This past week, I sent in my very last payment for my car, and it felt pretty amazing. My five year loan was up in July, but it was driving me crazy to have a couple hundred bucks of debt pending for my little Yaris. I bit the bullet, sent in the balance, and was kind of shocked by just how good it felt!
I remember when I bought my car and where I was in my life. I had graduated the previous December and just landed my first "big girl job" (full-time with benefits and everything!) the following summer. Since it was 2010 and it was so hard for this interior design degree gal to secure a job in Raleigh, I accepted a position about an hour away in a different field. I didn't completely trust my beloved 1990 Toyota Celica to get me to my new job for much longer, so I decided to buy a "big girl car" to go along with my fancy new job.
As grateful as I am for my now paid off and reliable car, I have a certain nostalgia about my cherry red Celica. I LOVED that car, not necessarily because of the way it looked or drove, but because of the freedom it allowed me. I don't have memories of commuting in it for two hours a day (in order to pay for my new car) like I do for the Yaris. I have memories of driving down to concerts in Charleston with friends on a last minute weekend getaway, just because. I don't think of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic in downtown Raleigh fighting to get home. I think of buckling in the two adorable red headed kiddos I was fortunate enough to nanny for during high school and college (probably still my favorite job to date). While it is nice to have power locks and working AC (it is the little things), there is something about not having the looming car payment and debt that makes your paid-off, crappy car a tad bit sweeter.
Now that our vehicles are paid for, our plan is to never (never ever ever) have a car payment again and will instead pay for new cars in full at the time of purchase. Is paying off your vehicle loan(s) something that is important to you?
P.S. I have thought about adding a few more topics of interest to my blog, and becoming debt free is one of them. I hope you enjoy these new posts and I can't wait to hear about your stories as well!