I have an obsession with Ford Mustangs, new and old.
The obsession was inherited from my father, who went through several different models while I was growing up.
My first one was a graduation present from him – a white V6 convertible with a black top.
I bought my second one myself as a toy, or I guess I should say that my credit union bought it and let me pay them month-to-month to drive it around.
This one was so beautiful and so perfect that I could hardly bring myself to drive it in fear of something as small as a pebble hitting it. Driving it through a construction lane was heart-wrenching. 5% chance of rain? Nope. She’s not leaving the carport.
It was a 2010 GT premium convertible and celebrated the return of Grabber Blue. I looked back every time I got out of that car and couldn’t wait to see the window automatically roll down an inch when I opened the door to get back in. Putting the top down, turning Pandora up and hitting the road was an event equivalent to a vacation.
At the end of the day though, when “they” say you cannot buy happiness, they are right. The stress of the payment of that car never left me from the second I signed the loan until the second I received the check for the sell.
I spent the entire morning driving it around aimlessly before it finally came time to get on the interstate to West Knoxville for the last ride, listening to Lana Del Rey’s “Ride” and crying all the way (just a little dramatic).
That was almost a year ago now. Now, my husband and I are within a year of paying off our final debt – our house, and we are allowing ourselves to dream, beginning with dream cars. From time to time, we stop by dealerships and wander around, letting the salesmen know up front that we are not buying.
As for my car, it’s obvious what I will choose.
My husband and I went to our local Ford dealership Saturday morning and looked at every beautiful Mustang on the lot, finally test driving the best one they had, a white 2017 California Special GT.
I put a clip of the drive on my SnapChat story and mentioned it to friends and coworkers in casual conversation, and I guess it is just unheard of that someone would go look at cars without the intention of buying.
“I thought you guys were not going into debt again?” Correct, great job!
“Couple years? A couple weeks, tops.” Wow, guys. Thanks for the faith and encouragement.
When I say I’m never going in debt again, I mean it. The switch has been flipped. There is nothing that I will sacrifice this lifestyle for. I can wait a couple years to get my dream car and remain debt free. I am not such a child that I cannot go to a car dealership without experiencing temporary, lustful insanity and signing up for five years of debt.
Living a debt-free lifestyle is about so much more than saving money. It’s a mindset change. It’s being able to see the big picture, think long-term and make short-term sacrifices. It’s about not getting everything you want right now. It’s no longer giving into instant gratification. It’s about having less regrets.
It’s about being the opposite of what society expects. It’s being WEIRD, and the less that I feel I have in common with friends and coworkers, I am reminded more and more of why I am so proud to be weird.