As two comments on my last point pointed out, I misspoke in my last piece. We are not, strictly speaking, out of debt.
Never having had a car payment before, I forget to even think about it when I think about being “out of debt.” Because, to me, “out of debt” means being able to pay off our credit cards each month. Time to adjust my thinking, it seems.
For the record, our car loan was for $7,000 and so we have a payment of $136.80 due each month for seven years. But I don’t feel much like following that schedule. Instead, we plan to throw Tim’s disability check each month at it — $800 a month.
In addition, the insurance company will hand over $3,500 when it picks up the car on Friday. Once we send that over to Wells Fargo, we’ll have paid $3,636.80 in April. (I paid the minimum for April so that I could make sure we had all the funds we needed for taxes.)
That will leave $3,363.20 plus interest to be paid off. So, in about four months, we’ll have paid off the car loan, then we just need to pay back my relative the $2,500 they were kind enough to loan.
So, okay, we’re not debt-free. We’re about $6,000 away from being debt-free, in fact. But, comparatively, it just seems so… doable. I guess I forget that it’s the same sort of beast as credit card or school debt.
It’s hard to imagine how much we really paid off in the last five years. There was $20,000 for Tim’s school debt, $10,000 for oral surgery/dentures, plus all the expenses that just cropped up and had to go on the cards. Like when Tim gained weight and had to get new jeans (at least 10 pairs) twice. Or all those co-pays for MRSA boils, or for proactive therapy. Back when he had light therapy three times a week, the doctor just sent us a bill as the total rose above a certain amount. Twice I received bills for more than $300 — twice in a six-month period, in fact. Or the $2,000 it took to move down here to Phoenix, and the cost of furnishing a new apartment when you’ve only brought some things with you.
Point is, I do need to take the car debt seriously. But, given what we’ve dealt with over the last half-decade, perhaps it’s understandable why I sometimes forget to include this latest form of debt. Not a good habit, in the least, but hopefully understandable.