My debt free journey, again

I received an awesome comment on my post here that I wanted to share.  I think it raises valid questions and wanted to address them, but rather than just do it in the comments (and write a novel because he raises a lot of good points), I thought I would just make it another post.  If you haven’t read that post, go read it and then come back and read this one.

Here is the comment from Robert Cullen that this post is going to address:

I find it interesting and slightly ironic that you’re chosen method of clearing debt involves purchasing a membership… Not yours personally but that Dave Ramsey person.

Also not to be over critical but… God’s opinion on debt is?

Proverbs 22:7–”The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” If you borrow money from anybody, you become a “slave” to them. If you owe somebody money, then you are not free to do as you choose with your money until you pay back your debt.

I’m trying my hardest not to insult your religion as I’m agnostic but If Gods opinion is as above – then the end of the world is nigh… Most of the countries of the world are in debt and if a country is in debt, then does that mean that the whole country is slaves to the countries lender?

To be honest if that is the case, then I’m even further from the belief of God than I am when I first started….

As I said – Not looking to start a religious debate, but I can’t see how telling someone they’re a slave to someone else because they’re in debt… would ever help someone get out of debt… also how signing up to something that costs money, could ever get you out of debt either!?

Thanks,

Robert.

I honestly thought that he raised some awesome points (and wrote a really long novel of a comment reply before I decided to just make a post out of it).  First, Financial Peace University.  To clarify, taking this class was not my method of getting out of debt.  It was a thirteen week course that my husband and I took to learn how to use money.  One of the things addressed in the class is getting out of debt, but there are also entire classes on budgeting, investing, insurance, dealing with creditors, getting a good deal, and many other subjects.  Five years ago when we took the class, it cost about $100, and we thought it was worth it at the time (I still think it was worth it).  Not everybody will want to or need to take a class to learn how to handle money.  There is nothing in the class that you can’t learn on your own if you really want to do so.  We chose to take the class, others wouldn’t, but taking the class was not how we got out of debt.  It gave us some tools that we didn’t have before we took the class that we then used to get out of debt.

We also, now, have a lifetime membership (included with our onetime $100 class registration fee) so that we can take the class again any time we choose at no cost.  If we want a refresher on some aspect or want to take the whole class again with our children (something we will no doubt do at some point), then we can do so (because the lifetime membership includes our entire household).  Dave Ramsey can rub a lot of people the wrong way, so the class isn’t for everybody, but we enjoyed it and recommend it to all of our friends (and complete strangers).  One thing that we got out of it that we didn’t expect was that we now communicate a lot better than we did before we took the class, and that in itself was worth the $100.

Now on to the landmine topic that was set up for me next: The borrower is slave to the lender.  Ouch.  It does seem overly harsh, doesn’t it.  I can see how somebody would be turned off by this.  I probably would have been turned off by it before I came a Christian (almost ten years ago now), but disagreeing with it doesn’t make it untrue.  I have seen this statement played out in my own life, so I accept it because I have lived it.  Somebody who has not had the same experiences with money that I had might feel differently.  Let me explain how it played out in my life.

When I was growing up we didn’t have money, so I never learned to handle money.  So, when I went to college and took out loans, that was fine with me.  When I got credit cards so I could do what I wanted to do, that was great.  When I wanted a new car and had car payments that I (realistically) couldn’t afford, it was okay because we had a great car.  The thing that I started to regret, though, was that all of my money had somebody else’s name on it.  When my husband and I got paid, our money went to Sallie Mae, or Countrywide, or Chase, or Visa, or whoever else we owed.  We didn’t have enough left over to give to ourselves (that is, save), nor did we have funds to help people we knew who were in need, or to give to charities that we admired, or for anything else that we wanted to do.

Once we were out of debt, though, we were FREE to give to the needy, support charities that we liked, go on vacation without paying interest on it (our families are both 1500 miles away, so this was a big one).  We have paid for a car, a furnace, a water heater, a deck, a roof, two births, two ER visits, and so much more without having to worry about how much it was going to cost.  We have a twelve-month emergency fund, so all of these things were covered.  We then just pay ourselves back, interest-free, so we never owe anybody anything.  Our money isn’t OBLIGATED to anything else.  Admittedly, we are not entirely debt free, since we still have a mortgage, but it is less than 25% of our income so we can still give, save, and spend pretty freely.  Someday we’ll pay off our mortgage, too, and then we’ll be even more free to do what we want to do with our money.  (I fully acknowledge that there are other bills that are not debt-related that we are still obligated to pay once we are debt-free, but they are far fewer and smaller than a mortgage or car payment or student loan payment and are but a small portion of our income.)

