“There’s no way I was born to just pay bills and die.”
If you’re on the debt-free journey and into inspirational phrases, there’s a good chance you’ve come across some iteration of that quote. It’s a popular one and I totally understand why.
It’s a thought that crosses my mind often.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you know our deal: we have about $55K of debt we are working to pay back. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last several months, clearing two credit cards, a car loan and, soon, a line of credit.
That said, we still have a long way to go. And while we’ve certainly made sacrifices to get to where we are now, there are some things we aren’t willing to give up to get debt-free faster.
Becoming debt-free is one of our top priorities, but it’s not our only priority. Here are four things I consider more important than paying off debt fast.
No man is an island. We are not meant to, nor can we, do life alone.
Developing and maintaining strong, nurturing relationships with family and friends is a priority for us. Sometimes this looks free, but other times it does not – it looks like giving great gifts, coffee dates, traveling and investing in opportunities to spend quality time together.
Opportunities to love our friends and family well are always more important to us than paying off debt quickly.
This is something a lot of folks give up during their debt-free journey for obviously reasons – that’s money that could be used to slay debt quickly. I get that and applaud those who do this, but we don’t, nor do we intend to, in the future.
Of course, we’re not going on big, lavish trips but we do enjoy travel within reason. Some of our favourite trips haven’t even involved leaving the region – for example, we have been to Newfoundland twice and had an amazing experience both times. These little trips provide much-needed opportunities for quality time and relaxation. That matters to us.
A few months ago, I wrote about why we continue to tithe while we’re in debt. You can find that story here, but what it comes down to is this: we firmly believe we have been blessed and, as such, we are called to bless others. Cultivating a generous heart is far more important to us than being debt-free.
Taking care of ourselves
Self-care is such a buzzword these days but that’s not what I’m talking about here – I’m talking about investing in things that improve our overall wellness.
Some examples of this include our gym membership, my weekend takeout coffee and every cent I’ve ever spent at the dentist. Some of these things are definitely easier to justify than others – more essential, even – but they’re all worth it to us.
We want to become debt-free as soon as possible. We’re committed to working toward that goal.
But at the same time, there are things that take priority for us over this mission – and that’s OK! After all, the debt-free journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow progress is still progress.
What about you? Is there anything you’re not willing to give up even if it means it will take longer to get debt free? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments.