Reader News: “Today I Mailed Off My Last Car Payment!”

Earlier this week Money Momma (an awesome EOD reader), left a comment on a post I wrote called It’s Not a Myth, It’s a Lie; You Don’t Need a Car Payment stating that she finally mailed off the very last car payment. I can’t tell you how excited I get when I receive news like this from my readers, but this meant an awful lot because I know just how hard she’s been working to pay off that vehicle and eventually become debt free.

I DID IT!!!! Today I mailed off the last car payment. We had $1000 saved for a trip but then I started thinking that the money should go toward the car payment….we had the money but REALLY couldn’t really afford to go. I finally spoke to my husband about it and decided to pay off the debt and then save for the vacation. I am soooo happy that we did. Next up THE PERSONAL LOAN. I expect to be done with that by September by the latest and then the card is next……this is such a great feeling. I LOVE IT!!!!!

After reading her comment I thought it would be nice to carry on the Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader Series tradition with a new series that doesn’t just focus on when a reader becomes debt free, but as they (YOU) reach milestones important for motivation.

Maybe you’ve paid off a debt, cut up a credit card, or in this case, eliminated a car payment. I have really enjoyed watching Money Momma’s obvious excitement about her debt free journey and the comment she left only convinced me even more how serious she actually is. It wasn’t JUST that she paid off her car, it’s that she placed it as a higher priority than going on a fun vacation.

That is the kind of decisions you have to make when you are serious about becoming debt free! Money Momma is on FIRE and I can’t wait until she becomes debt free (except for the house) later this year! Then, she’ll be answering different questions about becoming debt free. 😀

Money Momma – YOU and people like you, are why I continue to do what I do! Thanks for sharing your story here for all to see. I hope it finds the right person at the right time to make a difference in their future! Congratulations from Enemy of Debt!

Be inspired and enjoy! 🙂

Q – When was your original payoff date if you would have made the minimum payments? What month of what year?

A – My original payoff date was March 2012.

Q – How much were the shackles, I mean, payments costing you each month?

A – $ 263.44 + interest every month (she would have had $2,367 left to pay PLUS interest if she didn’t pay it off early!)

Q – What was the catalyst that made you finally decide to pay off your car? Was there any one thing that helped you make this important financial decision?

A – I had been participating in the Race to Freedom Challenge and had made a “Wishful Debt Payoff Chart” so I could imagine my debt pay off with what I hoped to pay. I saw that I would only have a few months to go (Sept 2011) until it was paid off. We had over $1000 set aside for a vacation – and $1000 in our EF – in September. But then we had a pregnancy scare. While waiting to see if I was in fact pregnant I started looking at our finances and trying to find out how we would pay for another baby. If we didn’t go on the trip we could pay the car off that month and all our debt by November. With a baby possibly on its way we needed to get serious about our future.

It turns out we are NOT expecting but I still had it in my head that we were going to pay off our debt ASAP!!!! The trip was cancelled; I moved a few payments around and mailed our final car payment on Monday …over $1600. <BTW, I didn’t take away from any other payments to make the final payment; in fact, we are making a higher payment on the next debt on our list this month)

Q – There are a lot of people out there that feel car payments are a part of life and something that can’t be avoided. Is it safe to say you are no longer a part of the crowd that believes that nonsense?

A – YES!!!! For the next car we will definitely pay cash and not payments.

Q – What steps are you planning to take to avoid going into debt for a car in the future?

SAVINGS – once we get our debt taken care of we will start building a larger savings.

Q – You are currently working your butt off to become debt free correct? How will eliminating your car payment help you pay off that debt even faster? How does that make you feel?

A – CORRECT!!!! Our debt-free days are just around the corner. At first the car was last on the list to get paid off and first was the credit card BUT then I had a light bulb moment. Our car payment was ($263) and our CC payment was ($50), it made more sense to me to pay off the car and have a larger snowball amount to pay everything else off. Before the car was paid off our snowball payment was $130 but now that the car is paid off it is now $400 (I rounded off). If we paid off the CC first our snowball would only be $180. We are now able to pay $520 a month toward our loan – the loan will be paid off in no time. It is a lot of fun plugging in the numbers to my “Wishful Debt Payoff Chart”

Q – Some people say that when your car is paid off it tends to drive a little better. Have you already started to notice the difference? 😀

A – Oh ya!!!!! It is so nice to see her and know she is paid off – she even looks a little happier 😉

If you have something you want to announce and help inspire the Enemy of Debt community, please contact me and let me know what it is. I would love to add your story to this new “Readers News” series.

