In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

The debt left behind

Last year I paid off my government debt. I now have more news.

Due to some good fortune, I stand before you entirely debt-free. No credit card debt, no line of credit debt, no Canada Revenue debt, no car loan debt … no debt whatsoever. And no, I didn’t win the lottery. I’d be in a very different frame of mind had that happened.

I’m pleased, but in a more detached way. I think there are two reasons. The first is that I’ve made stupid decisions and carried debt for so long that I’ve grown used to it. There’s no huge relief. The second is that I’m old enough now that I can’t just go and spend money on whatever I want. I don’t have the time to loosen my purse-strings much because I need to think about retirement. I don’t want to be poor in my old age. Because I’m going to do the responsible thing, my disposable income will not really change.

I didn’t think that I’d be lighting cigars with $100 bills, but I was expecting to feel a financial freedom that’s long been absent. The reason I don’t feel that way is because I’m old enough to know better. It reminds me of a line from the film Memphis Belle. After they drop their bombs and plot a course for home, the pilot tells his crew, “Okay men, we’ve done our duty for Uncle Sam … now we’re flying for ourselves.” Similarly, I’ve paid my debts and although I’m still paying, I’m now paying myself.

It’s not the feeling I expected, but it’s a good feeling anyway.


The sixth element


Get off my lawn!


  1. Debbie in CT

    Congratulations! I look forward to that day myself. Maybe you will feel more positive when you look at your account balances after paying yourself for a year or so.

    • Rick

      Thank you, Debbie.

      Maybe you’re right about my outlook in a few years. I think I need to change my mind-set. Money has always represented what I could get by spending it…and that’s what got me into this mess in the first place! Now I know better, but I’m not feeling it at a visceral level. But even now, it’s nice to see the numbers increase and know it’s what I have rather than what I owe!

  2. Rachel

    I am glad you finally made it! You have been in debt for as long as I have known you which 10 years now. *hugs*

    • Rick

      Thanks Rachel! It has been a long time, but that too is my issue. While it would’ve been far better to get it taken care of earlier, now is also far better than later.

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