To Be Debt Free
My Greatest Hopes Series
October 27, 2019
Why do we continue to take on debt?
1. Debt is now considered _________________________.
2. Debt is so____________________________________.
3. Debt was ________________________________to us.
4. Debt is linked to our _________________________________.
5. Debt comes out of ___________________________________.
6. Debt sometimes follows_______________________________.
A debt-free life is____________________________.
How do you pay down debt?
1. Don’t ______________________ you can’t___________________.
Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor. (Proverbs 13:7, NLT)
2. ________________________ your debt.
Use the Debt Snowball principle.
List out your debts and your _____________________________.
______________________ $200 extra per month.
Pay off the __________________________________ first.
Snowball those payments toward the _______________________.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net. (Proverbs 6:5, NLT)
3. Say _________ today, so that you can say __________ tomorrow.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
How satisfied are you with what you have?
How satisfied are you with your car or your clothes?
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5–6, NIV)
4. As God increases your storehouse continue _________________
_______________________ to the Lord.
For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. (2 Corinthians 9:10, NLT)
Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. (2 Corinthians 9:11, NLT)
Following these six steps can start you down the path of becoming debt free.
- Have a Written Plan
A written plan is an absolute necessity to escape debt’s death grip. This plan’s success depends on your family doing two things: creating an itemized list of all your expenses, in their order of importance. And two, classifying our needs, wants and desires. Here are the differences between the three groupings:
- Needs. These are life’s basic necessities. Food, clothing, employment, home, medical coverage all fall into this category.
- Wants. Wants involve making choices about the quality of goods we consume: dress clothes versus work clothes, steak versus hamburger, a new car versus a used car.
- Desires. These are the goods and choices we make not essential to our survival, safety or well-being.
- Determine Essentials for Living
Eliminate unnecessary living expenditures and look for services around the home that can be done without outside cost. If you hire a cleaning lady, roll up your sleeves and scrub the kitchen yourself or learn handyman skills yourself. Tile and grout your floors, build a deck or paint the house to save costs.
One more important thing to remember: We assume “expenses” are essential only because of the messages our society sends.
3. Think Before Buying
If your family is in debt, evaluate every purchase (see Proverbs 24:3).
- Is it a necessity? Have I assessed whether it is a need, a want, or a desire?
- Does the purchase reflect my Christian ethics? (For example, certain magazines on the market do not reflect Christian ethics.) Can I continue to subscribe to magazines or belong to book, CD, or movie clubs while I owe others?
- Is this the best possible buy I can get, or am I purchasing only because I have this credit card?
- Is it a highly depreciate item? Am I buying something that will devalue quickly? (Swimming pools, boats, and sports cars fall into this category.)
- Does it require costly upkeep?
- Cut up the credit cards
If you are in debt from the misuse of credit cards, stop – totally stop – using it. Cut up the cards and mail them back to their respective companies and ask them not to send you any more. Include in your letter the plan for paying that credit card debt back and commit yourself to buying solely on a cash basis.
While handing out the green for your purchases engrain new attitudes in your daily spending. After all, you’ll have to sacrifice some of the wants and desires in life to break free from debt; otherwise, you will continue to borrow and only get deeper into bondage.
- Practice Saving
Practice saving money on a regular basis. This includes those who are in debt. Even if it is only $5 a month, develop a discipline of saving. This does not mean you should store up a large amount of money while failing to pay your creditors, but one of the best habits a young couple can develop is to save a small amount on a regular basis.
- Get God involved in your finances through Tithing.
Tithing is always difficult to start doing but reaps huge rewards over time. Tithing says to God, “I am putting you first in my finances.” And when we honor the Lord first in our finances, He somehow finds a way to take care of the rest.
Tithing is really God’s gift to you. I have heard so many people tell story after story that when they committed to involve the Lord by honoring Him first through tithing, a shift in their financial situation began to occur. It is a proven principle that works.