card to get to the next pay check. I remember sitting with her as she and her family discussed it and her Mom told her to just accept that she’d always be in debt, because that’s how life works.
The weekend B asked me to move in with him, we’d only known each other for roughly three months. It was a plan for five months in to the future. We needed to hash out finances though, because I was going to be giving up two jobs to move cross country where it would take who knows how long for me to get a job again. So he needed to know what I paid out every month that would be coming with me. There, cuddled up on my couch in the middle of the last weekend I would have with him for almost 6 weeks, I had to confess to my debt and he to his. I moved up there knowing that he was saving money to pay off my credit card debt as soon as I moved in. I never told anyone this, but it was why I didn’t need a ring before moving. A man willing to pay off a large chunk of credit card debt that isn’t his, is a man willing to commit.
As I sit here tonight, I can’t help but reflect on the past and think towards our future. For the first time in my life, there is no shadow of money owed hanging over me. Add in our ridiculous situation where the only monthly bill we pay is internet usage, and well, we just got blessed with disposable income.
But seriously, we can save as we wish. Spend as we wish. Do as we wish. We are beholden to no one for anything. It’s a strange place to be. It’s odd to have realized such a huge goal. But here we are. Debt free.