To my newly crowned Debt-Free Queen,
I wanted to use this time and space to tell you how proud I am of you. Three and a half years ago we made a promise to one another. We resolved to walk hand in hand together and not live like everyone else. We prioritized to live below our means, save, payoff debt and NEVER use debt again for any of our purchases. Now, three and a half years later, the fruits of our labor have finally paid off.
You are debt free. You stared down a hyper consuming culture, gave it the finger and have ascended on a mountain that many think is impossible to climb. When people around us fake bake, buy purses and clothes at INSANE retail prices, rack up debt through real estate and grad school, go bananas with manicures/pedicures/hair dying appointments and spend more than they make, you…said…NO! And for that you are the most amazing woman on God’s green Earth to me.
Because of your efforts we are going to be secure in retirement without the need for social (in)security. Now we can easily set money aside in an ESA for our kids’ college. Now we can save for a few months and pay for a year’s worth of vacations. Now we can travel whenever we want without financial constraint back to the islands, overseas to Europe and to serve in Africa. Now we can tithe without breaking a sweat. Now we can really ensure that we pay cash for our first home. Now our dreams are going to start coming true.
But before “tomorrow” happens, before the travel starts and the budget starts to change, I want to say that I love you. I love you for choosing to put our future first before material possessions. I love you for resisting and fighting the urge to keep up with the joneses. I love you for being you. I love you for being my cheerleader as I went from a clueless Communications major to a personal finance wizard. I love you for loving me through my flaws and also for lovingly asking me to change. I could not have become the frugal fury fighter I am today if it weren’t for God and you.
I love the way you fight with me on budget amendments. I love that you challenge me to give more. I love the way you have conquered power over purchase. I love your brilliant meal planning and for your mad croc-potting skills. I love that the entire time we have known each other that you haven’t owned a car.
I love that after seven years, my love for you grows more and more with each passing day.
I know that it hasn’t been easy. I think that if I say, “It’s not in the budget,” or, “Dave Ramsey says,” just five more times that you will cut me. But someday is finally here. You are debt free. We are debt free. If you want funds set aside for massages, to go on missions trips, take trips around the world, go to the airport and buy the next available flights for a surprise vacation, use a three day weekend to rent a car and drive somewhere new…it’s finally time to put it in the budget.
You have lived like no one else and now it’s time to live and give like no one else. And while I cannot wait to see what tomorrow, the next year, the coming decades will bring into our lives, I know one thing is for certain. I am thoroughly loving today, and you are the reason I feel that way. Coincidentally, I’ll close this letter with what appears on my handy-dandy Dave Ramsey calendar for today.
“The way a couple spends money is representative of their dreams, passions, fears, and their vision for the future together. That flow of money also represents an established value system and how they plan to reach their goals and make their dreams come true.”