Proverbs 22:7 says "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender". As we try to find our way out of debt as a country we should be forced to evaluate our own life and see how we are living. For several years my wife and I made good money, great money. While we were pregnant with our first child she had quit her job and a month later I was terminated from mine. So there we were, July 1st with a baby due in October and a dismal outlook. I sent out hundreds of resume's but I didn't start work until December of that year with regular paychecks not really helping until January. By then the damage had been done. The wife and I had a little bit of debt before this nightmare happened but one thing was for certain, we were not prepared at all.
Fast forward 7 years. We're still paying on the debt we incurred way back when. We've got our fair share of "stupid taxes" where we made some very poor choices along the way. We knew we wanted to get out of debt but didn't really have the education on the "how" to do it. They don't exactly teach you how to "get out of debt" in the public education system it seems. After our first child was born we started attending a church that offered Crown Financial Ministries. Crown was great about teaching the higher thinking behind being debt free and how one should live their lives regarding finances. But it didn't really give the rubber meets the road that we needed.
Next we started hearing about and picking up books by Dave Ramsey. We never sign up for one of his classes because they were either too far to drive with my schedule or we didn't have the funds to make it happen. No worries though, we had the books, we were smart people, we could figure this out. Yea, we're the same people that know exactly what we need to do to lose weight but we're still overweight. So it's not an issue of lack of knowledge but a lack of discipline. At this point we're attending a new church that we're deeply in love with and totally committed too, Maryville Vineyard Church. After a year or so of attending they offer a class called (at the time) Family Vision. This taught us the importance of not just 'coasting' through life but doing things with a vision and a purpose. We had our first taste of what things were like when you had a plan and the discipline to stick to it . . . and oh did we like it!
So now we're doing it. More time with the wife, more time with the kids; we're headed somewhere and it's where we want to go. The trouble was that we're not getting there as fast as we'd like. Why? Because we still had this weighted chain around our ankles called debt. Because of debt my child has to go to a certain school and I live in a certain location and we're not able to do certain functions that we'd like to do. Don't get me wrong, I like where we live and I like the school my daughter attends. But wouldn't it be great if I decided where my kid goes and not my debt. Once again, the perfect timing of God lands us in Financial Peace University, a workshop ran by Dave Ramsey. We're doing the steps, going through the motions, following the advice, and staying the course. Sure we've got a long way to go but we didn't get here over night.
But why do it? I mean we should be normal like everyone else, drive the nice cars that we can't afford, be one paycheck away from disaster. We've been there, and we're not going back. My wife and I are odd, we're weird, and we're not going to be normal. Hope comes from our Heavenly Father above and by the God given drive and talents that He's placed with in each of us . . . not from some politicians office in Washington.
Now what do we do? We go get it. My wife and I are focused and running our hearts out to get away from our debt. Not by means of bankruptcy or hiding in the 'stupid tax' of "good debt" (there's no such thing), but by working the steps, steady plodding, one foot in front of the other until our debt is gone. We're going to be doing extra things to bring in more money for the sole intent of putting it towards our debt. A specialized category will be setup where we'll discuss both our progress and things we're doing to slay this beast. Not more than 3 generations ago it was considered shameful, if not a sin, to buy something on time (or credit). We're going to make sure things change with this generation and then pass it down to our daughters as part of our Family Vision.
We know what the traps look like, we're disciplined to avoid them, we're passing down this information to our children. This is the end of the rule of debt in our lives. Sure things will be tough and tight over the next couple of years; but as Dave says, "Live like no one else today so tomorrow you can live like no one else." The image to the right represents our progress towards the 1st step in Dave Ramsey's system, saving $1000 in an emergency fund. Follow this link to see how we're doing and what services we're offering that you might be interested in. Of course, if you just have a warm fuzzy feeling and want to donate to our cause, you then can by all means do so below.