We bought a new car, and we paid for it in cash.
So what, you may ask? And I'll be honest, its a "new-to-us" car rather than a brand new one, but this is a big deal for us. We have a good family income, but previous debts from our school years and from some foolish spending in our early 20s have been haunting us for awhile. The debt cycle is a vicious one and we often found ourselves paying off one debt and immediately incurring another, foolishly paying interest every month, and lamenting the amount of money we bled towards debt repayment that could have been used for savings or vacations.
A key factor in the decision to sell our bigger house and buy a smaller one was to facilitate the repayment of these debts. We were able to pay off a few of them and increase our payments towards the remainder. We were also able to buy what we needed for the new house in cash, as well as this car.
It feels great.
So good, in fact, that its bolstered our resolve to continue this path of decreasing the "stuff" in our life, buying less, saving more, and getting rid of that debt. Its a short-term goal now, rather than something we hope to do down the road. We have to be mindful of how easy it is to fall back into the credit trap - throwing something on the credit card because we feel we "need" it RIGHT NOW, promising ourselves to pay it off immediately, and instead just paying minimum amounts while we spend the money on other stuff. Yuck. No desire to go down that road again, so for now we'll be proud of this accomplishment and pledge to continue down this path of financial responsibility.