Financial peace? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Well, if you are like many Americans, myself included, it may seem like it. My wife and I have been on a journey to get out of debt for years now, but we just could never make enough progress. Not only that, but in the midst of it all there has been no “financial peace” to speak of. I am the money manager in the house and after pay day I would get what I called the “after bills blues”. I felt like the guy in the picture above.
Something had to give; and it has. My wife and I have recently joined a class being offered at our church on finances. It is the Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey. We are about five classes in and it has been really good. A lot of the principals were not new concepts to us, but we were just not making good progress. I think this class has served not only to educate us more, but to focus our energies into a unified effort to accomplish a goal. The first of those goals? GET OUT OF DEBT! FOR GOOD!
The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is slave to the lender.
Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)
That’s right! The borrower (that’s me) is slave to the lender. A lot of times it feels like it too, when the creditors are calling you and harassing you because you owe them money. Many times I’ve wanted to get angry at these people for always wanting their precious payments, but I can’t. I borrowed money from them and as a person of integrity it is on me to repay that debt in as timely a manner as possible. Sigh. I am flat out tired of being a slave to anyone other than my heavenly Father, my Savior, my Creator.
Well, something must change, right? Right!
We have established a budget and are sticking to it as best we can. We have employed the “envelope system” for our budget categories that make sense. Dave Ramsey says that, “if you don’t plan where every dollar goes you’ll wonder were it all went.” I’ve proven that plenty of times so we’re going the other way now.
Time to downsize! We’re also downsizing our living expenses. We don’t own our home; we’re renters. So we have notified our landlord that we are not renewing our lease at the end of next month. We are currently in search of cheaper/smaller housing. Cheaper because we need to save money and smaller because the utilities on our current house are killing us.
Sell Stuff! Dave Ramsey says, “sell so much stuff that the kids think they’re next.” This is also a good preparation for the move. We’re having a huge garage sale and will be getting rid of a bunch of “stuff” that we really don’t need. Hopefully we’ll make enough money to help defray the costs of the move so that we’re not too set back in our budgeting.
Of course the best action we can take is to pray; connect with the One True God … the guy that owns it all! So do I think I can just pray to God and He’ll take care of all of my debt and give me a huge house and a lot of stuff to fill it? Heck no! He will, however, change me in a way that aligns me more to His will, to His character and gives me wisdom to make better choices.
So, if you are also the praying type, please pray for us as we make some radical changes for the better.
One more Dave Ramsey quote, “live like no one else now so that later, you can live like no one else.”