I am so very grateful to God for everything He is doing in my life right now, even the challenging parts.
I have been stretched far beyond anything I thought possible within the last two years and I just want to take a moment and share some of what I’ve learned.
Credit cards are not a necessary tool for financial survival or success. I can remember when we closed the account on our final credit card. I can remember the fear that welled up inside of me. I feared that we would have no financial plan B in the case of an emergency. I feared that we would be uncreditworthy outcast in the financial community…I mean who didn’t have a credit card in 20th century? Nevertheless, my husband and I trusted God and we trusted Dave Ramsey.
Older paid for car can take you to the same places a current model car with an auto loan can. Everyone who knows us remembers our white Chrysler Town and Country…you know the one that blew out a terrible black cloud of smoke as we drove. You remember the one that even though my husband washed it once a week, the back would look like it hadn’t been washed in months once he cranked it up and drove a half a mile. The van would blow a choking smoke in to the faces of any unsuspecting children in the neighborhood who had just happened to be passing our driveway as we cranked up the car. Oh and what about at church…when the parking lot was filled with unsuspecting brethren. Yep! people…driving an older car has it’s drawbacks, but we were in debt….and we wanted out.
Once we got passed the embarrassment we realized that we are going to have to go through some things that will help us remember where we were. The bi-monthly repairs that kept eating up our baby emergency fund, filling us with a sense of failure and doubt month after month were a part of the process. What we had to go through to get out of the debt was molding our minds to think and look at money differently.
Dinner at home taste just as good…if not better than restaurant meals. As the primary chef of the family I truly enjoyed eating out. I got to be served for a change and once I was finished eating and my belly was all full, I didn’t have to go and clean the kitchen and put away the leftovers.
Eating out does have it’s perks, but when weighed against the amount of money we saved by staying home it was just plan common sense. For my family it costs close to $100 or more for all six of us to eat dinner out. I have learned to easily recreate some of our favorite restaurant meals at home. As a result of not eating out, I have also (at the urging of my husband) learned to delegate kitchen chores to my children.
We now have a traditional “Family Night” every Saturday when we prepare our favorite restaurant dishes. Now instead of paying $100 at restaurant, we pay ourselves that money and we share that task of preparing a family meal once a week and share in the task of tidying up.
Over the past several years, we have learned so much about our relationship with God and our relationship with money. We’ve seen how much farther our fiances can reach once we began to put our trust in Him. God has showed up in our most dire situations and took what looked like nothing and turned it into something. I won’t lie to you….the road to debt freedom is not for the faint of heart. You will be stretched to the end of your faith, and just when you feel like you can’t go an further, God will step in and carry you the rest of the way. We are not where we want to be financially but we are not where we were. We still have our mortgage to pay off, but praise God we can feel the chains of debt falling to the ground.
This is part 2 of a 5 part debt freedom series.
Part I- 5 Habits That Are Probably Keeping You In Debt
Part II- Is Keeping Up With the Jones’ Keeping You In Debt?
Part III- Put the “BUDGE” back in Your Budget!
Part IV- Guest Post: My Financial Freedom Strategy
Part V- 4 Valuable Lessons I Learned from Being in Debt