- DH = dear husband
- DD1 = dear first daughter
- DD2 = dear second daughter
- DD3 = dear third daughter
When I first read Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover in the spring of 2012, I looked ahead to the grand finale as something impossibly remote. The last chapter of Ramsey’s book is about the step of wealth building – the final step, coming after the mortgage is gone. As I read it, I could not really visualize myself being there. It was sort of like trying to visualize myself acting in a movie or singing in a rock band. My imagination could produce something, but nothing very convincing.
Nevertheless I liked that chapter. “I am releasing you to have some fun with your money, because money is to be enjoyed,” said Ramsey, adding that “guilt-free enjoyment” is one of the reasons to have a Total Money Makeover. Sounded good to me!
Last week, we crossed the finish line of our journey out of debt.
- New Car Debt: $8,600
- Old Car Debt: $12,800
- Business Debt: $80,800
- Mortgage: $155,000
- Stumble-at-finish-line loc – $3,800
25th anniversary celebration
This past weekend was our time to celebrate, not only our debt freedom from the end of September, but also our 25th wedding anniversary – October 2nd.
Since our journey out of debt began, we have marked October 2nd frugally. “DH and I celebrated our anniversary last week-end,” I wrote in October of 2014. “As the time approached, we wondered what we would do. Would we stay home for the week-end, as we had the last two years? … Or would we go away to the resort where we’d spent the two anniversaries before our journey out of debt began? Complete with massages, hot tub, pool, tennis courts, supper, and breakfast? DH was leaning towards the resort idea. ‘We didn’t really have a vacation this summer,’ he said. ‘We need to get away.’ I was reluctant. I liked the idea of a get-away, but that resort stay would cost about $800.”
For that anniversary, and the 3 that followed it, we ended up going camping for our get-away. Those trips came in at a fraction of the resort cost, and they were great!
We ate well during our anniversary camping get-away weekends!
This time around, we gave ourselves permission to splurge! Not only did DH and I go to the resort – the place where we had spent our honeymoon 25 years ago – we brought our 3 daughters with us. We flew DD1 home from the west coast where she studies, and the 5 of us hit the road together.
It’s hard to say what the best part of it was. The resort itself is rustic and beautiful, the largest log structure in the world. And at this time of year, the trees surrounding it are in full colour. Pool and spa were wonderful, and mountain biking was fun. We enjoyed delicious meals and broke out the champagne. Our daughters surprised us with a silver anniversary gift complete with speech (delivered by DD1), song (sung by DD2), and toast (given by DD3).
Fire-place in the foyer of the resort.
DH and I feel so blessed that our children like being together and being with us. They are all adults now – two having flown the nest – and it’s precious to be able to connect with them at this new level. I hope that DH and I will have many more opportunities to treat our daughters (and maybe some day their spouses and children?) to family get-aways in the years to come.
Journey out of debt: inter-generational ripple effects
“A marriage isn’t made up of big events like a 25th anniversary celebration,” DD1 said as part of her speech. “It’s made up of the small things – like checking over the receipts in your weekly budget dates, playing Exploding Kittens, cooking and eating meals together …”
Although we did splurge this weekend, I’m so glad that the frugality and effort of our journey out of debt were acknowledged in this way. DH and I can’t dictate how our commitment to debt-freedom will play out in our daughters’ lives, but we hope that it will have many positive ripple effects for them.
Right now, DD3 is at a friend’s house for a pot-luck “Friendsgiving” (It’s Thanksgiving Monday in Canada.) 2 thumbs up for free socializing! Earlier today, DH answered a request from DD2 and drove an old book case and storage unit from our house to her apartment. 2 thumbs up for the pursuit of used furniture! We see evidence of our daughters’ frugal mindfulness, and we’re SO happy about that! DH and I were well into middle age by the time we woke up to our financial reality and decided to change it. All signs indicate that our children have entered young adulthood with eyes wide open – fully awake from the get-go.
“I’m so proud of you two for all you have accomplished together,” DD3 wrote on the card the girls gave us. DD2 signed with these words: “It has been inspiring to watch you two stick together, grow together, and love one another through thick and thin.” And DD1 ended her note with, “I think you’re in for an amazing next quarter century.” I can’t help but think the same way.
Your comments are welcome.