A few years ago, we had a lot of debt. To be honest, I don’t even know how much. I didn’t want to total it all up and see the depressing figure.
We’d been struggling to pay this mess off for years, and I was sick of it. We were hopeless, drowning, and held back from our dreams.
We finally hit a point where we decided that just paying on it wasn’t going to do it. We had to make some BIG and little changes if we were going to see the end of this tunnel.
We had to stop being a victim.
I am happy to say, we made changes that changed our life and led us to a debt-free existence.
You can do it too! The first thing you need to know is:
You have to change your life if you want your life to change.
There are 6 key things you need to consider changing if you want to make a life-changing impact on your debt.
First, you have to get control.
The first thing we had to do was get a clear understanding of how we needed to manage our money.
We dedicated time to reviewing our financial situation and what we needed to do in order to change.
We also needed a budget method that worked for us. After some trial and error, we found a method that worked for us, and stuck with it!
You may need to increase your income.
My sweet husband has never wanted me to feel like I needed to contribute to our family financially. He understands that caring for the home and children, managing meals and upkeep as well as their education is a job on its own and adds great value to our family! I’m thankful for that.
But I couldn’t shake this feeling that I could be doing something. I had time in the day to scroll on Facebook or watch TV. Surely I could be using that time to add a little income to the family.
That was when I launched my at-home business and poured myself into learning everything I could about running a profitable business. There’s so much more to being profitable than knowing your craft.
Learn to say No.
We learned to say “no” to big things and little things.
One of the hardest things to say “no” to was an offer to buy a timeshare from family. It would have been a fantastic investment, sold to us at a great price, and would have allowed our family to travel every year. But…we had to use that money for paying off debt.
When I think back on it, I feel like that was the moment we really committed to this thing.
Much like my decision to remain married on our honeymoon, deciding that we would sacrifice to get ahead confirmed for us that we really were doing this. We didn’t want to regret that decision (to pass on the timeshare) so we had better make it worthwhile!
Make the hard decisions.
We sold our house. This one isn’t generally recommended.
Even Dave Ramsey doesn’t suggest this one, but it was the right choice for us.
We were living in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with 1400 sq ft. It was so cute! And the master bathroom was to die for, spa-like! But the living area was tight with 5 people and we had a sixth on the way.
My husband got offered a job in another town.
As we considered the move and what sort of house we might buy, we realized that with the equity in our home, we could pay off quite a bit of debt and still make a down payment on a new house.
Ultimately, we decided the other job was a bad idea…but the house sale seemed to make sense.
I have to say, it was one of the hardest things I’ve done.
We left our cute little house with the spa-like bathroom and bought a larger, older, ugly house. At 7 months pregnant, I embarked (with lots and lots of help) on a DIY home renovation that turned the ugly old house into a place I love now. It’s not perfect, but it’s really really cozy.
Looking back, I know God led us to this place. He blessed our efforts.
Continue to pray and tithe.
I believe God blessed our efforts to pay off debt because our primary reason for getting out of debt was obedience to his word. Of course, we recognized that there would be enormous financial reasoning for paying it off, but we wanted desperately to “owe no man nothing” and run like gazelles away from debt.
Even though we wanted to put every penny toward our debt, we knew that we had to trust God’s provision to get us through this. Tithing, giving one tenth of our income away, shows that we rely on God and want to honor him with our sacrifice.
When times were really tight, back when we weren’t making ends meet and we ran up a lot of debt, we hadn’t been tithing. We made excuses like “tithes go to help people who don’t have enough money. We don’t have enough money.” I honestly think that sort of thinking held us back all those years. We believed in scarcity. We weren’t trusting God.
Prayer and tithing were the two most critical aspects to our journey.
Stop Being a Victim.
Once we decided we were not going to be a victim of the situation anymore, we acted differently. We took matters into our hands and made hard decisions.
If you have a bunch of debt you need to pay off, I would love to help keep you accountable. If you need prayers or encouragement, let me know. Comment, email me at [email protected] or share your story in our private Facebook group.
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My passion and mission at Gathering Joy is to help moms get organized, earn money from home, and make memories with their families. I’d love to have you as part of our community of homemaker-hustlers!