Two weeks ago I flew out to Denver, Colorado for a short trip to visit some friends and meet my kidney recipient. I budgeted in advance for my airfare, my fees for checking my bag, some extra spending money, and the cost of someone watching my dog during the trip.
I thought I had it all figured out pretty much to the dollar.
Then things started to go off course as soon as I checked in for my flight the day before. $80 for my checked bag?? And another $11 to pick my seat?? (Thanks Frontier!) Note to self: Read the fine print about fees when booking flights with an airline you’ve never used before!!
So that was $91 when I was expecting about $50. Not a huge difference, so I adjusted some of my other buckets in my EveryDollar budgeting app to cover it.
Friday night I noticed the signs along the freeways in Denver. They were warning of an ice and snow storm that was to start Saturday evening and continue all day Sunday. Weather forecasters were calling it the biggest storm of the winter so far for Denver!
And my flight was supposed to go out Sunday morning.
All day I debated. Do I roll the dice and see if it’s cancelled, and then Frontier puts me on the next flight of theirs? Or do I go ahead and pay the change fee ($99) and the difference in flight cost ($120) just to make sure I get on the Tuesday flight?
At this point I was acutely aware that I consciously chose to NOT travel with a credit card. In the past I wouldn’t have given a second thought and thrown it on the card for peace of mind.
But thanks to Dave Ramsey, I have an emergency fund! I moved my flight ahead of all the flight cancellations and went on about my vacation, happy I would get an extra two days in Colorado, and loving the fact that something went wrong and I didn’t have to charge a damn thing, YES! My streak of not using credit cards is still alive! (152 days!)
On a side note, over the last week I had three different people reach out to me to share their financial wins – I love that! Two of them wiped out their credit card debt, another for the fist time has a couple thousand dollars in savings. How great is that? Having the courage to talk about money and debt without shame is a powerful thing, and when you do that, you allow others to do the same.
It’s hard to believe that for most of my adult life I got a knot in my stomach when I would think about money or debt. It made me uncomfortable, I didn’t have discipline with my money, and I didn’t know any other way to operate. From the years of horrible credit in college, to carrying debt like a ‘normal’ person and being proud of my credit score over the last ten years or so, I’m happy to have arrived in this place.
And I’m happy to be a part of this community I’ve found. If you’re curious about this, just do a search using #debtfreecommunity and you’ll find some of the best, most supportive people around.
Another great source of community is around the Dave Ramsey show. Here’s a link to a really powerful ‘debt free scream‘ that a friend of mine sent me. It hits you right in the feels and reminds you that anything is possible!