Three Things I Learned by Paying off My Car

22 Feb

20140222-211941.jpgI did it! I paid off my car! I’m so happy. It’s one of my proudest achievements. I put it above quitting smoking and graduating college!

So, what did I learn while paying on my car?

1. The debt snowball works.

I started off this journey to become debt free with three debts. I paid off my first debt rather quickly. It was a small debt, and it didn’t take long. Once I finished that debt, I began tackling my car.

It took me a while and longer than I wanted. One of the reasons it took so long is because I took a vacation.

2. I need to stop playing so much.

I’m not saying I can’t play at all. I just think I need to be more disciplined. Admittedly, I should have waited to go on my vacation until after my car was paid off.

I want to buy a new TV. As I begin to tackle my next debt, which is rather large, I need to hold off on the playing. I think when I pay off a set amount (I know it but don’t want to share it here), I will allow myself to buy a TV. But not before then. It can be a way to keep me motivated, as it is very large. Boo the student loans and my poor choices in taking them out.

3. It’s worth it!

When I walked into the bank to make my final payment, it felt somewhat anticlimactic. The teller at the bank treated it like another transaction. I was a little disappointed. I didn’t expect balloons and a cake, but at least something encouraging. But nothing. As I sat in MY car, I smiled and just looked at the balance on my transaction receipt. It took a lot of work, and I didn’t always do things correctly, but I finally paid off my car.

So, I’m off to the next debt. It’s going to take a long time, and I have to find a way to keep myself motivated through this process. What do you do to keep yourself motivated through the large debts?


4 Responses to “Three Things I Learned by Paying off My Car”

  1. Kristin February 22, 2014 at 21:47 #

    Way to go! We paid off my car on Wednesday. We also used the snowball method. I like my car so much better now that she is debt free. For large debts, give yourself benchmark goals. Maybe every five or ten thousand depending on how much the total is and how long it takes you to hit each goal.

  2. Ethan February 22, 2014 at 22:17 #

    Congratulations on paying off such a large debt! We got the chance to pay ours off last August, and it really will be our first and last car paid for with a loan! We had a similar experience of wanting balloons to drop at the teller window, but we did do our own mini celebration at the bank 🙂 As for motivation when paying off large debts, you should really visualize what it will mean for you. For example, maybe if it’s taking an extra vacation, then post a vacation picture on the fridge. If you can see it and visualize the difference it will actually make, it is that much easier to stick with.

  3. thisgirlsadventure February 23, 2014 at 00:44 #

    AWESOME work! How satisfying it must be for you to see the car paid off! And great motivation to keep the (snow) ball rolling on your next debt 😉

    I am on my third and final debt – the largest of the 3 – my personal loan at $5775.05. I guess to keep motivated, I am kinda focusing on $1000 at a time, rather than the whole lump sum. I read a lot of PF books and blogs to stay motivated and also listen to the Dave Ramsey radio show podcasts – I find them super inspiring, especially when people call in for their ‘I’m Debt Free’ moment 🙂

    Stick with it – and maybe come back to your post about paying off your car if your motivation is waning. Remembering the sweet feeling of another debt down has to keep you on track! Good luck!

  4. makingmywaytozero2014 February 23, 2014 at 09:01 #

    Wow! I can’t picture paying off my car right now so congrats to you! And tackling your final debt! Way to go!!!!

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