I have zero skill for maths or planning.
I’m a slightly compulsive buyer.
And I never feel like saving money.
I’m not like you at all.
(Yes, that was slight sarcasm.)
By the time I was 27, I had more than 40 thousand dollars of debt, I was foreclosing my only property and had a credit score that was deep in the pits of hell.
However, today my wife and I are completely debt free. We make decent money through different sources, we eat good food, we give more than 20% of our earnings away and… we never lose sleep because of debt.
We have also been able to adopt a baby girl from Ethiopia without the concern of going broke. Friends and family have supported us in the process (and we are extremely grateful) but 75% of all the expenses are being covered by our work and personal wealth.
No wonder Jesus spoke about money so much.
It was not so preachers would twist his words so they could get richer themselves. It was because he cares about all our lives and our health and our families (and money has the potential to destroy or bless them all).
Too many talented and anointed people are not living in their calling, because they are frozen by debt. Stuck in a lack of resources that holds them from moving forward.
The average American is nearly $7,000 in debt.
But you don’t have to be “average.”
You can be generous with the little you have and you can be wise to grow it more. This article is about chasing purpose not paper.
And you can do something about it.
I have been on both sides of the spectrum (fully and truly) so I want to share The Six Ways To Prosper Like Crazy (Starting Today).
Up for it?
1. Baby Steps To Erase Debt:
One of the hardest thing about debt is the suffocation that leads to inaction. Sometimes the numbers are so huge that we can’t help but feel small. But the easiest way to manage your debt (and your money) is to take it one step at a time—don’t worry about being perfect.
Admit the failure, embrace the lesson and begin moving in the right direction. Make that phone call to your bank and ask for help. Do a search online for a debt consolidation program. Talk to friends and family members who are more seasoned and ask them the hard questions.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. – Edmund Burke
2. Be Brutally Honest:
Debt turns good people into liars. The shame forces you to minimize how bad it really is. And although you don’t want to linger on the mistakes, you have to zoom in and focus on the cracks that need fixing. Assess the damage (so you know what you’re up against).
I use a website to help me track all my expenses. It’s an online tool that keeps me accountable to our budget and allows me see how I’m doing with earning, planning and spending.
It’s free and simple and you should try it today: mint.com
Lying to yourself got you here, the truth will set you free!
3. Spend Less Than You Make:
It’s an automatic pay rise. The guy who help me start this blog, Dale Partridge wrote, “Act your wage because if you have to buy it on credit, you probably don’t need it.”
So go ahead, literally destroy your credit cards and trust God with your cash flow. Be bold and downsize (your home, your car, your meals). Find a side job or start selling your unused possessions online.
The problem is not wealth, it’s greed. The problem is not you, it’s what you think you need.
Time to learn how to spend only on the things that matter (more on that below).
We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. – Dave Ramsey
4. Keep Spending:
But only on the things you really love. Dealing with debt is like going on a diet. And God knows that the best diets are the ones that include foods that you love and enjoy (and usually people stick longer to those).
The best thing we did with our budget was prioritizing for the things we liked as a family. For us, it’s food and travel and adoption. That’s where most of our money goes.
And I know it sounds slightly irresponsible to some, but to us, it’s the investments we want to be making. So it really helps us not to get a mortgage, or a fancy car, or new clothes every month. That might be what you prioritize, and that’s great, but it’s just not us. And that has been the most freeing part about being debt free.
Now, we can invest more in the things we care about and enjoy.
5. Think Outside the Box:
What do you have fun doing? Writing, creating, cooking, watching sports? Then think of those things that bring you joy and find ways for them to bring your cash. I love writing and creating, so I started this blog which has become an online magazine which makes me a few thousand dollars extra a month. (And you can start your own. Click Here for the best step by step guide.)
The time you spend consuming (social media, entertainment etc.) you can use to create. But it has to be something that brings you joy, because that way you will be inspired to do it while Netflix is calling you for a special marathon.
Generating multiple streams of income can have a major impact on your finances. Even an extra $500 each month could go a long way to paying down debt, adding spending money for date nights or increasing your investments.
So think outside of the box, but look into your heart.
6. Take A Class / Read A Book:
Lots of churches offer Finance classes, go to them! There are online courses to assist you along the way, sign up! There are multiple books that deal with debt and spending and managing finances, invest wisely!
Be proactive in taking and reading and learning. Educate yourself because that will shape you and encourage you to live this:
“Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:7-8
I’ll finish with the book that started the journey for me: I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.
I told myself, “No I don’t want to be rich… I want to be holy, I want to transform the world, give to the poor etc” But I was amazed how ungodly I was with my personal finances, and how little world-changing I was going to achieve if I was in debt. This very non-Christian book was a God-send from heaven.
Since reading it I’ve been saving for retirement, growing my streams of income and becoming more of a giver (and less of a taker).
If I can do it, there is no doubt in my mind you can do it also (and probably better). Lead yourself, your heart and your wallet into a Happy Sonship, and trust God the Father to provide all that you need to be debt free.
I know He wants it even more than you do!
I’m rooting for you. Start today.
And enjoy your wealth.
* The best rated personal finance book ever: The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11