Freedom From Enslavement

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about debt and what it’s doing to our nation. I mean not like the “national debt” but how individual debt is destroying us. I’ve been thinking a lot about it because my husband and I are trying to get out of debt. It’s not much “relatively” – a car loan, but it’s enough to entangle us.

See, the thing I’m realizing is how much destroy enslaves us. It causes us to be in debt to someone else. How I wish we could use those $1000’s of dollars for

Say No! Declare War on Debt so you can say YES later!
Say No! Declare War on Debt so you can say YES later!

something else. Give it away. Go on a mission trip. Travel. Put it into savings. Put it towards (Lord willing) our someday kids. Put it towards a house. Be a blessing to someone else in their time of need. Something other than paying off someone else.

We can still do those things but it’s really limited. Debt as Dave Ramsey puts it is like a cheetah chasing a gazelle. It will eat you alive.

Debt makes you a slave to the borrower. Why is it such a cultural acceptable idea to go into debt? Honestly I think it’s absolutely silly that you have to have a CREDIT score to buy a house.

When my hubby and I first got married, and made a banking account together, the man behind the bankers desk asked if we wanted to sign up for a credit card. When we said no he persisted that this was the way you needed to do to buy a house. Now I know that Mortgages are hefty, but I wanted the opportunity to present a new paradigm for him. I asked “Is that the ONLY way to buy a house….what I what to save up and buy it with cash. Could I do that?” .

blink.blink.

“Yeah,” he said as the words of new idea sunk in. “Yeah you could do that”, and then a nod at the realization that this idea could actually work.

I know that some many today are in debt. I am. so in once since I want to desperately get out of these chains.

I always thought car payments, house payments or credit cards were just a way of life. Sure you might be able to buy a junker for a few $1000 dollars but if you wanted a goood car, you needed to go to the car lot. Sure you could stay in apartment, but if you want a gooood house, then go take out a mortage. Sure I’m just paying for my gas with my credit card to build credit, but I’ll be self controlled (been there done that…didn’t happen!) Now I have to pay back what I owe!

Debt is also entangling because it presumes upon the future. It presumes that for over the course of 6 years, or 30 or whatever your loan is, that you will have that $360 or that $900 or that $50 a month to pay it off. I can’t guarentee that! My job situation looked very different 6 years ago, and how will I know I will make the same in 6 years? The fact is…I don’t.

Debt is deceitful because it makes it look like what is offering is what we need RIGHT NOW, when in reality we could probably wait for it.

Debt is often used as an ER fund. Can I propose a better idea? Make an Emergency fund. Before you even begin to pay off those debts, put a $1000 or even $2000 in the bank for Emergencies. You know, you have to go to the ER because you broke your leg. Or your car broke down unexpectedly (been there done that…way tooo many times!)

May I make a small proposal? Run HARD. FAST. Stop the credit and push as hard as you can to pay off debt. Get another job. BUDGET and stick to it. Use the envelope system. Follow Dave Ramsey’s course. Ask others how they did it.

My hubby and I have our debts. We are running hard and fast to pay it off. Even at times when “hours” are as much as they used to be, we are doing what ever we can to pay it off.

Here’s a few things that we are doing plus a few we are wanting to do.

1. Written budget- & envelopes.

Writing everything down at the beginning of the month on where it should go enables us to have control over our money, not the other way around.

2. Spending less on food$20 a week per person groceries is it. When I make a menu plan with similar ingredients and stock up on dry goods (like rice and quinoa) then those dollars can stretch!   (My sample menu plan coming soon!)

{It CAN be done}

3. Cash. Use cash for everything but bills, and designated that cash into labeled envelopes. If we only put $20 in for “free” spending then that’s all we can spend.

4. Go on cheap or free date nights. How about those long walks on the beach or the picnic in the park?

5. Find creative ideas to make extra cash. We have a business at home, if you’d like to get started with us, we’d be happy to share. Babysitting, mowing the neighbors grass, doing handy-man jobs are not just for high-schoolers!

6. Sell stuff. Like the extra stuff in your closet that you NEVER USE.

7. Coupons. Using coupons and special deals will always save your money.

8. Save change. That $.35 change every time you get gas or buy groceries can add up!

9. Do a service. Donate blood or do a service like Uber  or Secret Shopper. They often reward you with gift cards or tickets or cash for doing their company a one-time service.

10. DIY IT- wash your car at home, plan a “stay-cation”, make meals at home.

11. Plan your day. Do all your errands on one day and pack snacks in the car so you’re not tempted to eat out. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.

12. Keep records. Save your receipts so you know exactly how much your spending and so you can evaluate how to spend less.

13. Give generously. This is HUGE. Be a blessing with little, or much. Whatever you have been given can be used to help others.

14. Pay it off!!!  Use ANY extra $$ to put towards debt. You can wait on that Starbucks coffee run in the morning for a few months while you pay off your debt. Don’t make minimum payments. Pay as much as you possible can. It may seem like a lot. But give it a few years (or months!) and you will be free!

15. Stop! Don’t use credit cards or debt reductions to pay off debt. Without all the accounting terms for it….let’s just say you end up paying MORE.

16. Pay off smaller debts first! You feel the buzz of getting some done and accomplished and will feel more motivated to tackle the bigger projects.

17. Join a Multi-Level Marketing company. Yes, there are bogus companies out there, but there are also very LEGIT companies that with good honest skill can bring in an income for your family. My hubby and I are apart of one and we love it.

18. Trade. Trade services with friends. {I’ll mow your grass, could you watch the kiddos?}

19. Be thrifty. Thrift stores, making things stretch and fixing what’s broken, keeps you from spending more.

20. Learn to say “NO”. I’m so sorry I can’t join you all for dinner downtown tonight. Could we reschedule- I’d love to make you something at our house?

21. Pray ALOT.  He will help you. There are SO SO SO many creative ideas that God can pour into you on how to pay off your debt. He is willing and able to help, if you ask. So ask, fast, pray and seek HIM.

22. Read. Read good books (most of which you can get at the Library).

Dani Johnson’s –War on Debt.

Dave Ramsey’s- Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace

Pia Catton and Caifia Suntree’s Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less (…not cheap)

Randy Alcorn’s Money Possessions and Eternity.

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4 thoughts on “Freedom From Enslavement

  1. I agree with your views here. Society has taught us that getting into debt is inevitable when in truth and in fact it is not. It is a choice that we all have to make. Congrats on your decision to get out of slavery to debt. I have been there and I know exactly how you’re feeling. It’s the worst feeling in the world and many times its not possible to even get a good night’s sleep because of worrying over how this debt or that debt would be paid. We need to talk about these issues more. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed your article!

    Like

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