Confession: I am not out of debt. But we do have a plan, and I want to share with you how you can get your own plan. I want to inspire you that if you have even $50/month (and you probably do!), you can start the process. Every story is different, and this is ours. If you’re willing, I would love for you to take this journey with me! I’m going to walk you through our steps of planning and progress, and I hope you’ll share yours as well.
Last week, I started this series with a post about the discouragement of debt, and a prelude to our debt-free plan. I’m sure many of you were wondering why we would want to work so hard at getting out of debt, when most of our society is working hard to get into it.
God advises us against debt.
As Christians, I believe our first place to look for advice or direction should be God’s word. God speaks a lot to us about debt. Proverbs 22:26 says very clearly, “Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts;” It goes on to say in verse 27 that if you can’t pay, then your very bed will be snatched from under you.
Debt is bondage.
The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:23, “You were bought at a price, therefore do not become slaves of men.” We’re told in Proverbs 22:7 that a borrower is servant or slave to the lender. By having debt, we are willingly allowing ourselves to be in a type of bondage. You can read a couple of well-written articles that sum up this connection as I see it, here and here. If we are in debt, then the things God wants to bless us with aren’t ours anymore. We are willingly giving it up. We get ahead of God’s blessing and take what He hasn’t yet given us, and pay for it in the long run.
Debt is usually motivated by covetousness.
We get in debt to buy something that we cannot afford. Because we want more stuff, better stuff, more convenient stuff, prettier stuff. Christ tells us in Luke 12:15 to “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Read a more in depth article about this here.
Let me say right here that I know there are legitimate reasons for debt. Medical bills can be unavoidable, and unforeseen circumstances can happen. But, when we get in debt, I believe (with more and more certainty) that the best thing we can do is to get out of it as quickly as possible, even if it means letting go of things for a little while.
Debt is a waste of money!
Do you have any idea how much interest you have paid over the last few years? If you have debt at all, you’d probably be surprised. Over the course of the first 5 years of our home loan, we’ve paid approximately $23,000 in house payments. Our principal amount has lessened by about $6,700. That is over $16,000 in interest paid! If we are successful in our debt-free plan to get out of debt in 6 years, we will save over $40,000 in interest. That is a lot of God’s money that we can use for His good and glory.
We need to honor God with our Finances.
We believe that God has promised to meet our worldly needs. He may not always meet our wants, but he calls us to “be content with such things as you have,” in Hebrews 13:5. Going into debt (or even staying in debt) in order to eat out instead of cooking in, to get nicer clothes, a bigger house, newer cars…that is not following God’s desire for us to be content with what we have. That is coveting other things and going out to get them, even against God’s will and advice as set forth in His word.
I’m really excited about getting into the meat of this series. I rarely do a “series” on my blog, just because I have no patience and want to share everything right away. But, this topic is so huge that it needed multiple posts to set up and explain everything…I hope you’ll all stick around, as next week I will be getting into the specifics of budgeting, and planning.
Other topics in this series:
~Our Budget (Frugality is necessary)
~Frugality: Ways to stretch a budget
~Create Your own Budget, Part 1 (track spending)
~Create Your Own Budget, Part 2 (Cut spending)
~Our plan to be debt free (including our mortgage!) in about 6-7 years.
(Disclaimer: I am NOT a financial advisor. I am just a mom with a family living on a single income and I want to encourage others that it is possible to live on a tight budget and still have your needs met and be content…and get out of debt! I really hope that our personal budget information will help someone.)