Recently I read a story on Yahoo about the latest trend of throwing a debt payoff party (see here for the story). I was inspired when I read about people paying off a ton of debt in a short amount of time and rewarding themselves. The families in the story took on extra jobs and cut back tremendously to streamline all their effort to paying off debt. Then, they threw a party to celebrate!
But the story got me thinking....would I ever consider throwing a debt payoff party?
Well, here's the thing. We've been sorta debt-free before (meaning no other debt besides our mortgage). But we've never been able to maintain it because we've never gotten ahead of upcoming big expenses, like a new car. When we had our 3rd child we had to take on a car loan in order to get a car to comfortably fit 3 carseats. So I guess if I were to consider throwing a debt payoff party, I'd want to make sure that we had enough saved up or a system in place to make sure we didn't have to go back in debt a few years later.
While I was reading some of the stories, I also got to thinking about balance. And how far am I really willing to go to become debt free in a short amount of time? I know Dave Ramsey is big on using "gazelle intensity" to pay off debts quickly. And I'm all for that, especially if you have high interest loans. But with a low interest car loan and mortgage, I'm not as motivated as the people in the Yahoo story. Because of my role as CFO of my household, my family is already super frugal in most areas already. I want to maintain some balance with frugality vs. spending so that we can let ourselves splurge once in a while on things we will remember forever, like family vacations.
I personally would be afraid that if we ever got to the point where we could throw a debt free party, people would look at us differently. Sure, maybe some people would be inspired, but others might look at us as their potential emergency fund or bank. People are funny about money.
So... as fun as it sounds, I don't see myself ever throwing a debt payoff party. When we do become debt free, we will still have 3 kids to send through college. We hope to do a lot of traveling before we get too old to get around easily, so that will be a top priority too.
What about you...would you ever consider a debt-payoff party? Have you ever been to one?