Debt. It is such an ugly word which has a hold on so many of our lives. I know it did mine!
For so many years my husband and I were slave to the lender, and we aren’t out of the woods yet. By the grace of God we are close, with only a little bit left on our mortgage.
Like most people, I thought debt was totally normal. But in reality, it had a say in just about everything I did.
It caused anxiety. Choking anxiety at times. It caused arguments. It caused our peaceful home to be disrupted.
It caused me to question my calling of being a keeper at home. Debt made our household budget grow larger, which in turn made it harder to survive without myself working outside of the home.
I believe 2008 was our worst year. Thankfully, I was able to start a home business which really helped us out. I was too blind to see at the time that if I had just changed my spending habits and made some tweaks in our way of life, everything would have been okay.
I totally wanted to “keep up with the Jones,” and didn’t see a way out other than making more money. While it worked, our house was always a mess, and I wasn’t fully present with my family.
A few days ago my husband watched a video of our son that he had made in 2012, and I was so embarrassed! Our bedroom was in shambles. On the video I could be heard mumbling about how messy our room was and filming inside of it wasn’t the best idea, ha!
Debt had hindered my ability to fulfill my calling correctly. I might have been home in body, but that was about it. Now, there is nothing wrong with being industrious within the walls of our home. I still help with our family’s finances from home in a much smaller way from time to time. But consumerism is no longer my focus as to why I do so, which is so important.
For other stay-at-home moms, debt might cause us to leave our homes to go to work. What a tragedy! For most, we give up our peace. It would be far better if we could just kick debt to the curb for good. Then our household budgets would become much more manageable.
I know I’ve said this before, but The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey has helped me so much! It is a must read. All of the wisdom I could share with you about becoming debt free is found within these pages.
Our finances have totally transformed over the past three years, and it’s simply because our consumer debt is gone. In full disclosure, about one and a half years ago I began using a credit card to pay for necessary purchases to earn cash back. This was only after I had a very firm grasp on my spending habits, and I keep our balance at $0, never paying interest. The book, “Meet the Frugalwoods,” and the blog “Frugalwoods” helped me to see the benefits of doing so, but self control is a must.
We must stop looking at debt as “normal.” American consumerism is not the way to go. There is so much more to life than that, praise God! We can find joy and contentment in what we have.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:6-7
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