This one monthly payment made me sick every time I paid it.

Have you ever had to pay for something that you didn’t really use, but you were committed to paying for it for a certain amount of time because of a contract or some other reason? Those payments suck don’t they. You wish you could go back tell yourself not to commit to it or purchase whatever the thing was.

Well, I have one even worse than this. What about paying for something that you no longer own or possess. And not only did it cost you a lot of money to buy the thing, but it also cost you money that you didn’t have to get rid of the thing?

This is what happened to me.

In the early 2000’s I had a lot going on. Between graduating college and working on my associates degree, I also made the decision to buy a house and get married.

Then when school was over and I was working, I got a divorce, switched jobs all in the matter of six months. Little did I know, all of this led to a great awakening for me.

Now that I was single, I thought it was necessary that I have a really cool vehicle. You know because that is what people really care about. I say this sarcastically. Because nobody cares what you drive, but you. That is a fact.

I go and buy at the the time a 2 Door Chevy Tahoe. Pewter colored. As if that wasn’t enough, I also decided to take the standard tires on the vehicle and put bigger tires on it. So, I took perfectly fine tires off and put new ones on there at the tune of $400 or so a piece. Another $1600 dollars that I didn’t have.

I was about a year into owning the vehicle and I had this spiritual, I mean financial awakening. Why I am spending so much money a month on stuff that doesn’t matter at all? Why am I spending $100’s of extra dollars a month on a vehicle that I might spend 20 minutes a day in.

I think I paid roughly $15K for this awesome Tahoe. I can’t find a picture of me with the one I owned. But you can see the picture below and this is what it looked like. The one in the image has the standard tires on it. I put the bigger ones on it, so it looked better.

So I am a year in and I decide that I no longer want to pay these car payments any longer.

My only option was to sell the thing. Keep in mind this is still early 2000’s. Probably like 2003. So there’s wasn’t a bunch of internet sites you could post your vehicle on to sell it. There definitely wasn’t a Facebook marketplace.

To sell this thing, I was going to have to go old school. So I buy a for sale sign to put on my windshield. I lived in the highlands and you could actually still park your vehicles at some stores and it wouldn’t get towed.

But before I could sell it, I had to find a replacement car. I didn’t have any idea on what kind of car I wanted to buy. All I knew was it needed to be cheap. And it needed to have air condition.

A local car lot had this 1990 Pontiac Lemans in its parking lot. The price was $750 dollars. It was a five speed and had everything else you needed to have in a car. The picture below is what it looked like, except the one I bought was black.

To go from driving this really nice and cool Tahoe to driving this little tiny Pontiac Lemans was a big hit to my ego. But I knew it had to be done.

I now have this car and my Tahoe. After a few weeks of leaving my Tahoe in the parking lot of a local bar, I finally had someone call me about it.

Like I said I owed roughly $14,500-$15 k on this thing. So I was asking this price for it. I wasn’t trying to make any money off the deal. I just wanted to pay off the loan.

This guy calls me and says he isn’t going to negotiate with me. He said I am going to make you an offer and you can decide whether or not you want to sell it to me.

He offered my $12,500 for it. I said let me think about it.

Well, I didn’t know that I couldn’t sell it to him without it being paid off. $12,500 was going to pay it off. So for me to do the deal, I was going to have to get a loan of close to $3000 dollars to get a cleared titled.

I go to my credit union at the time and I take the $3,000 loan out and I sold the Tahoe to this guy.

It felt good to get rid of that car payment at the time. But now I had this $3,000 dollar payment on a loan that I literally had nothing to show far it. This payment made me sick to make every month. It is probably why I paid it off as soon as possible.

I made the minimum payment on this loan for about six months or so, before I just wrote a check to pay it all off. I ended up driving that Pontiac Lemans for several years before giving it to my dad and he was able to drive it for several years. That little $750 dollar car had to be one of the best vehicles I have ever had for the money spent on it.

I share this story, because I want to challenge people and ask “How committed are you to your goals?” And in this case, “How committed are you to your financial goals?”

If you don’t have any financial goals, then I would encourage you to start there. But if you do have some how committed are you to them. Are you willing to sacrifice and do whatever it takes to accomplish them?

This one decision I made back then on this Tahoe not only set me up to be way more financially successful in the next year, but it also showed me how committed I was to my financial goals. I will never forget making those payments on that loan. I felt sick about it every time. Because I literally had nothing to show for it.

However, being almost twenty years removed from these decisions, I know that this one decision significantly changed my trajectory both financially and mentally, by showing me what I was capable of doing if I was committed to the goal.

To your success and your future.

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