Luke 18:24-26 (KJV)
And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
Being an advocate of frugal living, I can attest to the value that it holds concerning how far a dollar can stretch when used wisely. For me, living frugally is about making a concerted effort to achieve desired results using the least amount of financial resources possible. I have not always believed this way but the more that I use frugality as a catalyst for my spending choices, the more at peace I am.
When we – my husband and I – began this journey to becoming debt free it was out of necessity. We were drowning in debt and knew that if we did not learn a more effective way of managing our money, that we would retire broke and in debt, and we didn’t want that. For the sake of supporting the point I am getting to, I will tell you what we did want. We planned to retire wealthy. In fact, our goal was that we would retire as millionaires, but as we paid off debt, something changed in our hearts. At the time that we decided to bring some order to our finances, we were close to foreclosure and having our vehicle repossessed. In addition, because we had decided that I should be at home with the children, we were now living a two-income lifestyle on one-income.
We knew that if we were going to retire wealthy we would need to get our finances in line, so we began a plan for reducing debt. We researched different methods for attacking the debt and found the ‘Total Money Makeover’, to be the best fit for our lives. The program offered easy to digest yet practical in your face advice on how to get out of debt, but not only that. What we loved about it was that it supported biblical principles that we believed in.
We began paying off our debts one by one and as we did, what initially motivated us was our running list of all of the things we were going to do once we were debt free. We would buy two luxury cars, a larger home and so many other superficial goals. However, as we began to pay off debts God began to work on our hearts. Something began to happen that we did not expect. While we figured we would continue up the social ladder of success, God began to show us that there was an even more important agenda planned for us.
As we are nearing the final hurdles of debt freedom, we have had a three hundred and sixty degree turn in how we plan to live once our final debt is paid. Over the course of becoming debt free, we have learned that our new financial plan is not only freeing us from something, but it has also freeing us to do something more. Instead of making plans to live a lavish lifestyle we now think about how we can scale back our lifestyle in order to help others achieve a better standard of living. Therefore, instead of dreaming of a bigger improved home we actually are looking forward to a smaller home. Instead of two luxury cars, we focus on having a reliable vehicle that is paid off.
What does being debt free journey mean for us now? It means that we are putting ourselves in a position to be a blessing to others. If we happen to become millionaires in the process, it will be an added bonus and not the focus.