Friday, January 07, 2011

Go Figure

How is it possible that we are paying off our debt, and we still have money?

The only answer I can come up with is that God rewards obedience. He doesn't want us to be in debt, and He's helping us.

Before we started to attack our debt, we were continually out of money within days of receiving our paychecks. I would take out cash for food (helps me to stay on budget - no more cash means no more food), then I would find ways to justify spending every last cent in the bank. I would sweat bullets until the next payday or have to transfer from our meager savings to cover everything.

Stress, anyone?

Since we've purposely begun to pay our debts, I've noticed that we are living so much more comfortably. By this I mean that I am no longer scrambling to cover our bank account and except for Christmas, which was planned, I have left our savings account alone.

I have a list of our debts posted on the fridge. I should have put the first three debts on there because the left-brained side of me loves to mark things off a list, even if they're already finished, so I would see that Glenna's English classes, the doctor, and the dentist have all been paid in full. Our list now shows:

IRS (paid!)

Auto Loan (paid!)

Dentist (again; Himself needs two crowns)

One Credit Card

Student Loans

Personal Loan #1

Personal Loan #2

Granted, this isn't a horribly long list and our debt is so mild compared to many, but debt was ruining our lives. Debt is misery! Dave Ramsey suggests that everyone sit down and list their debts, all of them, and take an honest look at their financial situations. We did this and were so discouraged to see how much money was going to debt that could be going to many, many other things.

For example - the money we spend each month on debt could have easily paid for college expenses without needing student loans.

If I think of all the expenses I have coming up (like Glenna's college, braces for two children) it's easy to become overwhelmed. Instead, it has helped to focus on each debt before us on this list. Himself and I have actually become so excited about knocking down this debt!

The strangest part is that now that we're committed to this, we're no longer completely broke. We could knock this out even sooner if we wanted by living on rice and beans with no AC or heat in the house and no extras whatsoever, and it may come to that, but for now we're content with the pace we're at. I love that we can pay off our debt AND get Himself a new pair of pants if he needs it. I love that "Mom, we're out of shampoo" doesn't send me into a panic. I know that this is a small glimpse into the financial freedom we're striving towards.

I can't help but be amazed by all of this. I mailed off the final check to the IRS and within days received a mortgage surplus check in the mail that fully paid for the auto loan! Now, the old me would have run to the nearest shopping center with that check and had a ball. The NEW me recognized it for what it was, a gift from God to pay off the car, and wrote the check immediately. The BONUS is that I had money for a new skillet that I've been needing as well!

We still have much to learn and a way to go, but we are so thankful.

Thank You, Lord.


Anonymous said...

This is AWESOME! I am so excited for you guys and think that you are being an excellent example. I just had a thought. When Christians are bogged down in debt, they are unable to use their resources for things that better benefit the kingdom of God. Not that He needs our money, but we really miss out on the blessing of helping. Financial freedom is wonderful!


Jessica Leigh said...

Love this!
FPU class starts on Sunday; I'm so excited to learn!

I also want this to be a life verse:
"...aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one." - 1 Thes. 4:11


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