When I logged into my credit union's website this morning to see the status of my accounts, there was one noticeably missing. My used auto loan. You see, when an account is closed, the credit union removes it from the current list. Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen, I have paid off my car! I am super excited, for the obvious reason. There will be more money in my pocket to trick off in the future. But also, because it has taken so long. I remember when I first purchased the car, it was my second, but the first I bought myself without the help of others, i.e. my parents. I was shopping for Honda Civics, Jettas, Acuras and such, but a friend of mine at the time, encouraged me to look for a luxury vehicle. In hindsight, I shouldn't have listened to him. He was barely paying his bills, and was always behind on his rent. "They're not as expensive as you think." I guess not, when you forgo other bills. Anyway, he and I worked with a salesman at a luxury dealership. I told him my credit score (I was an amateur, but it was good), my income (about $13K less than I make now) and how much I wanted, or rather could afford to pay every month. In return the salesman sent me a picture of my car. It was beautiful. I was scared and nervous. How can I afford this? What are the real responsibilities of having a car? Especially, this car. Well days later, I signed and drove it home. That seems like a lifetime ago and hell, it was. I have been paying on this car, or as my old friend called it, 'an automobile', forever.
I tell people, this is America, with the right credit and a little down, you can have anything you want. So, with that said, I am glad the payments are over. I now have a few extra hundred each month. That makes me feel good. If you remember in my post IR(arely)S(ave), I wanted to pay my bills down and have some money saved. That was July of last year. Since then, I have cleared the Ann Taylor card. And although I didn't meet my savings goal, through my flexible spending account at my job, I have managed not to touch what's taken off top put aside automatically, leaving me with more savings than if I had tried to do it on my own. Add the car and I have rid myself of some very much undesired debt. Again, this makes me feel good. I still have a Visa and some random other bills I want to clear up, but I'm so much closer to being where I want to be financially.
I make a point of not telling my business 'in the streets', but at the same time there is freedom in living in truth and not a lie. I have cancelled more outings with friends than I feel comfortable admitting. Instead of blowing them off or telling a lie, I simply say, 'I have some financial goals that I am trying to meet, I won't be able to do blah, blah, blah.' The wind at my back, pushing me forward? My mom. She is my newly hired financial advisor. Every time I get paid, I meet her at her apartment with my computer, pay stub and our notebook (yes, I have a spiral notebook that she gave me). She, in detail, handwrites the money I have, the money owed, due dates and any outings I have planned, to come up with the most accurate figure of what I actually can spend. It can be tiring and intense, but I feel free in the end, because I no longer hold what I owe inside. There is no secret or shame, just real life goals, that I am steadily conquering.