Since day one I met jmr he has been 100% debt free – no student loans, no car loan, no credit card or medical debt, nothing. He was like a rare Pokémon card*, you know they’re out there, but you’ve never seen one with your own two eyes. Dating someone who is 100% debt free is abnormal these days, especially for millennials. I feel extremely lucky to have found him (for more than one reason besides being debt free).
And for that reason I wanted to obtain that goal myself. I knew one day we would get married, and I didn’t want to be the one burdening us with a large amount of debt. I wanted to start our future with a blank slate.
February 15, 2017 I scheduled my final payment on my student loans and with that one last payment, I ended my 20 month journey and broke up with all my debt for good, at least until I bought a house…so I thought.
It’s been a nice 4 months being 100% debt free, but after many long talks jmr and I decided it was time to buy him a new car – and we decided to do it jointly.
Why jointly? We recently got engaged last fall and are planning a wedding for next April. And because we are completely committed to being together for the rest of our lives, we are going into this marriage with the idea that we are now one. We make decisions together. And since paying off my debt, we have combined all our finances. There is not a “yours and mine.” It’s our money, so we will pay this debt off together. I am of the opinion if you start your marriage with the idea of keeping everything separate (i.e. bank accounts), it seems like you already have one foot out the door. Like, you are already planning for it not to work out. And while I am not trying to tell anyone else how to live their lives, this is just how jmr and I decided to live ours.
We knew that one day jmr’s car was going to need to be replaced. I was hoping it would have been years from now, but things started to deteriorate with it quickly – the last straw being the air conditioning going out just in time for the good ol muggy St. Louis summer. We didn’t want to spend the money to fix, especially knowing we eventually wanted to get rid of it. So we decided it was time to get him a new one. After many talks about what we wanted, how much we were willing to spend, plans to pay it off quick, many nights of research, 4 long trips to the dealership we finally put pen to paper and made it official and bought a 2017 Subaru Forester. Jmr has wanted a Subaru for as long as I can remember so he is over the moon.
When we first started looking for a new car we wanted a used one, but we had strict requirements: it had to be no less than five years old, only have one owner, low miles, no accidents, and preferably a certified preowned model. (My car is a certified preowned Ford Escape that I have had for 5 years and still runs beautifully.) We want this car to last a very long time and we were going to keep it until the wheels fell off, so we wanted to make sure we bought the very best used car we could find. Unfortunately we couldn’t find one that met our requirements. That’s when we started looking new cars. While I am sure Dave Ramsey would have something to say about buying a new car, we were pleasantly surprised to find one that was within our comfort level and the best part about it was we were able to get 0% financing. After putting down a little more than 20% we were super confident in our decision and immediately put a plan in place to have it paid off in the next two years (or sooner) and hopefully before we buy a house.
So while I am kind of bummed that I now have debt again, it ultimately was for the best of our future family. And with 0% financing, the extreme thought put into buying it and the accelerated payments we are going to make, I’m not really worried about it. I’m super comfortable with the decision we made.
Jmr also keeps joking that now I have something to blog about again.
*90s kids will remember this well. Only analogy I could think of. Ha.