the pastoral family and money (part2)

>> May 21, 2010

getting out of debt

The average American has more than 3 credit cards and is over $16,000 in debt! Sadly, Christians and pastoral families are often in the same boat with everyone else.

Just a few decades ago, if you wanted a car, you saved until you could buy one. If you wanted a house, you saved up for a big downpayment. If you wanted a new pair of shoes, you had to have cash in hand.

Now, if we let him, my 7-month old son could open a credit card and go on a spending spree.

Debt is bondage. Solomon knew that way back when he wrote "...the borrower is a slave to the lender." (Proverbs 22:7) The bible urges us over and over to be debt-free, and to live within our means. That can be a real challenge - especially when pastors don't usually make a lot of money.

About 5 years ago, my PH and I decided to get out of debt. We had the average American credit card balance, plus a car payment, school loans and a mortgage. We got on board with one of the great bible-based money management programs out there called "Total Money Makeover" and changed how we looked at spending money.

Since then, we lived on beans and rice for a while, and paid off our credit cards, cars, and so on. We're selling our house (since we moved to a new church district anyway), and put a big dent in the school loans. It's tough at the moment, because I'm not earning a paycheck since our little guy came along last year, but having a cash-only mindset made the transition to living on one salary MUCH easier!

We've cultivated habits of watching for sales, clipping coupons, buying in bulk, and skipping pricey indulgences - and it has made a huge difference!

What about you?
Have you decided to go biblical and be debt-free?
How did you do it?
How does your family model biblical money management as spiritual leaders?

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Holly Elias,  May 22, 2010 at 8:04 AM  

I love your money articles on clutch!!!!! You guys rock!!!! As you know, we are right there with ya! We get this house sold soon and just the school loans left. The end is in sight and it feels great to have a plan with money!

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