#1 Rule for Getting Out of Debt
November 13, 2022 | Paul Duke
How many people do you know who are in debt (other than mortgage)? How many people do you know who complain about what they owe on credit cards every month? Truth be told…that someone could be you. How often do you see a friend, neighbor, or coworker with something new and wish you could have it also? It could be a car, an outfit, a vacation, or the newest cell phone. Have you ever stopped and thought, “Is this a need or a want?”
I think if we stopped trying to “keep up with the Joneses”, we would be in a much better place…financially, emotionally, and mentally. I know that it isn’t a fun concept, but what if we lived below our means? Meaning, we spend less than we make. What if we saved some of our paycheck and put it into savings? What if we invested some of our paycheck for retirement via 401K, ROTH, etc.? What if we made a budget and stuck to that budget? What if we gave back to God?
I know many families that had grandparents deep in debt. Then their parents were also deep in debt. Now, they themselves are crippled by debt. I think it turns into a cycle that we have come to accept and say, “It is what it is.” But what if you could break that cycle? Just because your past has led to negative outcomes doesn’t mean you have to continue on that path. I know of people who broke the alcoholic cycle that ran in their family. I know of people who broke the divorce cycle that ran in their family. Why can’t we have people break the “crippled in debt” cycle?
Many things come to mind, but here are a few rules I would like to suggest:
- #1 - Track your spending
- #1 - Make and stick to a budget
- #1 - Live below your means
- #1 - Create an emergency fund
- #1 - Pay off all consumer debt
- #1 - Contribute to retirement
- #1 - Give back to God
First, I know they are all “Rule #1”. Start now and slowly build up. Begin with not (or reduce) eating out. Avoid buying the newest thing; instead, pay extra to your credit card, contribute to your retirement, put some money away for an emergency. I know this is a shock, but give to God and see what happens.
Malachi 3:10 says, "'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.'" While I won’t promise that giving to God will make you rich, I bet you will be given some sort of blessings. Maybe not financial, but other blessings. God is going to do what God is going to do. How cool is it to be able to come alongside Him as He works miracles and expands His kingdom?
I truly believe that if you break the bad financial cycle, you will be able to find the financial freedom that will last and last. And when you teach your children to be smart with money, you will set them up to succeed. Then your grandchildren will succeed. You will be the reason there is financial freedom for the next generations.