Resolving to be free

Published 9:30 pm Monday, January 4, 2010

It’s that time of the year again — time for sludge freezing in the ditches, taking down Christmas decorations and making New Year’s resolutions.

It seems our other columnists have been telling you during the last week what their resolutions are, and they are definitely good ones — be less critical and more organized.

I usually scoff at New Year’s resolutions, because hardly anybody actually keeps them. One year, I remember making about eight resolutions (I even wrote them down), and wound up not keeping a single one.

However, this year I have only two resolutions. I may be able to keep the first, if all goes as planned, but I doubt anything will come of the second.

My first resolution — the one I believe I’ll be able to keep — is to finish paying off my car loan. I purchased my lovely little 2008 Pontiac, used, in March 2008. I have since paid off far more than half of what I borrowed, but I still owe about $5,700 on it.

After purchasing the car, I realized my need to be debt-free and “owe no man any thing, but to love one another” (Romans 13:8). Therefore, I decided to be completely debt-free and get intense about paying off all my debt. I finished paying off my student loans in April 2009. Thanks to several scholarships and the help of my parents and grandparents, I didn’t have to borrow much for school.

After finishing my school loans, I started putting every penny I had on the car loan. I now can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and have had the goal of paying it off by Christmas 2010 for quite some time. It may even happen before then, if all goes well — but I hope I’m not jinxing myself here.

Once I pay off the car, I will, I am happy to say, be completely debt-free. Granted, I don’t own my own home, but the dream is there to, one day, pay for one with cash. After that, all I need to do to have true financial freedom is to save for a comfortable retirement and give freely to those who need it.

As much as I am looking forward to accomplishing that resolution, there’s another one hanging over my head — losing weight. This resolution is one I’ve made the past several years, and one I have not succeeded in doing. Had I made a resolution to gain weight, at least I would have succeeded.

Maybe a resolution to eat healthier would be more realistic. I’m already starting to accomplish that — well, except for the order of hot wings I started on New Year’s Eve and finished on New Year’s Day.

At this point, I’ve accepted that the chances of me losing weight this year are pretty low. However, I’m hopeful I will be able to pay off my car by the end of the year — that’s a resolution I can live with.

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” — Proverbs 22:7