I broke the rules…

29 Jan

…But I’m OK with it.

Today was a big day for my family. Today was the day we made our final payment on our credit card debt. We have worked for 33 months to get to this day. It took a lot of hard work, long hours working second jobs, sacrificing many, many wants, paring back our needs and sometimes living with things that we really didn’t want to. It was worth it, though, because today we are free!!! And a month early, too!

I was completely prepared to go home from work and make dinner since one of rules for the Aldi experiment was not going out to dinner for the entire duration of the experiment (the one exception was when my parents and sister were visiting from New York). But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we deserved to celebrate in style. Or for at least under $30.

We are not big on going out to eat but the places we do go generally cost us around $30 for our food, drinks and tip. While driving to the bank to get our biweekly cash allotment of $500, we asked our daughter what she wanted for dinner. She told us a hamburger. Lucky for us, there’s a phenomenal local burger chain, Jake’s, that has amazing food for reasonable prices (seriously, it’s amazingly awesome food and it’s really not that expensive). So, off to Jake’s we went. We all ordered our food and our bill comes up…$16.24 for 3 burgers (2 hamburgers, 1 veggie burger for me), an order of onion rings, an order of fries and 3 drinks. To our utter joy and surprise, our daughter’s food was completely free! Apparently, Jake’s has a kids eat free policy which worked out great for us.

$16.24 for 3 people to go out to eat.  And worth every last penny. We commented over our delicious food that it’s amazing how our habits have changed so much on our 33 month journey to credit card freedom. Three years ago, we would have treated ourselves to sushi or some other really expensive meal. We probably would have also treated ourselves to some new toy or gadget or who knows. But we were satisfied with our $16.24 meal and the family time we had together. We realized that when it all comes down to it, that’s about all we need.

It was so liberating to be able to treat ourselves (dinner was paid for out of our miscellaneous budget category) and not worry that it was money that should have gone to a credit card. That feeling alone was worth breaking the rules.

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2 Responses to “I broke the rules…”

  1. K.R. January 30, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    I am so happy that you broke the rules and took time out to celebrate with your family!

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