1 – Tithing 10% of our Pre-Tax Income
This is something I haven’t always done simply because I struggled with faith issues and didn’t realize it. Once I made up my mind to trust God with the most valuable carnal thing I possessed my families lives including our finances took a turn for the better.
2 – Set a Budget
Having a simple budget that tells me what I earn (income) versus what I owe (expenses) is a huge help in saving money and paying off debt. Knowing these two numbers lets me know what I can afford and cannot.
Our families’ goals are to live off of half of what we make so knowing what’s going out versus what’s coming in helps us stay on track. This leads to my next point.
3 – Living on Less Than We Earn
This was a toughy especially when I became a stay at home wife. Back then my husband and I lived on 120% of both of our incomes so when I became a homemaker we felt the effects of that life style once we transitioned to one income.
Who would have thought a simple concept could be so beneficial. Living on one-income prepares us for the inevitable, which is that one day myself or my husband may not be around and if we build a life based on 100% of both our incomes, one of us will have to work twice as hard to maintain the two-income lifestyle.
This was the case when I became a stay at home wife. Mr. P had to work twice as hard to maintain our old lifestyle until we could tapper of the extra expenses. The process usually takes a while to do because there are some recurring expenses that you just can’t get out of without negatively affecting your credit history.
4 – Getting Rid of Credit Cards
This was B-I-G!! When we took the plunge and canceled our credit cards I felt as though we were committing financial suicide. We had no liquid savings that we could immediately access and was living paycheck to paycheck. I wondered how we would survive if an emergency arose.
This was the point when I had to come to the end of everything I had learned about finances and trust Gods calling for my life. We have been credit card FREE since 2002 and haven’t looked back since. Were there emergencies along the way? Yes, but none that was too hard for God to handle. He always found a way to supply our need in every emergency.
These are the top four life altering changes that have helped Mr. P and I pay off all of our consumer debt. We have worked really hard and trusted even harder to get where we are. I hope that our experiences will excite, inspire, encourage you to start, continue or finish up your journey to debt freedom.