Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Climbing Towards Financial Freedom


This week at Overlake, I'm tackling the topic of Incinerating your DEBT in our IGNITE series, and I'm curious...

Do you have a story of being in debt? Do you have a story of climbing OUT of debt?
How did you do it?
What sorts of lifestyle changes did it require?

Do you have a story of climbing out of debt, and then going backwards into it again? (This MIGHT be our story...and we've been on this cycle a couple of times...)

How does saving come into it for you? I'll bring the message on Sunday, but for now, I'd like to learn from you...

7 comments:

dfly said...

Absolutely! Definately in debt big time because...well actually lots of reasons. The point is about 5 years ago I decided that it didn't matter how much debt we had. I needed to tithe and really, I mean REALLY watch where the money was going. Then with the 2012 project with OCC I decided to go all out and am now giving over 20%!!! Now back to your question. The Lord has met our bills every month and somehow (I secretly think the Lord has something to do with this), we always have extra to put down on debt. We are now credit card debt (we had 7) free; almost loan free and then we start working on the mortgage! YEAH God!!! :)
And Praise the Lord!!! How faithful is He!

VictoryRedux said...

We are climbing out right now, and feeling pretty good about it. This year brought a step-parent adoption, and $1,300 in unexpected medical costs. Whew! I was a stay at home mom who played music on the side until last month when I got a part time job exclusively to pay down debt and increase our emergency fund. We used a calculator on crown.org to determine how long it will take us to pay off our two car loans and my student loan, and are on track to be debt free in 17 months. Our credit card debt was eliminated two years ago. Then, Lord willing, we will start saving for a down payment for a house. I love having a plan and a goal to work towards, being able to see that this end is in sight is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

At 24 I had some debt (a new car, some credit cards I used to "establish" myself in Washington at 19, etc). I have always been responsible with my money and have always found joy in giving. Two years ago I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course to gain even further insight about finances. It rocked my world! Though I was going to school full time to earn my second degree and fully supporting myself at the time, I worked 2 full time jobs as well so that I could be COMPLETELY debt free. At 26 I have no car payment, no credit cards, a savings, an emergency fund, and a down payment for a house. The financial freedom has also allowed me to save for my future adoption, sponsor a child through World Vision, and give to the Vision Campaign. I love that being debt free allows me to give joyfully to others, to buy that random Starbucks for the person behind me and that I am no longer burdened by the yoke of debt. AMEN! :)

Blake said...

Debt is like a prison guard without a sense of humor... To make matters worse, he is constantly telling you that you can be happy in this place if you just buy more...

pb 'n' j said...

We're working through our debt now as newlyweds. Our newlywed status helps us in this since everyone expects you to live on the lean during the early years of marriage.

The epiphany that we have a debt problem came when we were at a Brennan Manning conference at Warm Beach Camp and a special offering was called for sending inner city kids to camp. Having a heart for youth ministry and for the underprivileged, we wanted to give, but couldn't find disposable income in our budget. So Brandon (the financial analyst) started working on writing a budget for us and entering our debt into a "snowball" (shoutout to Dave Ramsey) spreadsheet.

Over the past few months our saving and penny squeezing has gained momentum. Our lifestyle had to change. Last month we went to starbucks 3 times. We went out to eat twice. We plan out our meals every week and spend about $65-70 per week on groceries. Every day we notoriously bring leftovers to work for lunch. That part can be a bit embarrassing since reconstituted beans and cornbread don't look that great next to my (Jenny) coworkers' Whole Food salads and Honest Tea.

So far we've paid off one credit card, my summer grad courses, and Brandon's 2005 truck so we both drive paid for cars! God has blessed us with raises and unexplained "found money" along the way.

Our motivation comes from the fact that when we're done with debt in a year and a half, we can give generously to ministries and start a family debt-free!!!

Amy Wasson said...

From the moment we got married we made a conscious choice to live debt free. Knowing we wanted kids in the future, whatever money I made we banked and lived off only what my husband made. Learning to live on one income even while DINKs was the key so that when I did end up staying at home once children came, we were already used to living on 1 income. The other keys for us are to live simply. We don't go on many vacations. If we do, we camp or do stay-cations or go somewhere nearby that doesn't require airfare. We don't eat out much and love to garage sale and shop at thrift stores and off of Craigslist. We sell things on Craigslist too which works great. We make our own coffee at home, I cut my husband's and boys' hair, we do most of the work around our house ourselves and rarely hire out. We do use credit cards but always pay them in full each month. The only debt we have is our house and we just currently refied so that we can pay it off in 15 years rather than 30 and save ourselves a ton of money on interest. It's definitely a conscious choice and a redefinition of what truly is priority and what is just extra. Hope that helps.

Andy Glover said...

It's all about focusing on the END RESULT and letting God take care of the HOWS.

I'd encourage you to watch this talk by accountant, entrepreneur, writer, inspirational thinker Mike Dooley:

http://www.unityhills.org/mikedooley.html

It's all one lesson, one love, one faith, one God. :)