Holding up my shoes. They’re off!
- DH = dear husband
- DFF = debt-free friend
Friday September 28, 2018: Debt-Freedom!
We’re officially debt-free! Friday offered one last obstacle to the final step of our journey out of debt. We bank with a no-fee subsidiary of one of Canada’s big banks. Friday, of all days, its online banking was shut down! There was no brick and mortar option, so all day, we literally COULDN’T pay off our debt!!! Both bizarre and frustrating! Finally in the evening, the online bank was up and running again. It was a matter of a few clicks of the mouse. DONE!
Friday September 28, 2018: Kavanaugh hearing
I don’t know about you, but the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on allegations against Judge Kavanaugh really had an impact on me. I found myself obsessing, watching segments of the testimonies given, talking with colleagues, students, friends, family members about it. More than one woman disclosed to me either her own experience of sexual assault or that of a loved one.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony just rang so true, and it stirred the pot of confusion, shame, outrage, self-doubt, and anger on which many of us have kept the lid securely in place – often for years or even decades. My Twitter feed Friday night was a collective venting of pain, rage, and incredulity. I found this image via the Facebook posts of two friends, and I think it does a good job of capturing the burden women carry:
It’s hard to walk in confidence and freedom through that maze of mixed messages.
I eventually switched my focus on Twitter to the events of FinCon – the big annual financial convention attended internationally by bloggers, pod casters, authors of books, and leaders in all things personal finance. What a change! I had to adjust to the positive high energy and excitement that were conveyed through the tweets of those who were at FinCon18. I got the impression they were having a fantastic time.
The convention took place in Orlando Florida, and it was of particular interest to me this year because Prudence Debtfree was nominated for the Best Debt-Freedom Blog. A big thanks to those who nominated me! It was a real honour. I occupy a very small corner of the personal finance bloggosphere, and it was a big deal for me to be given a spot alongside those with much larger followings and more extensive experience in writing and blogging.
Congratulations to winners of all categories, and especially to John and David from Debt Free Guys – winners of the Best Debt-Freedom Blog.
On Saturday night, we hosted DFF, the debt-free friend who, in the spring of 2012 came over to drop off a copy of Ramsey’s book-CD The Total Money Makeover. If she hadn’t taken that initiative, I honestly believe we’d still be deep in the red at this point – 6 1/2 years later. She’s been cheering us through our journey out of debt ever since we took off from the starting line in June of 2012, inspired by Ramsey’s book. I believe she’s read every single blog post I’ve written along the way.
“So how does it feel?” she asked.
“It hasn’t really sunk in,” we said.
DFF said she thought that it would hit us in the weeks to come as we experienced the absence of financial obligations.
- No mortgage payment.
- Non-existent credit card balance.
- Absence of car loan.
- Business line of credit? Nope.
- No interest of any kind on any debt.
I know it’s true, but it’s only head knowledge right now. At one point in our conversation, DH was talking about a set of faucets at Costco that he’s thinking of buying. “But they’re $99,” he said, “so we’ll have to wait a bit.” We’ve averaged a monthly debt re-payment of over $3,000 for more than 6 years, and now that we’re free of it, we’re being cautious about a purchase of $99?! Actually, I think that’s a good thing – but it just shows that our brains have some adapting to do.
For women and allies
I’ve had trouble writing this post because rationally, I think it should be all “Wooo-hoo! We’re debt-free!” For one thing, it’s still registering. I have no doubt the “Wooo-hoo!” will happen. For another thing, the Blasey Ford / Kavanaugh testimonies are still very much on my mind.
If you are a woman who has experienced the surfacing of raw outrage with the Kavanaugh hearing, please accept my virtual hug. Let’s not allow it to end in a rage or depression that feeds on itself. I believe we’re at a watershed moment – no matter what decision is made with regards to the Supreme Court appointment. One in three women, someone told me. The force of this kind of tsunami will have an impact one way or another, and insofar as its legacy is in our hands, let’s work it through constructively and in power.
And if you are a man who recognizes the imbalance and who won’t stand by to watch it unfold in his own circle of influence, thank you. What a difference you make!
Since starting our journey out of debt in 2012, I’ve thought that in some way, I’d like to encourage, challenge, and mentor women in developing their financial health once my own becomes strong. Maybe this is all a confirmation of that path. Time will tell.
Did the hearings have an impact on you last week? What questions are you left with? Did you attend FinCon? Your comments are welcome.