So, that is the sense in which I believe the statement from Proverbs (the borrower is slave to the lender) is true.  When I borrow money I am obligated to do something with the money that I get after that, that is, pay back the loan.  If I don’t borrow money, I am free to do with my money as I please.

As far as nations, and how they should spend their money, I usually don’t get political here, but I’ll give you a little taste.  There are a lot of people who would say that governments should spend their money the same way that individuals and households do.  There was probably a time when I would have said the same.  I tend to have a different opinion now, though, and please bear with me as I outline it.  I believe that part of the job of nations (and I would argue individuals) is to take care of those in need.  If we can’t take care of those around us (or, in the case of countries, our citizens) who are impoverished, who are sick and needy, who fall on hard times, then we are in sad shape.  As such, the worst time to cut spending on programs that help the (truly) needy is when we are in an economic recession.  We also cannot, as a nation, expect those same people who go hungry or are struggling to pay their bills to pay higher taxes.  It is unrealistic and uncaring.  There may be times when nations should handle their money the way that households do, but that time for the US is not now.  That is about as political as I get here, so let’s leave it at that.

I’m sorry that my personal views cause anybody not to believe in God.  As a former-atheist-turned-agnostic-turned-Christian, I get it.  There are a lot of things that people who don’t believe in Christianity don’t agree with about Christianity.  There are also a lot of wrong interpretations out there that drive people away from Christ.  I find it unfortunate, but that won’t keep me from telling the truth.  I do appreciate correction when it is necessary (and have received some lately, thanks Lisha), so feel free to give me feedback.  The truth about God and money is that the Bible is full of references to money (over 800 by some counts) and one of the common themes is don’t lend or borrow money at interest.

I know that my beliefs aren’t popular.  I’ve never been normal and I don’t intend to start now.  I also know that the way that I got out of debt is not the way that everybody does it, nor do I for a second believe that everybody will choose to follow in my footsteps (or follow their own path to financial freedom).  I do hope that people will experience the liberating feeling that is being debt-free, but I hope that nobody will fault me for wanting others to experience freedom the way that I have.

The Moore You Know: My Testimony

The Moore You Know: My Testimony.

 

This is a great story of how God answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect.  Enjoy.

The nitty-gritty

As a follow-up to this post, I wanted to get into the how of my debt-free journey.  I get my ideas from Financial Peace University and recommend that anybody wanting to get debt-free check out Dave Ramsey’s website for more tools or to take the class (wherever you live, there is probably a class near you…or you can even do it online).  So, here’s the nitty-gritty of getting out of debt.

The Dave Ramsey/Financial Peace/My Total Money Makeover plan works because it gives specific steps to follow.  If you take these “Baby Steps,” then by the end you will be debt-free and be accumulating wealth.  You will not only have more to spend, you will have more to give: to your family, to the community, to whatever or whoever you want to give to.

Baby Step 1: $1000 Emergency fund.  This is not your retirement savings.  This is not your regular savings account.  This is your EMERGENCY fund that you use for EMERGENCIES.  Christmas is not an emergency.  School shopping is not an emergency.  These are things that you knew were coming because they happen every year.  $1000 might seem like a lot to some people, but if you have a minor setback while you are working on Baby Step 2, then you will not be completely side-tracked (if you have a major setback, at least you had $1000 to help cushion the blow).  My hubby and I were lucky when we got started that we actually already had this, so we started out on . . .

