The biggest threat to debt freedom is…going back in debt, and that's one of my biggest worries now that we are debt free (minus the house).
I don't plan on going out and borrowing any money in the near future, but I guess that's the idea. If something unplanned were to happen, like one of our paid-for cars going kaput or a job loss, I'd be stuck flat-footed when it came to replacing it.
I'm trying to save $10,000 by Christmas, and I have no room to be saving for a replacement car, even though I know I should be. I suppose I could use the cash I've accumulated thus far to buy a cheap used car, which is what I'd have to do if my car died tomorrow, but if I wanted to make sure I have something decent that gets good gas mileage and is reliable, I'd have to spend more than I have today.
This is a bit frustrating because it goes to show that even after you escape the clutches of debt, its power is so strong that you must continue to prepare and take action against it to avoid falling back into its arms.
Because what good is debt freedom if you immediately have to take out another car loan? That would be demoralizing.
Luck Plays a Role
As I've said in the past, personal finance isn't just about math. It's more about psychology and learning to look past money myths.
It's also about luck.
That's right, in addition to relying on all the wisdom I've accumulated over years of reading hundreds if not thousands of personal finance articles, I am relying on luck and wishful thinking.
I am hoping that my car makes it until next year without any more major repairs, or without dying.
I am hoping that something major doesn't happen to my house, like a roof leak or the death of the furnace.
Though it may sound strange, part of me believes in fate. I've been very lucky in my life.
What happens to me is what is supposed to happen.
This is not a guiding principle in my life, but rather an ever-present mantra that helps me breathe easier and sleep at night.
Life is about balance, and so is money. We want to be free from debt and obligation to lenders, but we also want to avoid having so much control that we obsess about every money decision and pout every day the markets are down.
A belief in a certain degree of fate and accepting that most things are beyond my control is how I sleep at night. It helps to take some of the pressure off and put it onto others.
Who knew you can find so much comfort in the fact that so much is beyond our control?