When I first started blogging I read that it is best to keep posts short and concise. This goes along with my personality and writing style so it hasn't been a problem for me. However, I must say that The Weight of Debt is such a heavy topic on my heart that this post may get wordy. Please read it. Please learn. Please change.
Last Sunday my Pastor of 20 years preached one of the best sermons I've heard. He summarized my journey for the last 3 years and the reason I started couponing...to get out of debt, be content, live by a budget, and honor God. I try to get these things across in my Coupon Workshops, but somehow Pastor did a much better job. Do you think he'd come with me? I doubt it. So, let me summarize a few of my favorite points:
DEBT AFFECTS YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
- With Your Spouse. I have two memories from my first year of marriage. 1. Guys are very messy to live with. 2. Money- we didn't have enough and we didn't know what we were doing. We both had debt (he had a car loan and I had student loans and credit cards). Neither of us had been taught how to properly manage money and we were lost. Our finances controlled us for the first 5 years of marriage. When money was plentiful, we were happy. When money was lacking, we were stressed. Now, we control our finances and it is such a positive change for our relationship!
- With Your Children. Your kids are not going to be happier, better people, or better Christians if you have more money. I remember when I met with my "financial mentor" a couple years ago. She told me to shop consignment for clothes/toys because young children don't know the difference. It's true! The last two months have been a real life example for me. We sold our house and have been living in a small apartment during the transition. More than half of our toys are in storage. At first the boys were "bored", but now they make forts out of pillows, love sharing a room, and help out more around the house. When I asked their favorite thing about the apartment they said, "mommy and daddy being here". On the other hand, I've noticed everything wrong with this place-from the stray cats that roam, the endless poop in the grass because people don't pick up after their pets, the drivers speeding through the parking lots, and even the used condom in the bushes. BUT, they don't care! Don't parent out of guilt by getting them things. They just want to be with you.
- With Yourself. When you make bad decisions there are consequences. Don't let your pride and selfishness lead you down a path of debt. I will never forget the feeling of creditors calling me in college and then working to pay credit cards off years later. You are valuable. Make decisions that will help, not hinder you.
- With God. Just like we have rules to protect our children, the Bible has rules to keep us from harm. Romans 13:8 says we shouldn't have debt. Luke 14:28 says to count the cost and budget. When we acknowledge that He gives us everything and we are simply handling the blessings we want to use it wisely.
DON'T BELIEVE THE LENDER
Just because they say you can afford it doesn't mean you should. Wouldn't it be nice if those credit cards in college didn't offer me those high limits? I learned the hard way. Just last week we bought a house. Our mortgage company qualified us for a huge mortgage-- we bought a house $100,000 less.
Sure it'd be nice to have a new car or a bigger house, but you shouldn't go into excessive debt to keep up with your peers. Beware of covetousness. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 explains that we can't take earthly riches with us. Money is not bad, but don't spend your life trying to get it because you will miss what is really important!
Pastor recommends The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn.
You may not know how to get out of the hole you're in, but you have to start somewhere. If you want to hear my Pastor's sermon click here and select the video from May 2nd. It's a great place to start.
Pastor, nor I, claim to be financial advisors. Click here to access Dave Ramsey's website. It will change your life!!! If you're in the Charlotte area you can attend the "Total Money Makeover" Live event at Central Church of God Saturday, June 26th. Click here for more details.