Baby Step 2: The Debt Snowball.  This is the hardest step in the whole plan, but it can also be the most fun if you are really into it.  I wrote in my last post about things that we did during this time.  Basically, it works like this: make a list of all your debts from smallest to largest.  Make minimum payments on everything except the smallest debt.  With the smallest debt, do whatever it takes to pay it off fast.  For some it might be having a yard sale, selling a car that you are upside-down on and buying a cheaper one (then using that difference to pay off your debts), getting a second job, or just tightening up your budget).  Maybe you should get a job that pays more, or work harder to get a raise at your current job.  Whatever it takes.  Then, when that first debt is paid off, you take what you were paying on that smallest debt and apply it to the next smallest debt.  As you go, the amount your paying grows like a snowball, hence the name.  When you get to the last item on your list, you should, theoretically be making HUGE payments on your biggest debt, which you can then knock out pretty quickly.

Baby Step 3: 3-to-6 months in your Emergency Fund.  Total up your expenses for a month (rent or mortgage, utilities, gas, other) and save up enough so that, if you lose your job or have a real emergency that takes you out of work for months, then you will be able to live on your Emergency fund.  This includes whatever you must have in order to live and only you can determine that.

Baby Step 4: Fund your retirement.  Dave recommends investing 15% of your income in retirement savings.  Invest in a Roth IRA up to the maximum allowed, then do pre-tax retirement accounts.  The exception would be if your company does a match on IRA contributions, then you should invest to get the maximum match, then Roth, then more in your pre-tax IRA up to 15%.

Baby Step 5. College funds.  The whole point of getting out of debt and building wealth is to make sure that your family’s future is secure, right?  So, once you are out of debt and have emergencies covered, you take care of your future (Baby Step 4) and your kids’ future education.  Don’t use savings bonds or life insurance.  Find a good ESA or 529-savings plan and make some money on your investments.  There are limits on what you can invest in a given year, depending on the kind of account and you need to determine how much your kids will need to pay for their education and make sure that you are investing enough at a good rate to have it there when the time comes.  My husband and I have a Utah 529 for each of our kids.  We often encourage grandparents to contribute if they don’t know what to give as gifts.

Baby Step 6: Pay off your house.  By this point you have probably already relaxed your budget some, but there’s a chance that you still have some extra money coming in, since you don’t have any debt.  Even after investing in retirement and college funds, you probably still have more money sitting around looking for something to do for you (since you probably make more now than you used to, if you got really serious about Baby Step 2).  Use it to pay off your mortgage.  Imagine not having anything holding you back, not even a mortgage.  This is the step I am on.  We relaxed our budget for a while, but we’re back to getting serious about paying off our home.  Can’t wait to be totally free!

Baby Step 7: Build Wealth and Give, Give, Give!  This is the reason I want to be free!  Once you have no debt holding you back, not even a mortgage, you are free to bless people the way you want to.  Your kids worked really hard and bought their first car with money they saved and earned in high school?  Why not buy them a nice car for their graduation?  Want to do something special for your parents’ anniversary?  Send them on a cruise, all-expenses paid.  You want your church to have a new gym?  Donate the money to build it.  The sky is the limit once your money is not tied to paying somebody else.

So, it’s that easy.  No, actually, it isn’t easy, but nothing worth doing is.  Again, I come from humble beginnings.  My husband and I are not wealthy by any sense of the word, but we are rich in blessings.  Why not get started today?  Good luck!

Here are some resources:

The Debt-Snowball Plan

My Total Money Makeover

Financial Peace University

The Great Recovery

By the way, if you decide to get started or if you are already on your way to financial freedom, please tell me your story.  We need to share our stories of hope in a hopeless world.

Why debt-free? Why not?

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to make sure that I write about all of the things that are important to me here.  So, since I think it is extremely relevant right now, I’m going to start with why and how I got out of debt.  Before you quit reading because you think you can’t do this or you don’t have to, just remember this: I did it and so have thousands of others.  I’m not saying that it’s easy, but usually things that are worth doing are things that take work (like having kids . . . tell me that doesn’t take a lot of work).

Here’s my disclaimer: I didn’t make this stuff up.  I follow the Dave Ramsey plan.  I’d encourage you to visit this website if you would like to be debt-free like me.

I already posted some of what God has to say about having debt here, so I want to use this post to tell you about why my husband and I decided that debt was dumb.

