I really feel the whole topic of dept is extremely important and each of us needs to face up to its rearing ugly head.
We look at our country’s deep deficit and shake our heads in disbelief at the trillions of dollars of dept that has accumulated under poor leadership.
The thing is that as individuals, many of us are doing the exact same thing!!
I’m not so sure that in all cases debt is sin. It isn’t a ‘salvation’ issue either.
I am aware that debt also happens to you sometimes and just can’t be avoided. Some of you might have no health insurance and when your child gets a compound fracture of his arm, there is completely nothing that can be done to prevent it.
God does care and says that we are to cast all our burdens on Him.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. ~1 Peter 5:6-7~
Getting into debt because of a vacation, because you charged furniture, clothing, or your groceries, is the kind of debt you can avoid.
That is the kind of debt that some people continue to accumulate even while they are saying that their goal is to pay down their debt.
I get that. I know what it is like to think we have a desperate need and to confuse it with a ‘want.’
Here’s the thing.
If you are saying that you are working to get out of debt and you continue to spend and spend, you are not getting to the root of the issue!
Let’s Get Practical
I am not just going to chat with you about the woes of continually accumulating debt when you really want to get out of debt.
I want to encourage you!
I want to give you a plan of action. Some of you might be young and need some good advice.
- Make a budget
- Make a plan for paying down debt
- Stop charging consumer products such as travel expenses and everything else imaginable (especially if you are not paying your credit balance each month!!)
- Include debt payoff in your budget (and KEEP to it)
- Make a ‘spending’ allowance for you and your spouse
1. Make a Budget
One of the reasons that some people get into debt is because they don’t have a budget. GASP!!
Another reason is because both husband and wife are not on the same page.
One spouse is the spender and the other is the saver. This is true in almost every. single. marriage.
As a couple, it helps if you are both on the same page. It doesn’t help if one of you makes up the budget and the other is clueless about it!
There is no use having a budget on paper that is totally ignored by one or the other.
Believe me. I know.
2. Make a Plan for Gettinng Out of Debt
You aren’t going to actually pay down your debt if you don’t pay it back each week or month. I promise.
You need a plan.
So, decide how much you will pay back each week. Maybe your husband’s salary (or yours) fluctuates each week. In that case choose a percentage to pay back each week.
Are you actually paying the debt down?
Be careful that you pay more than the interest on the debt or you will be making absolutely no headway.
3. Stop Charging Consumer Products
Being that you were drawn to read this article, I would assume that you really have a burning desire to get out of debt.
If you are charging or spending more each week than the minimum on your card, you will be getting nowhere! That is not good!
You can do this! Stop charging consumer products.
In my budget, these items come out of our spending account for gas, groceries, and such. We deposit a set amount into this account each week.
4. Include Debt Payoff into Your Budget
If your burning desire is to get out of debt, PLAN to pay it down.
We budget anything on the credit card so it gets paid down fast. We only have one credit card. I think more than one is asking for trouble!
If you owe, then you must curb your spending until it is paid down or it will continue to rise.
Concentrate on one area of debt at a time. For instance. If you have credit debt, a personal bank loan, car loan, and mortgage; don’t try to pay them all up quickly. That is a recipe for failure. It just won’t work.
Pay one creditor up at a time as quick as you can (and pay the minimums on the others) and then when that one is paid up, roll the amount you were applying to the bill onto the next creditor. Dave Ramsey calls this debt snowball. It works!
5. Make a Spending Allowance
This may sound like it is contradicting all that I have been saying, but it helps to have a spending allowance.
Even if it is only $10. a week, you need to cut yourself some slack.
If you don’t, you will continue to overspend. It just works that way.
I am almost sure that I read this in one of Larry Burkett‘s books years ago. He was Dave Ramsey’s mentor.
The most important thing to do is to keep plugging away at paying down your debt until it is GONE!
If overspending has been a habit for you, it takes time and learning to knew habits to kick the old way of living to the curb.
You can do this!
Has this been an encouragement to you? How can I pray for you?