Even though Jonny and I ended up with a messload of debt before we figured out how to take control of it, I can honestly say that unlike some people, we never EVER attempted to get out of our moral obligations for things we had purchased using credit. NEVER. Even when his scum of an ex-girlfriend allowed a car he co-signed on to be repossessed, we paid the $900 or so that was left after it had been auctioned. Granted, if we had the DR knowledge back then, we probably could have settled for less, but now we know better.
This is why it makes me ILL when I hear stories of people who let their homes go to foreclosure, filing bankruptcy, or just going to collections because the bill is not important enough to pay. Now I realize that extenuating circumstances is one thing, but stories like the post I made several months ago about people who stopped paying their mortgage so they could start eating out and driving their boat on the lake again, is another.
There are people I know who never paid outstanding tuition, or they filed bankruptcy because they racked debt up and got in over their head. Rather than being responsible and hunkering down to get it done, they begged the government to forgive their stupidity. What irritates me even more, is many of those same individuals go right back to their old habits once they have a clean slate, and they do it all over again. They start using credit again because it's EASY. And the people who tell me I'm a freak because I'm working my butt off to reach that ultimate level of financial peace. Yeah, you may never understand what it's like to pay cash for something that you appreciate much more because you worked for it, rather than getting selfish instant gratification on credit, even though it ends up costing you more later because you're paying interest on your card.
After a year and a half, I cannot imagine life as it used to be. I cannot imagine using credit cards to buy dinner, or a pedicure, or a movie, or a music CD. I cannot imagine a $400 clothes shopping spree just because I'm "bored." I cannot imagine going to the tanning bed to pass time between classes. I can't imagine wondering around Target aimlessly for no reason, throwing things in my cart just because.
My life has been forever changed. Even when we're out of debt, I think alot of things I used to pay for on stupid tax, will not be able to be justified to pay the price. Yes...the point of financial peace is to be able to buy what you want, when you want, and not worry about it....but what I'm trying to say is that things that were previously important to me when I was being stupid is no longer important. The things that are important now is retirement, a paid for education, paying cash for a car, paying cash for furniture, paying CASH for major home repairs, paying cash for vacations and experiences, and that vacation not following me home on a credit card.
CDs, clothes, and tanning beds are no longer important.
I just bought a brand new set of pots and pans through pampered chef. I got a deal on them because I bought them through hosting a party. Sure, those kinds of things are overpriced to begin with, so that you will host a party, and bring in more orders....I get it, and I'll play the game. Yes, they were still expensive, but the quality is much better than any crap I could have gotten at WalMart or Bed Bath and Beyond. It was emotionally painful to write the check to pay for it, because it was alot of money. However, I thought long and hard about which items I purchased...which items were important now, and which items could wait. Had I been buying it on credit, I wouldn't have had that tough conversation with myself about what was important now and what I could afford now...I would have just bought it all.
Getting a "Get out of jail free" card and a clean slate does not equal financial peace. Paying off debt that is legitimately yours and changing your attitude to determine whats important versus what isn't, does.