I am but a few mere days away from paying off a credit card that I have had a balance on for a little bit and, needless to say, I’m pretty excited about it. The first reason is that my good friends at Capital One decided to pop my rate up about 10% over the Summer (a fact which I only just noticed recently). Thanks guys! It’s been a pleasure being a good customer with excellent credit all these years… now I will never, ever use your damn card again. Good times!
The second reason I’m excited is that credit card debt is one of those ugly lodestones of life that limits your freedom. It just sits there building up interest if you don’t pay it off and half the time it’s for a bunch of things you had to have at some given moment and can’t even remember now. But getting rid of it? Or getting rid of any burdensome debt? It’s absolutely liberating and let’s you devote more time and financial resources to perhaps the nicest piece of potential freedom out there:
The “Screw You” plan.
While I am no financial whiz, there is inherent and obvious value in having money set aside in case it all goes down. Job loss, layoffs, some financial disaster, absolutely loathing your job like it’s a Pauly Shore movie and so on. It’s part of the common financial advice to have 3 to 6 months worth of funds saved up to protected yourself from some utter financial disaster that can sneak up on you.
Very few people (me included) are part of that very smart club of people with that kind of financial cushion… and before you think I am going into some kind of dry as three day old toast discussion about the fiscal responsibility, T-bills and saving your pennies, I want to get back to my initial premise… plain and simple freedom.
Can you imagine how differently you may approach your life if you knew you had 6 months of expenses sitting cozily in savings? Maybe you wouldn’t stick around at that job you loathe with every fiber of your being. Maybe you would be a little more comfortable in your own skin when you walked into the office because while your job is important, it’s not as if you were always on the verge of being completely destitute in the event of something going wrong.
Just that basically ability to be able to say “Screw it…” Can you even picture it? I can’t… at least not yet.
The value in this is not about hating where you are in life at all. While I am working through a few personal bumps in my own road right now, I generally have been very blessed with a wonderful family, excellent friends, good health and a very good job.
However, life changes rapidly and having a plan B in your back pocket is not a bad thing at all. In fact, your plan B might allow you to live your plan A a little more boldly than you would have otherwise. My current plan B is something I contemplate a bit from time-to-time and usually takes the form of transforming my personal home gym and love of fitness into a full-on business if I had to (or maybe even just because I wanted to). Just knowing I could do that as an option gives me a little more peace of mind.
And I don’t know about you, but just some simple peace of mind is worth it’s weight in gold. Granted, I have no idea how to weigh it, so a little assistance would be appreciated.