I have some very disturbing news to share with you all. I just found out my home girl Red, who blogs at Girl With the Red Balloon, hates happiness. She probably also hates puppies, rainbows, and babies, but I’m yet to confirm that. I came to this conclusion after reading this sentence in a recent comment Red left…
[...] shouldn’t you be advocating for the most responsible ways to get out of debt? Would you tell a family that is $28,000 in debt to take a vacation? I hope not!
Alright Red, I’ll play your game. Would I tell a family with $28,000 of debt to take a vacation? While I don’t know if I would necessarily beg them to go to Fiji, I probably wouldn’t tell them not to either. I don’t have the authority to tell people what to do with their money. Vacation away my friends!
To be perfectly honest, debt freedom isn’t really that different. Sure, it’s nice not having to send Sallie Mae a check each month, but other than that, nothing’s really changed. I’m still frugal. I still drive the same car. I still buy used furniture off Craigslist.
Don’t get me wrong, being debt free is cool and all, but really it’s just a tiny piece of the personal finance puzzle. I mean how depressing would my life be if my biggest financial milestone is debt freedom? I want more. I want to have a million dollars in the bank. I want to send a bunch of underprivileged kids to Young Life camp. I want to buy a shark and a pony, force them to make babies, and be the first owner of a ShaPony. I have bigger goals than just paying off a few creditors.
If someone, who has a car payment and a Sallie Mae loan, wants to go to visit friends in France for a week, who am I to tell them not to? Heck, who am I to say taking such a trip would be financially irresponsible? If they make all their payments, I could care less what they do, how quick they get out of debt, or how many vacations they take.
For some (like Red and myself) we wanted nothing more than to pay off all of our creditors. While others might be just fine making minimum payments. And so now I ask you… What’s your debt strategy? Are you keeping some low interest student loans or car payments around? Or did you drink the kool-aid and want nothing more than to scream “I’m debt free”?
p.s. I love you Red