Yesterday morning after checking the weather, I was faced with an uncomfortable choice. Either I could wait to catch the bus in a thunderstorm and then walk the rest of the way home through that thunderstorm or I could spend an extra 2 hours waiting at the library until Micah came to pick me up.
Those were my options since we only have one car. And the bus route requires a bit under a mile of walking (though I often stretch it to a mile and a half on good days). On rainy or snowy days, the shorter walk is particularly miserable since it goes by a fast-moving road and I often get sprayed with puddle water or slush from the passing cars.
But short of hitching a ride home with a coworker (and few coworkers work my half-day schedule) those were my two options.
I ended up waiting at the library because the rain was pretty heavy at that point. It wasn’t bad, I spent an hour on the internet (and being limited to exactly an hour is great for productivity!) and got a little reading done. I got picked up by my handsome husband and got to see him in his suit. Normally he changes right after getting home.
But as a rule I prefer the comfort of being able to go straight home from work, kick off my shoes, and start doing…well work but other work. Being somewhere other than the public library.
If we had a second car, I could have done that today. Or better yet, since we don’t need a second car 99% of the time, I could have gotten a cab. A cab when it’s really bad and the bus when it’s ok would be quite pleasant. I enjoy my walks on the sunny days and even get off the bus early.
And that’s what getting out of debt is about. That’s what all personal finance is about. It’s about freedom. You can be making $100,000k a year but if you have a personal debt of $250,000 you aren’t really free.
In the same way, it would have been financially irresponsible of me to call a cab when I didn’t have any reason to believe that getting home early could make up for the price of a cab and more. That’s not where we are in our spending right now.
Someday we may be debt free or richer and still have only one car. But my plan, my goal is that we’ll be in a situation where I can call a cab without worrying about the budget instead of walking home in the rain.
What do you want freedom for? Convenience? Buying a second home? Spending more time with your family?