Friday, December 20, 2013
Do I Really Need That?
It's that time of year. Zara's biannual sale. You know of my love for Zara. And their winter sale is really the only one I get excited about, although I have been known to love their summer fit and flare sale dresses. I just think their winter clothes are better constructed as their summer stuff tends to be flimsy. My mom has had to repair two summer blazers for me, whereas my black winter blazers, constructed of thicker material, have held up very well the last couple of winters.
So you would think I'd be all about the sale that started at midnight. Oh I am. Oh. yeah. I. am. I perused the site. I added junk to my cart. And just as I was about to whip out my credit card and pull the trigger on my purchases, I stopped myself.
Wait? Why? It's the winter sale! It's the most wonderful time of the year! It's gymnasts doing the ribbon dance. It's belting out your favorite song in the shower. It's snow angles and early birthdays. Okay, some of those may be a stretch. But it's a pretty good sale.
I stopped myself because I'm about to turn 42. I just recently started contributing to my 401K account after a one-year lapse of changing jobs and having to wait the appropriate amount of time. I have to rebuild my savings after our move back to FL, one house sale, and one house purchase all in a year's time. I stopped myself because starting in January, I am on a three-year plan to financial freedom. That's right - all debt, including my car and all credit cards - will be paid off (if all goes as planned) in three years. Some will be done in one year, some two, and the last bit - in three years. Why three years? Well, I'm not doing the snowball method. That method involves paying as much as you can toward one card, then when it's paid off, you attack the next card and put the money from the first card toward the second and so on. For me, it was about doing things slow and steady and making it feasible without strapping my finances so much that I would give up and fall back into my old ways. Ways that have been prevalent since my first Sears credit card purchase at 18. And I remember my first credit card purchase - it was a CD player and mount for my car.
So the credit cards are going in a safe place and it's cash only starting January 1, 2014. Only I can hold myself accountable for this. And since this is such a personal journey, I'm debating starting another blog strictly about debt and getting out of it to keep myself on track. Not sure I'm ready to make that leap yet and divulge that much info about myself.
I do know that by the time I'm 45, I don't want to be confined to the type of work, job, or salary I have to do or make just to keep up my lifestyle. I want to sleep soundly at night and know that in 20 years, I'm not sharing food with my dog.