First, a little background on my relationship with money.  I grew up not really having a lot of money, but not really knowing that that wasn’t normal.  We didn’t get new school clothes, we got hand-me-downs from our cousins.  The truth is, we thought getting those big garbage bags full of “new” clothes was great.  I remember it very clearly.  They weren’t new, but they were new to us, and that was all that mattered.  Birthdays were kept small affairs.  Christmas, however, was a toy bonanza, but we never got the newest name-brand toys and clothes and we didn’t realize that we were supposed to even want them.  Anything new was good enough for us.

The one thing, though, about not having a lot of money is that we never learned how to manage our money.  I didn’t get an allowance, so I didn’t really learn the value of earning it or saving or buying things with money that I earned.  I don’t really know what our debt picture looked like when I was young because we didn’t talk about it.  I do know that, once I started working, I spent every penny that I earned.  When college came around, I spent all the money that I earned, then I got a few credit cards to pay for the stuff I wanted on top of that.  Luckily I never accrued more than $2000 in credit card debt, so it wasn’t hard to pay it off when the time came.

I was pretty smart (even if I was an under-achiever), so I got a decent amount of scholarship money to go to college, and with my economic situation, I also got a good amount of grant money, too.  I didn’t have a college fund, though, so I had to take out loans to pay the rest.  And there was more than scholarships and grants could cover because I decided to go to a private school.  So, by the time I graduated, I had about $20,000 in student loan debt (approximately one year of tuition) and $2000 in credit card debt.

And that’s basically where I was when I met my husband.  He had fewer student loans because his parents had saved for his college, but he did have some (and took some for grad school).  He paid his credit card balance every month, so he was good there.  We, together, paid off my credit card debt before we got married, because he wanted to start with a clean slate, so the only debt we ever had was our student loan debt (which, if I remember correctly, was around $38,000 total).  After that, we basically didn’t use our credit cards, except for large purchases, and we would pay the bill in full each month.

We talked a lot in the beginning about how it would be nice if I could stay home when we started having kids, but that was going to be years down the road, so it wasn’t a big deal.  We also talked about how being in debt kept us tied to a place or kept us from doing whatever God wanted us to do.

Then, when I got my first job and my husband was still in grad school, we decided that it would be a wise financial move to buy a house instead of renting from somebody else (I know now that buying a house is not a financial benefit in about 99% of all cases, because it costs a lot more to buy than rent).  We (on my $10 per hour salary and my husband’s graduate assistant pay) were approved for a $180,000 loan.  Luckily we weren’t that stupid and didn’t buy more house than we could afford.  We actually ended up with a mortgage payment that was only about $50 more per month than what we were paying for rent, so it was a good move financially.  After that, we decided about two months later to buy a new $22,000 car with only our old car as a down-payment, so there went our mortgage payment savings.

We were doing fine and had a little in the bank, so it was no big deal that we were paying student loans and making a car payment.  In fact, we had a small windfall and paid off the car before we had to pay too much in interest, so we were doing pretty well.  We were spending ridiculous amounts of money on trips and gifts for our family.  We ate out as much as we wanted (but we liked to cook, so we didn’t eat out every night).  We did some home improvement projects and generally had a good time.

Then I decided to go back to school (because one degree wasn’t enough for me).  By that time my hubby had a real job and we were doing just fine (even paying a little extra on our mortgage each month).  We decided, though, that we weren’t going to take out loans to do it, so I quit working and went back to school and we spent what was in our savings on tuition.  We tightened our belts a little bit, but not that much, and did just fine.  I got a part time job to help out.  Then, one-and-a-half years into my two-and-a-half year program, I decided that I didn’t actually like the field that I was pursuing and wanted to just get out of debt and start a family.

So, there we were, again, with two full-time jobs and hardly any debt.  We were still making extra payments on the mortgage, but the student loan debt was just kind of sitting there getting the minimum payments.  When I quit school, though, we decided that we were going to take the Financial Peace University class that our church was offering.  Our friends had taken it and we thought it seemed like a good idea.  Little did we know, it would change our lives.

We stopped eating out all the time.  We passed up our yearly trip back to the Midwest to visit family (because my family is in Michigan and his is in Indiana).  We told our families that we would only be buying Christmas gifts for our parents and nieces and nephews.  We sold a bunch of stuff (including a piano and a bunch of textbooks).  When the next January rolled around, I decided I wanted to get even more serious about paying off our debt, so I got a second full-time job.  I only managed to do both jobs full-time for about two months, but we put a huge dent in our debt during that time.

