Paying as you go.
Making progress, but at a price.
“Paying your dues” in life or a particular part of it.
Choosing an “expensive path” (a course of action that requires a lot of time, money, effort, etc.).
Investing time or effort in order to get somewhere or accomplish things.
Consider how you felt about having to pay to use the road, and whether you paid before or after you used the road (which may point to a real-life sequence of events).
See also: Road; Tax