This past Sunday, we continued in our series Dollars & Sense with “The Debt Principle.” With over $852 billion dollars of revolving credit (credit without a fixed number of payments such as credit cards) among U.S. consumers, we are constantly enticed to go further into debt. Here are some helpful steps to getting out and staying out of debt:
- Commit to being debt-free now. Whether you are debt free right now or whether you are struggling with debt, make a commitment to being debt free. Don’t wait until next week, next month or the new year.
- Start giving. If you want God to bless your financial efforts to get out of debt (not make you healthy or wealthy), then you need to put Him first. Giving sacrificially puts Him first in your life and in your finances.
- Start a repayment plan. Use the Debt Snowball Plan, paying off your smallest debts first and then adding the money to the next smallest debt and then the next, etc. In addition, call or write your creditors asking them if they’d be willing to renegotiate the terms of your debt. They might even be willing to stop adding interest to your debt. They might say “no,” but they might say “yes.”
- Add no new debt. If you struggle with credit cards, do some “plastic surgery.” Get rid of them.
- Get help. Be sure to tell your small group about your plan to be debt free. Ask for prayer and accountability. I also highly encourage you to go to our next Financial Peace University class that begins January 7 – Register Online.
- Stick with it. Remember the story of Mary Hunt, author of The Complete Cheapskate and founder of Debt-Proof Living. Through perseverance and patience, with God’s help, she and her husband paid off $100,000 of debt. Stick with your plan.
Here are some great resources to help you manage your money wisely and get out of debt.
- Articles from Dave Ramsey on getting out of debt
- The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey) – 7 organized, easy-to-follow steps that will lead you out of debt and into a Total Money Makeover.
- Debt-Proof Living – Mary Hunt’s website with resources on how to get and stay out of debt.
- Crown Financial Ministries – take a look at their “Accelerated Debt Payoff Calculator” (they use the Debt Snowball or Rollover method discussed above)
Imagine the freedom of being debt-free in your personal finances. And imagine the EXTRAORDINARY IMPACT we could make for Jesus as a church of ordinary people if we were free of the $7,660,240 of consumer debt we have as individuals and households at Northshore. Imagine the real needs of real people we could meet locally and globally as we seek to model the generosity and good news of Jesus in our world.
I am praying for God’s grace, peace, and perseverance for you as you commit to being debt-free and follow your plan to get out of debt.