So, in a span of 13 months, we were debt-free and only had about $50,000 left on our mortgage.  Then, we decided to have a baby, and we haven’t looked back.  Our kids have college funds.  We have retirement funds.  We still have a completely reasonable mortgage (we would have paid off our mortgage by now, but we moved when we started a church plant (now our church) in a nearby community so that we could be a part of that community).

So, there it is.  We didn’t start out doing it because it’s what God says to do, but now we know that the reason it works is because the plan we follow is in line with what the Bible says about handling money.  We have more freedom now to give, to do what we want to do, and to follow wherever God leads us.

Look for another post coming up that talks about how we did it, and how you can, too.

What am I passionate about?

It’s a question I ask myself (and my hubby) pretty frequently.  The specifics sometimes change, but there are some themes that I’m starting to see more clearly.  So, in no particular order:

1.  Integrity.  Be the person you say you are.  I care deeply about consistency and am frequently disappointed by others who are inconsistent.  I’m also frequently disappointed when I, myself, am inconsistent.  It’s important to me, though, which is why sometimes people upset me when they claim to be something, but act differently.  No matter what you say you are, your actions tell the real story.

2.  Marriage.  I love my husband.  I love us as a couple.  Our marriage has gone through a lot of changes (because we have both changed a lot in nine years) and it is better now than it has ever been.  However, I have seen marriages destroyed by selfishness and pride, by infidelity, by poor money management, by disrespect and a lack of love, and by reasons that I have yet to figure out (it’s not my business if people don’t want to tell me what happened).  I have also seen couples fight for their marriages through all of those same situations and come out stronger on the other side.  My marriage is important to me and I make working on it a priority.

3.  Money management.  My husband and I have been debt-free (except for our mortgage) for about four years now.  I cannot tell you how much getting out of debt improved, not just our quality of life, but our outlook on life.  The recent recession didn’t cause us to panic because we knew we would come out okay.  We have everything we need and are able to give freely.  I’m not boasting.  I wish that everybody had the tools that we have to be in the same financial situation.  (Incidentally, if you don’t have Financial Peace, check out this website and take the class.  It will change your life.)  I also love getting good deals, which is somewhat related to managing money.  I hope to someday pay off our mortgage.

4.  Giving and serving.  I think I’ve mentioned before how I want to give out of the overflow of my heart.  I grew up giving back to my community (city clean-up day, volunteering at the library, raising money for Children’s Miracle Network or Jerry’s Kids, the list could go on) and it just seems natural to me.  Since I became a Christian I have wanted to give to the community and the Body of Christ.  I am not able to serve in every area that I desire to (because as a mom of two young kids my hands are busy a lot of the time), but I am always finding new ways to serve.  Others might never know what I do, because I tend to stay behind the scenes whenever I can, but that isn’t why I do it.  I give because I can, and I love because He first loved me.

5.  Learning.  I love learning.  I didn’t love school growing up, but that was because I felt like I was being held back (I wasn’t being challenged and eventually got to be a lazy student because of it).  I pick up new hobbies a lot (things I have done for six months and then dropped: snowboarding, running, knitting, piano, guitar, blogging…oops, luckily that one came back) because I like learning new things.  I have tried different diets because learning how to eat in a new way is a challenge (I’ve gone from vegetarian to no-starch and back again).  I am currently learning how to get better at home management (check out this blog for tips, or read Proverbs 31).  Anybody who knows me personally knows that I am not the best housekeeper, so it’s a good area for me to work on.

6.  The Truth.  Living in Utah, I have had to really know my stuff when it comes to the Bible.  I have to know how it is different from what my LDS neighbors believe.  I have a strong desire to make sure that people know the Truth and that it doesn’t come from the LDS Church.  I also get offended when Christian Churches water down the gospel because that means they aren’t preaching the Truth, either.  I wish that everybody could have the same relationship with God that I have and know that the only way to do that is to come to grips with the fact that we are all sinners and deserve Hell; but, thanks to God and the work that Jesus did on the Cross for me, I don’t have to go to Hell, but can be with Him in Heaven.  Nothing I (or you) do could ever get me to Heaven, only what Jesus already did for me could get me there.  And that is the Truth (in a nutshell, but check this out for a better overview of the gospel).

