35-for-35 Update #2

I’m excited for this one. Check out 1a!

Some background. First, debt-related items began appearing on these annual challenges as far back as 2008. As I put it then: “I don’t have student debt: I have stupid debt, the result of several years’ worth of feckless spending.” Of course I recognized that debt-free living was desirable for any number of reasons. I just couldn’t figure out how to do it, or at least didn’t have the iron-clad will to see it through. Having OCD didn’t help, either: for reasons far too complicated to explain, up until a few years ago I strugged paying off any outstanding debt unless it was to the exact penny.

Last year I made getting out of debt a top priority. I fell short, but got close enough to see the finish line. For this year’s list I once again prioritized being debt-free, setting November 16–my half-unbirthday, if you will–as the target date. I was on track, too, until an unexpected OCD flare-up made medical bills my new priority. Last week I reset the deadline to November 25.

And then yesterday, I got paid. And did some basic math. And realized I could pay off my line of credit while leaving myself more than enough for the rest of the month–especially since half my next paycheque wouldn’t be earmarked for another account.

And for the first time for as long as I can remember, I became debt-free.

I’m not bragging: it’s an accomplishment that shouldn’t have taken this long. But I’m glad this millstone’s off from around my neck. Most importantly, I’ve finally reigned in my spending habits, which is a lesson I’m sure you’ll agree was long overdue. I haven’t totally achieved my goal: I have to be debt-free next August 16 as well. But I’m confident I’ll be checking that item off the list, too. Debt-free. It’s hard to imagine.

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