Do you ever ask yourself where all your money went when you reach the end of the month and you’re either barely covering the bills or you’ve had to reach into your wallet for your credit card? Or five?
We’ve been working on a goal, since we moved into our house, to become completely debt-free and it’s looking like we’ll do it, God willing, quicker than we anticipated. How?
Before I go on, I need to say: It hurts to talk about this. Oh, my pride… how wounded. I’d love to boast and say, “we only used cash ever” when we needed something. But I can’t. I guess I can go ahead and admit that finances really weren’t something we trusted to the Lord. And shamefully, we viewed our money as ours. But it’s not ours. And I’m so thankful for the grace that I don’t sit in regret over every foolish choice we made in money wasted or poorly spent.
Moving on valiantly!
I don’t want to be that person any more. And I guess I want people to know that. I’d also love to share how our lives are changing as we seek the Lord in our purchases and our savings and our giving. Though I won’t get into a lot of detail, (I’m not interested in laying out our fortune or lack thereof.) I’d love to say, I’m learning to deny myself that spontaneous cup of coffee. That extra, impulse item or ten at the grocery store. That night eating out because I’m too tired too cook. And it’s paying off.
I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey on my iPhone while I cook and clean, or while my children play and it’s transforming how I see every single penny that comes in and goes out.
We’re learning to line item everything.
We meet weekly or every few days, if need be, to talk about our budget, and we’re seeing the end of consumer debt. This will be the second time since we’ve been married that we’ve paid everything off. This, with God’s grace, will be the last time that we owe anyone, not including the mortgage. (Though I pray we can pay that off too and buy our next house with cash. Would take a miracle.)
After making little changes here and there, those small sacrifices, we’re finding extra money for more debt that we never really thought we had before. Wow. Amazing how our perspectives change when we ask for that grace.
We now use cash for everything.
Our biggest killer in the past has been food. We never stuck to a budget and I’ll tell you, if you don’t budget your food money, it will eat YOU.
I’m also putting extra into the budget by selling stuff on Craigslist. I think in the past two months I’ve cleared about $250 selling extra “stuff” that was just sitting around. And I have a rather lengthy account complete with some pretty nice furniture that just doesn’t fit our house.
One is that dining room table we bought at a Pottery Barn outlet in South Carolina. It had a scratch on it then and so we got it for a lot less than what you’d pay out of the catalogue. I think we’ll get several hundred dollars for it still. It’s too big for our house now and doesn’t fit the overall look, so I’m selling it. Know what I’m replacing it with? Oh, LET ME TELL YOU!!! I have my eye on a $20 set at Goodwill. Yep. I plan on painting that baby a dark chocolate and using it until we decide how we’ll renovate our kitchen.
I never though I’d say this, especially since the houses toward the end of our street are a million plus, but I am so excited about learning how to live on less. I’m thankful that God is teaching me to be frugal while watching other people live big, spend big. He’s blessing me by keeping me from the ”need” to keep up with the Kardashians. I’m learning how to let go of what I think is MY money and recognizing it as the Lord’s. And aside from the stuff I want, that perspective helps when the AC goes out or a car breaks down.
And I’m so happy to learn that in all of my shortcomings, all I need do is ask for grace to see them, move through them and better reflect His glory.
What a blessing.
And not all that much a sacrifice when you think of the freedom you get not worrying over money or wondering how you spent it.
May we leave a legacy our grandchildren will see and the Lord can be proud of.
Debt free. Debt free. DEBT FREE!
More from living