Okay, I know that there are probably more things to add to this list, but I am going to leave it at that for now.  I wanted to make this list for myself, because I think it is a good exercise to think through the things that really get you excited every once in a while so that you can make sure you are being true to yourself (#1).  I also wanted to do this for accountability.  I want to make sure that I touch on all of the things that are important to me here.  I spend a lot of time on #1, #6, and possibly #4, but I want to make sure that all of me is represented here.  I think that part of the purpose for this blog is to be as transparent as possible, but I can’t do that without talking about these other important aspects of my life.  So, look for more on #2, #3, and #5 in the future.

The borrower is slave to the lender

Back in 2007 my husband and I took Financial Peace University at our church (we have since been part of a church plant in a nearby town).  At the time we decided to take the class I had been a student (working on my second Bachelor’s degree) and was still paying off my student loans from my first degree.  We were also paying off my husband’s student loans from his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.  We didn’t have a car payment (although, we did stupidly purchase a new Subaru four years earlier . . . we paid it off with an inheritance that my husband received when his grandfather passed away) and our mortgage was well within the range of what we could handle (we could have been stupid with our purchase of a home, too, because Countrywide wanted to give us a mortgage that was twice what we ended up with).  We wanted to get out of debt, though, before we started having children.  So, I quit school and we started taking the class.  It changed our lives forever.

We learned so much during that time and were debt-free thirteen months later (except for our mortgage).  One thing that I learned was what God has to say about money and its use (see this page for just a few of the 800 verses about money in the Bible).  I also learned new ways to come alongside my husband to work together toward common goals (our marriage hasn’t been the same since).  Of course, my attitude about money has changed, as well, but that is kind of a given if you take a class about managing your money.  This has become something that I am very passionate about, so I want to share some of my feelings about it.

So, what does God have to say about borrowing money?

Proverbs 22:7–“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”  If you borrow money from anybody, you become a “slave” to them.  If you owe somebody money, then you are not free to do as you choose with your money until you pay back your debt.  This is true even of personal loans.  Think back to how borrowing money from somebody has changed your relationship with them.  The word “uncomfortable” comes to mind.
Romans 13:8–“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”  We should always pay the debt of love that we owe one another, but shouldn’t owe anybody anything else.  It isn’t that we shouldn’t do anything for anybody else, but we should do it out of love, not obligation.
Luke 14:28–30–“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”  If you don’t have the money for something, don’t buy it.  Pretty straight forward.
Proverbs 22:26–27–“Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts; if you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?”  Don’t guarantee somebody else’s loan.  If you do, then if (when) they fail to pay back the debt, you become responsible for that person’s loan.  Co-signing a loan makes you slave to somebody else’s lender.
Proverbs 17:18–“It’s stupid to guarantee someone else’s loan.”  Same as above.
Proverbs 11:15–“He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, but one who hates being surety is secure.”  More of the same.
Psalm 37:21–“The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives.”  If you do borrow, be sure to repay your debts.  It is, however, better to be able to give than to borrow.
Proverbs 6:1–5–“My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; for you have come into the hand of your friend: Go and humble yourself; plead with your friend. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird for the hand of the fowler.”  If you have guaranteed somebody else’s loan and you realize that it was a mistake, do whatever is necessary to get out of it.  Better to admit that you made a mistake than to become a slave for somebody else.
Ecclesiastes 5:5–“Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”  Again, it is better not to obligate yourself to anybody, including God.  However, if you do, make sure you pay your debts.
Philippians 4:19–“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  This one is important.  What are we really doing when we borrow money?  For some it is simply a way to get more stuff that they don’t need.  How many of us, though, borrow money for things that we should be trusting God to provide, that is, our real needs?  God has promised to provide for us, so don’t borrow money to protect your pride.  I have seen the way that God has provided for those who are really in need in truly amazing ways.  Don’t miss a chance to be blessed because you don’t see the solution God is going to provide.

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