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Saturday, April 26, 2014

49. Imagine Yourself Debt Free

Yogi Berra once said: "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."

This is funny but very true. We took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course first through listening to the CD's then through our former church. Emergencies will happen it’s a fact of life.

We’ve found that giving, having an emergency fund, budgeting, and saving makes our money go a lot farther. We also can give a lot more now. The first thing I’d recommend is to start an emergency fund to pay for any emergencies you may have (car repairs, doctor visits, etc.).

The second is track expenses through budgeting tools like . Understanding where your money is going each moth and cutting expenses where possible is a good strategy.

Third remember contrary to popular belief credit cards are not for emergencies. They are for bonuses such as free mileage or cash back on purchases you would normally make anyway. And that is only if you pay off the bill every month. We have become very allergic to interest. If we can’t pay cash we wait. We’ve found that paying cash you can often get a discount.

Here are some of the great things about this very topic in God’s Word.

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” - Matthew 19:26

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. - 2 Corinthians 9:8

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; - Philippians 1:6
For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is Mine, and all it contains. - Psalm 50:10-12

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. - 2 Corinthians 9:7

Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine. - Proverbs 3:9-10

If you are neck deep in debt there is good news. Be encouraged! God can help you get out of debt with some basic strategies and hard work. You can do two things: increase your income or decrease your expenses. Preferably both!

If you are already budgeting, tithing, investing, and saving there is always something more to learn. The thing is to get and stay on the right track - debt reduction. And also the key is to be intense about getting out of debt and staying out of debt. When you're in debt you are paying someone else interest and giving away your income. Your income is one of your greatest tools in wealth building and financial health. Don't give it away!

Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler. Proverbs 6:4–5

See this link about Gazelle Intesnity.

Here are some basic principles my parents taught me.

1. Put God first and trust Him to provide for the rest.
2. Always save for a rainy day (also called an Emergency Fund).
3. Put money away for tithing (10%), saving (10%), investing (10%), and a rainy day (10%) every time you get money.
4. Spend less than you make.

There are many programs out there. Here is the basic idea of Dave Ramsey's Debt Reduction & Wealth Creation Plan:

Dave Ramsey's "7 Baby Steps" Plan

1. Make minimum payments on all your bills. Squeeze your budget until you've accumulated $1,000 cash. This is your beginner Emergency Fund.

2. Pay off your debts in order of smallest balance to largest. 
"Snowball" the payments as you go.

3. Create a 
full-fledged Emergency Fund containing 3 to 6 months' worth of expenses.

4. Direct 15% of your annual pre-tax income into your 
retirement plans. Utilize tax-advantaged accounts such as 401ks and Roth IRAs, if eligible.

5. Take care of college funding. Fully fund 
Educational Savings Accounts and/or utilize 529 plans.

6. Become financially "Ultrafit" and 
100% debt-free: Pay off your home early.

7. Get to the point where your money works harder than you do: 
Build wealth (mutual funds, real estate, etc.), have fun, and give!


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