5 Key Steps we took to Eliminate 100K Debt in Three YearsFinancial
The No Spend Challenge is not the first time we've taken a hard look at our finances.
It started when after 10 years of marriage, I made my wife cry for the first time. You see, we had over $100,000 in debt ON TOP of a mortgage for a home we could not afford.
My wife, Carol, looked at me and said, "Travis, people look at where we live and think we have it made, but I can't even go to Walmart to get basic needs for our family. We are living a lie.”
After we struggled with this for over a year, Carol suggested we go to a financial class to learn what God said about money.
I thought, "Why should I go to this class? I'm a smart guy, have a MBA from Duke University, manage millions of dollars at work AND I’m the head of the financial team at church. All they are going to tell me is that I need to tithe and everything will work out!"
Reluctantly, I went to the class and what I learned about money shocked me! After completing the class, we paid off that over 100K of debt in just 3 years!
I would like to share with you a few of the key steps we've learned.
Five Key Steps to Getting Out of Debt:
Step 1 - Make a Commitment to No New Debt
I suggest you stop shopping, going to the mall, and looking through catalogs. You may even have to limit TV watching to avoid commercials. The less marketing and advertising you subject yourself to, the less temptation you will have to break your commitment to no new debt.
It may mean you will have to perform plastic surgery on your credit cards to eliminate any temptation of using them.
Committing to no new debt is our way of saying, “Okay God, we are trusting you with our situation.”
Step 2 - Get the Facts about Your Finances
If you were a company, would you invest in you?
Not sure? Ask yourself the following questions:
• How much do you earn (e.g., gross not just net)?
• How much and where do you spend?
• How much do you owe?
• How much do you own?
Jesus said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:10–11).
Sometimes it can be hard to look at the reality of our financial situation on paper. We think if we ignore it then maybe our financial problems will just go away. However, in reality, getting the financial facts is the start to seeing the total financial picture.
Step 3 - Create a Balanced Spending Plan (AKA . . . a budget)
Now that you have the facts, you can establish a budget. A balanced budget is a critical step in becoming financially free. It helps you plan how you will spend money.
Jesus even talks about budgeting in scripture! Don't believe me?
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” Luke 14:28
A balanced budget means you spend less than you earn. A key to balancing the budget is to understand the difference between what is a need and what is a want.
There is nothing wrong with spending money on the things we want, but if we are spending more than we are earning we have to look for ways to reduce spending on wants until we have a balanced budget.
Step 4 - Create a Debt Snowball Plan
Simply list your debts from the lowest to the highest balance. Also, list the interest rates for each debt. Pay off your debts in the order of lowest to highest balance.
Paying off smaller debts first will motivate you on your way to becoming debt-free.
As you pay off one debt, you will take that amount used to pay towards that debt and begin putting it toward the next debt listed.
Step 5 - Seek Wise Counseling
Pride often keeps us from seeking the advice of others. But seeking help could save you a lot of unnecessary headaches. A proverb says, “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”
If Carol and I had not sought help from others we would not be debt-free today.
Ready to become financially free?
In the mid-south area? We would like to personally invite you to our next workshop, Winning In Your Finances!
In this workshop, we will cover:
• 10 Key Lessons from the financially free
• Gathering your financial information
• Developing a spending plan
• The Steps for eliminating debt
• Tips for avoiding common money mistakes
Seating is limited, reserve your space today!
Not in the area? I detail the steps we took to becoming debt free in my book, Financial Breakthrough: God's Plan for Getting Out of Debt. Visit my bookstore, get your copy and begin to walk in your freedom!