The dangers of debt… and how to get out of it – Part 2

money woman




Disclaimer: I am just presenting some principles to get out of debt, but I am not a professional financial planner. If your case is severe or bad, I advise you to seek professional help.

Hello my fellow Progress 31 women in progress!

In the part 1 of this article about debt, I was examining the dangers of debt on a Biblical perspective. Today, I will give you some tools to get out of debt which, I hope, will be useful for you.

Getting out of debt is a question of faith, but also a question of discipline and training of the will. If you don’t do anything, nobody will!

God will give you the strength and the ability to get out of your bad situation. However, you must act and do everything to get out of this slavery.

Let’s start to examine the principles by which you may get out of debt.

Step #1: Commit yourself to follow God’s principles about money, including avoiding debt

 

debt slavery

  • Humble yourself and ask God for forgiveness in getting into debt and for not trusting Him to provide for you and to be dépendent of the world’s eyes
  • Recognize God’s sovereignty over your finances. Remember that you are a steward of all the resources and talents He gives to you, including your finances!
  • Commit yourself not to get into additional debt and to flee it as if you were avoiding some kind of huge disease, like AIDS!
  • Make a covenant with God that from now, you’ll pay off your debts in priority if God blesses you financially
  • You can ask a friend of yours or a member of your family to be the witness of your commitment, so that you’ll be accountable to someone

Step #2: Elaborate a plan to pay off your debts

 

debt free

I would recommend you to list the type of debts you have from the largest to the smallest. Here is an example of debts:

  • home mortgage
  • credit line
  • student loans
  • car loans
  • furniture
  • family loans
  • Mastercard
  • Sears
  • Visa

Source: G. Edward Reid, It’s Your Money, Isn’t It?

Start paying the smallest debts and end with the biggest one (the mortgage). As far as the mortgage is concerned, you can use the money you use to pay off your other debts to get out of your mortgage as quickly as possible.

You may also see with your banker if it’s possible to renegotiate your interest rate/to refinance your debt.

You may also think about getting another temporary job if your current income is not enough to fit your debt reduction plan.




Step #3: Change your habits towards money

Changing your mindset and your habits is essential to stay away from debt. I am aware that it might be difficult to change, but when you allow God’s Word to transform you, you’ll become a new creature and you’ll have a new way of thinking.

Here are some habits I encourage you (and myself because I also need wisdom) to take.

  • Establish a budget
budget

A budget will help you to identify your spending patterns and to discipline yourself. It will also help you to avoid linving above your needs.

  • Destroy your credit cards
cut credit cards

“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell”. Matthew 5: 29

If you think that you won’t be able to discipline yourself in using your credit cards, cut them! You’ll be better without them and you won’t fall into the trap of debt again.

I know it will be hard, because credit cards allow us immediate self-gratification when you use it to buy something. You’ll feel bad not to get it out to buy some luxury thing.

Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. Just think from now that if you need to buy your luxury thing, you’ll have to save money for it! The budget you created will help you to save money.

  • Set financial goals
set goals 2

As many books about finance teach, you need to start treating yourself/your family like a business. You must think of yourself as the CEO of your life.

I have already talked about the necessity to set goals for your life. Financial goals must be part of these goals. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when you set goals about your finances:

What are the goals I have for my finances in one year? In 2 years? In 5 years?

What are the debts I need to pay off this year? What is my plan?

What are my financial priorities for this year?

What kind of assets do I want to acquire?

  • Educate yourself and never stop learning
studying woman
For me, being a Proverbs 31 woman includes that you are open-minded about acquiring
wisdom and knowledge. That’s why I invite you to study some resources which will help you to
change your mindset and get healthy habits with your finances.
I have identified some books that I recommend you:
Christian books:
These three books are the best Christian resources that I have read about Biblical principles on
money management. If you need to start growing in the financial area, start with these three
books!
Non-Christian books:
Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad and Rich Dad Cashflow Quadrant – these two books
complement each other.
I don’t agree with Robert Kiyosaki with everything, especially when he
says that the love of money is not the root of all evil because well, the Bible says it and I believe
it’s true. However,his books are a good starting point to have a new vision about money.
Kim Kiyosaki, Rich woman: Robert Kiyosaki’s wife and business partner focuses on women and
their empowerment through entrepreuneurship and money management. That was exactly
what I wanted to hear because the Proverbs 31 woman  is a keen entrepreneur and investor!
You can find all these books on My Faves page.
Well, here are some thoughts about debt and the way you can get out of it. I hope that they will
help you, so that you’ll be financially free!
What do you think of these steps? Please feel free to share!
Stay blessed and aim to be free in Christ at every level!

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12 comments

  1. Heather Grace says:

    I love this article. So often, even as Christians we forget to give things like finances to the Lord. It seems like a problem we need to handle on our own but it is something we need God’s hand in.

    I love that you broke down what the Bible says about finances. This is a fantastic site and provides a lot of support and encouragement to those struggling with debt! Great job.

    • angelce says:

      Thank you! I am glad that you found comfort on my website because it means that the Holy Spirit did a job through me! Don’t hesistate to come back, I’ll be very happy to see you again!

  2. Tommy Potter says:

    The title of your post is not completely related to the title of your blog
    The title or your post is enticing enough to get impelled into reading it
    it clearly is telling me what you’re going to talk about
    I think it has an adequate length, and it is nicely divided into subtitles
    Your images are well positioned into the text
    Your way of presenting the subject is original and interesting although I should say that I don’t feel everybody is going to accept readily that your mix God with money, but this is just an opinion, not a criticism at all.
    Briefly, I think your post is interesting, helpful and related to the whole matter of your blog

    • angelce says:

      Thanks for your comment! However, I wouldn’t say that money and God cannot be associstaed since it is God himself which gives us guidelines to manage it. Anyway, I thank you for reading my post!

  3. Funkydunc says:

    The danger of debt is often not considered by many, including Christians. Obviously many struggle to resist the temptations of material glitter which is prevalent in today’s world. What is the recipe to avoiding a materialistic life? Matthew 6:22-24. Live a simple life with your eye focussed on the Kingdom of God. Jesus said our whole body will be bright.
    This advice has served my wife and I very well. It motivated us to sell our business, car and material goods and move to Asia where we can share the good news of the Kingdom with people. we love living simply. It is liberating.

    • angelce says:

      You are so right! We are caring too much about material things whih are vain and can perish. The only thing that matters is our salvation in Jesus Christ. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sean says:

    Hi Elodie,

    Good follow-up article on getting out of debt. Some good, sound advice which I’m sure many will find valuable – I especially like the advice to get rid of credit cards.

    Take care,
    Sean

  5. Nasrat Star says:

    Well written and easy to understand. You have highlighted some very useful measures in eradicating debt. However if you do have a credit card which have not exceeded your limit, I would advice you to keep the card, commit yourself to a monthly payment to settle your outstanding balance. When you make your monthly payments do not spend the available cash in your card (this requires discipline).
    Why do I suggest keeping your card or not cutting it off:
    1. You might need it for emergency purposes.
    2. Keeping an active credit card (well balanced) helps your credit ratings.
    Remember debts are not bad, as long as you know how to manage them well. Just my thoughts.

  6. Marlaine says:

    Hi there, great article! I’ve always been amazed at how thoroughly the Lord takes care of his children, also financially, when they put him first with their finances!

    I love the Dave Ramsey book you suggested (Total Money Makeover). He has a great podcast/radio broadcast too that makes for some fascinating listening.

    And as far as budget tools go, if you haven’t looked at YNAB (You Need A Budget), it’s incredible! Getting on a budget has been so easy with it, oddly enough, for me and my husband!

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