At about 8:15 this morning, it became official. We made our last payment on a credit card, which was our last remaining piece of debt*.
Oh man, it feels SO good to not be making senseless payments to the bank. Finally, our money can go where we WANT it to go.
Now, while we definitely have freed up a lot of extra money each month that we didn't have a couple months ago, our lifestyle isn't exactly going to change drastically. For example, we no longer have a car payment. But we are taking the same amount that we were paying for our car, and putting it into a fund for future cars. So we aren't getting "fun" money from that deal, but we are padding our own pockets instead of the bank's.
Also the money that was going towards monthly credit card payments is now going to building up our emergency cash fund. We have a mini cash fund already in place, but our next goal is to get about 6 months of expenses saved up.
So for the most part we aren't really going to notice a difference in our monthly budget. We are still going to be pretty tight, and it will still require a lot of self-control to keep on track. We do plan to add kids' activities back in, such as gymnastics or soccer - but we plan to do that at a slow pace. (Money aside, we are very selective in allowing activities for our kids - for our own sanity.)
So there you have it! It's been 2 1/2 years in the making (with about a 1-year hiatus in the middle), but we did it!
*For now, when I use the term "debt-free", I am referring to everything except our house. That is a goal of ours, but definitely a longer-term one.