Jack and Elaine circa 1980

Jack and I have been happily married for nearly 32 years.  We started out the way most young married couples do, except for the fact that he was thirty-eight and I was twenty-two at the time of our wedding.

Like other newlyweds, we were young and in love … and in debt.  I had a small student loan and he had a car loan and some consumer debt.  Big deal!  We were in love, he had a good job, and I had just been hired as a teacher for a one year sabbatical position making $13,500.

The first thing we did after getting married was buy me a brand new economy car, and you guessed it.  We borrowed the money to do so. By now, you have an idea of the direction in which we were headed financially.

Fast forward to last night …

While we were having dinner, I asked Jack to tell me the best financial advice he’d ever received after we were married.  I knew what he was going to say, because the best financial advice that he ever received was also the best financial advice that I’d ever received.  And here it is:

NEVER BORROW MONEY FOR ANY ITEM THAT DEPRECIATES IN VALUE!

Whoa!  You mean not even a car?  Or a vacation?  Or a computer?  That’s exactly what we mean.

Folks, this piece of advice, and our commitment to follow through with it has saved us thousands of dollars in interest and untold heartache and stress over the past thirty-two years.

Some people think it’s impossible to pay cash for everything, especially vehicles.  But it’s not impossible.  What’s usually impossible is being content with the kind of vehicle you can afford with the amount of cash you have to spend.

Here’s how we did it.  We paid off the last car we had bought on credit, and when we were finished paying it off, we continued to make payments in the same amount.  But instead of making the payments to the bank, we made the payments to our own savings account.

By the time we really NEEDED a new car, we had enough cash to buy a very basic used car.  From that time on, we decided we’d rather drive a paid-for used car than a brand new luxury car, and we’ve never regretted it!

Jack’s free truck

Don’t just shrug off this advice that we’re sharing with you.  Think about it.  Perhaps it’s time for you to make a commitment to debt-free living.  Jack and I highly recommend it!