Have you ever felt like you are simply not meant to get ahead … like, EVER? Being down one car payment and having finished paying off roughly a $45,000 debt in less than five years only to be almost immediately hit with unexpected expenses and getting sloppy with budgeting (never mind sticking to a budget) feels like being punched in the face and gut at the same time.
Sorry! You don’t get to celebrate any amount of victory. Just continue to suffer and struggle for the rest of your lives! Cut to whatever evil power that is laughing maniacally as it holds you down until you’re literally gasping for air in a cold panic.
Reaching such a goal as paying off a large debt gives a false sense of security. What you really need to do is continue living as if you were in the same amount of debt until you build up a nice cushion to fall back on if needed. So nearly twice as long as it took to pay off that debt.
Even then, don’t forget that someday you’ll be retired, and that 401(k) plus whatever Social Security you may receive might barely keep you afloat. I’m hoping to have no house or car payment by then, which I suppose will help a lot. Picture it … little old lady in 2035 (the year I might be able to retire) still driving a 2012 alien green Kia Soul. 😀