I recently was very close to purchasing a new vehicle. My current car has over 102k miles, it needs a few minor repairs(at least I hope they are minor) and it rides great, etc. I was about to fall into that trap we all do from time to time, some more than others, of immediate gratification. But the voice within kept saying, "be in debt to no man"... why... because debt makes you a slave, your master becomes someone else. Granted I am in debt with my mortgage some credit cards and few other small things here and there. I know hundreds more in great debt than myself....but still debt is debt no matter how great or small.
I only test drove one car... which was smart. I never got emotionally attached to anything. I always called ahead, gave my info and asked the salesman to go ahead and run a credit check. I wanted to know what the deal was before it was attached (as well as me) to any particular vehicle. Smart move...
When I drove the one I was interested in the most, I was convinced at 13mpg this was not the car for me. Rather, it was a 2006 Grand Jeep Cherokee, 4WD and very nice. I didn't haggle or make small talk long, and walked away.
Walking away, was liberating!!! I could have been indebted for 5 or more years within a matter of minutes... but instead I am 12 months away from being car payment free (provided my car continues to run).
With that decision not to buy, I alleviated stress, reduced the necessity to make more money, work longer hours, or a combination of a thousand things that result in the pressure and obligation that debt brings. I maintained and even increased the level of freedom I currently have... I maintained and increased the level of peace I have....and more importantly I reinforced this type of decision making, by creating strength for the next 'crossroad' if you will.
Freedom is not about the freedom to get into debt. Its about being unattached to things through debt, through ties. And in some sense, freedom is just a word......like going and coming, if you walk out of something, you must be walking into something else. If you are being freed by one thing, you are becoming captive by another.
I am a little more free today than I was yesterday.
But also a little more captive, at least to Best Buy - where I decided to purchase and have installed, a new stereo system for the 102k mile car. A big difference between the couple of hundred I pay for the stereo versus the 25k or so I was about committ to on a new car.