Photo by Jeff the Trojan

About Brad Chaffee

18 Responses to “Reader News: “Today I Mailed Off My Last Car Payment!””

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  1. JT says:

    That picture is perfect to describe how awesome it is to had a paid-off car. Every time I drool as I pass a dealership, I remember how great it is not to have to make a monthly payment, and that I’m still managing to get from A to B, just like I would in a more expensive car.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Exactly JT! That’s the best way to look at it. It’s just a car. We have definitely enjoyed not having a car payment on either of our two vehicles and have upgraded twice on each since selling our car payment back in 2008. Recently, we purchased our nicest vehicle with $6200 cash and it felt NICE!! 😀

      When I saw the picture I posted on this article I knew I had to use it! 😀

  2. Beckey & Jeff says:

    Funny you should post this, we were just discussing our plan to pay off our car payments last night. We have paid off 3 credit cards in 3 months, with one more projected for next month. Once done, our snowball will be approximately $500/month. Since his Jeep Liberty will be paid off in the next year, we are going to start doubling his payments. Once his is paid off, we are going to triple payments on my Honda CR-V, which would be paid off by July, 2012 but will now be paid off my January/February time frame instead. That frees up almost $800/month and will bring our total snowball to $1300/month. Then we will finish tackling the remaining credit cards. At a $1300/month snowball, the credit cards will go quickly.

  3. Nicky says:

    Congrats Money momma! I can’t wait to join you soon and very soon. My payoff date is December 2011 but working towards an earlier time. Here’s a question for Brad. I’ve been considering taking some money from my savings about $1500 to put towards the car loan. I currently owe $5300. Do you think this is a wise decision?

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Well Nicky, the answer to your question (for me) would depend on how much you would be leaving in your Emergency Fund. If you’re saying that you currently have $1500 in savings, then I would only take $500 of that to put towards the car. If you’re saying you have more than $1500 in savings and want to use $1500 of the total to pay down your car loan, I’d say go for it as long as you leave yourself at least $1,000 remaining in your emergency fund. 😀

      The main thing is not to leave your emergency fund dry because as soon as that happens LIFE will come and start beating on your door and you need that emergency fund to tell LIFE to beat it! Haha! 😀

  4. Erin says:

    Congrats Money Momma!! Such a great feeling to have the car paid for. I sent my last payment in for my car Dec 2010. Now working on Sallie Mae and a 2 interest free credit cards (will have paid off before interest is added). Hope to have everything done by end of the year. Then its on to a bigger emergency fund and double house payments. I cannot wait!

  5. Money Momma says:

    Thanks everyone!!!! I am soooo excited to have the car payment done and over with….on to the next debt and soon I will be D-O-N-E!!!!

  6. Brandi says:

    CONGRATS to Money Momma!!

    I was actually able to pay for my ‘new’ car this month in cash with the payoff from the insurance of my last car.

    A deer decided to take my car out at the end of April. And for 3 ALMOST 4 weeks, Ray and I lived as a one car couple, and managed to hold out until the insurance paid out.

    And once it did, I marched into the shop where I had already found my car, and paid for it. All of it. Right there on the spot! It feels good to own it!!

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Most people would have been on the car lot picking out something $10,000 more than they could afford justifiable because of the insurance check. Then instead of paying the amount they received on the car, they would find something else they wanted to do with the money instead. (kind of the way people spend around tax time before they get their refunds)

      You were smart and it paid off, literally! GREAT JOB Brandi!!

  7. This is a great story and it shows what can be done if you MAKE A DECISION and STICK to it. Sadly the majority of individuals trying to get out of debt will fail simply because they can’t make a decision and stick to it.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      BINGO Steven! People who cannot wrap their head around the concept of sacrifice for the greater good will find that any plan they try to tackle will fail. I liked your comment on Baker’s article on Man vs Debt and think it’s relevant here as well. You said that you have found that too many people simply do not believe in themselves anymore. That is spot on my friend! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  8. Ban Clothing says:

    I paid cash for my vehicle however, my husband had an enormous $1000/month payment on his truck. It was awful and we were having a really difficult time trying to pay our other debt with such a large payment. My husband ended up getting into an accident and the truck was written off; a financial blessing. Insurance ended up paying out more than the remainder of the loan. We were able to pay off the truck plus pay cash with the difference for a used truck. Now we have both our vehicles paid and it feels fantastic. We have a fund so when we do need to replace one we don’t ever have to go into debt for it again.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      $1000 a month for a truck payment? WOW! I am sorry to hear that it took an accident to resolve the issue but am glad (I assume) that no one got hurt in the process. I love hearing people share their experience and love it even more when they express positive feelings about eliminating a debt from their life. It does feel fantastic and that is one of the many reasons that keeps me writing about this stuff. I take how it made me feel and put it into a post for others to ponder. Great job, because we all know you could have went right back out and got another truck with a payment. You chose not to and I am so happy that you did. 😀

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