Just 18 months ago we had $224,000 in debt and that’s not including our home. Yep, you read that right! Most of it was student loans! I know, I know, debt isn’t something that most of us are comfortable talking about but I have never been afraid of it. I think that if we don’t talk about it, we are bound to stay bound by it! In January of 2019, we were at $184,000 and that’s when we got serious! We have been working hard, sacrificing like crazy. Today we have $47k left to pay off! Am I tired, yeah…did I want to quit? So many times!!…but now…finally, I can see light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not an oncoming train!
If you have ever thought about getting out of debt, get started today! Get your finances in order. If the virus pandemic has shown me anything, it’s that NOTHING can be taken for granted! Through much of this, we have had financial setbacks and losses. We have had to help bury loved ones, help family members in difficult times, give to friends in need, expensive vehicle repairs and more…but we kept moving forward! Being obedient in what God has directed US to do! It helped to have some cheerleaders too, you know who you are and I thank you! What has helped the most was just being on one accord with my husband!
The bible says that “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT). There are times when I cried, whined and said forget it! My husband gave me room to do that, all the while, gently reminding of our goal…and that it would all be a distant memory soon if we did not get weary in well-doing (Gal 6:9). Yeah, he often takes it to the Word on me, lol!
Here are a few tips to help you GET started:
- GET ORGANIZED. Write down all of your bills and the days that they are due. This will help you when you sit down to make your budget. Make a list of all of your past-due bills. Don’t complicate things. Just put them into columns as follows: Bills, due date, monthly payment, amount past due. True me, this list will make things a lot easier.
- GET A PARTNER. If you are married, this should be your spouse. If you are single, you need to find an accountability partner that you can trust. They don’t need to know every detail of your financial life, but they need to know enough that they can tell you to go sit down somewhere when you start putting the cart before the horse. This is not a journey that you can conquer alone. We all need a pep talk every now and again. But choose wisely, you want this to be someone that you respect so that you will listen when they try to keep you on track. (In other words, not your broke shopping buddy!)
- GET A PLAN. Time to make a budget and get to work. It doesn’t have to be accurate the first time around. This is just a spending plan-how you plan to spend your money BEFORE it comes in. Every penny must be accounted for. That is the only way that you will make any traction. As Dave Ramsey says, “Give every dollar a name.” Proverbs says “Be diligent to know the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.” (Proverbs 27:23 AMP) You can’t do this without a plan AKA a budget.
- GET A GOAL! It’s been said that if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. On this journey, you need to set a goal. We estimated our debt-free date and set out to beat it. Then, we set small goals for ourselves, such as paying off the first $10,000 by Valentine’s Day and so on. If you have large debts as we did, you want to break down your goals into smaller ones so that you can feel like you are gaining traction.
- GET STARTED!! You have thought about it long enough. Today is the day! Nothing will change unless you change it. Stop procrastinating! Stop waiting to start fresh on the next payday. No, you don’t need to buy any fancy software or budgeting tools! Just get started!
Hope my transparency inspires someone to action!!! You can do it! Just get started! Just like God multiplied the force of the small stone thrown at Goliath (Samuel 17:48), He will take what’s in your hand and multiply your efforts. I have seen it for myself! If you need help, send me a message. I will be opening up coaching again soon! I believe in you and I know that you, too, can have that freedom that you dream of. Start today! Start where you are!
Dave, we will see you soon!!#DebtFree2020
Your Stewardship Coach