Thursday, March 21, 2013

Debt Free!!

Finances.

It can be hard to talk about, am I right? How much you make. How much you spend. Where you spend it. How much you give back

Talking about money can get pretty personal. 

Recently, my Community Group leader brought up the importance about being open about your finances with other people. Opening yourself up, perhaps humbling yourself, and letting an outside party take a look at your spending habits. 

And with that: accepting the advice that you get back. 

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my decision to start tithing. I wasn't going to bring up finances on the blog, but when God went out of His way to prove His word true, I couldn't help but share. 

When I began tithing, I wasn't just surrendering 10% of my income to the Lord. 

I was surrendering all of my finances

What does that mean exactly?

No, I am not giving everything I own back to the church. 

But I am praying significantly over my money. Praying that I would be given discernment on how and where to spend it. 

And when I started praying, I had no idea the dramatic action that God would take. 

He likes to be radical, doesn't he? :)

9. End the year with zero balance on credit card

10. Double my savings

Those are two items on my 2013 Bucket List. If you've been tracking my progress, you might know that these have been two items that I've made minimal progress with. 

Well, this month, God took over. 

He had His ways of showing me what He wanted for my financial situation, and you know what comes along with following His lead? 

Peace.

It's a beautiful thing, really. 

So my bucket list items have changed a bit:

9. End the year with zero balance on credit card

Revision: Maintain zero balance on credit card

10. Double my savings

Revision: Rebuild savings.

Yupp, I'm guessing you used your analyzing skills to figure out that I took a significant chunk of my savings out to pay off my credit card bill. 

Maybe you think I should have done that a while ago, and I would say that you're correct. 

But it's funny, when we think of things on our own, stress gets in the way. 

But how could I drain my savings that much? 

What if I need to dive into that money? 

What about all my hard work building it up?

You know what God told me? 

I will take care of you. 

And BAM. The peace set in. I knew it was the right thing to do. 

So I write to you today with the wonderful news that I am 100% Debt Free today!

I never even considered myself in debt to begin with, but God showed me that He doesn't want His children in debt. 

And He showed me through my mom, who doesn't want her children in debt either :)

Thank you, Mom. I love you. 

And thank you, God. For your peace that only comes from surrendering my life to you. 

"And this same God who takes care of me
will supply all your needs from His glorious riches,
which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever!
Amen."

Philippians 4:19-20

23 comments:

Tamara @ Everything Happens said...

Ugh, I struggled with that for the longest time - pay off debt vs. keep my savings. In the end it feels so much better to have that debt paid off. I'm glad you made the leap!

HK said...

Amy, that's so wonderful! I'll bet it feels so freeing, too! Congratulations! And I'm sure you'll find that it's much easier to maintain a zero balance than it is to get there from debt in the first place. Way to go! :-)

courtney {splendid actually} said...

Open about finances... gosh what a wonderful thing that would be. This is something I struggle with daily. I even struggle with opening up to my husband about it because we come from different financial situations and it stresses me to no end to have to talk to him about it. Thank you for being so open, Amy. You have inspired me to rely on God a little bit more in this area.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

That's so awesome! Congrats on being Debt Free!!

Sarah S. said...

Congrats on a huge step. I think a lot of people go through this, it really is a better decision to pay off the debt though. Because now instead of saving $1 a month and paying $1 towards credit cards, you now get to put $2 in your savings every month :)
(obviously $1 is an example...lol...)

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Amy, this is WONDERFUL news!! What a blessing! We have worked so hard to pay off our student debt and are so close to being done. It's a great feeling to pay that off! :)

Hilda said...

Amy, congratulations!!! That is amazing and you are so right about leaving everything to God. He provides for us. he is so good, and it does feel good feeling that peace. You explained it right on the dot. it also serves as a good reminder. Thank you so much!! :)

Jordan said...

Congratulations! 0 debt woohoo!

*NotablyNeurotic said...

Congratulations on your achievement! That's wonderful!

Unfortunately for me, paying off a credit card wouldn't help me be debt free. I don't have any credit card debt, but I do have massive amounts of student loans and a car payment because I had to fund my adulthood 100% on my own. It's been a struggle and it's very surprising that I have YET TO PRAY over it. Sure, I've prayed, "Lord, help me get out of debt", when really I should be asking Him specifically for peace and wisdom with how I use my money.

I struggle very much with shopping indulgences and I know it's not right. I've been praying for God to give me a content heart so I can stop overspending and start chipping away at my student loans and finally pay off my car.

I'm so happy for you being debt-free!

Amy Charming said...

This is AWESOME! Congratulations! :) Proud of you ;)

Allan Morais said...

I’m happy that you survived your financial struggles and now on your way to financial stability. The first step towards success is proper mindset. Have enough will to do things right. Pay your bills and manage your finances wisely. Thanks for posting this. You serve as an inspiration to all who have problems with their finances.

Kerrie Williams said...

that's excellent Amy!!

Anna said...

Congrats, I'm sure it's a great feeling!! I'm working on my credit card but unfortunately it will be a few decades of student loans until I can say the same!

Melissa said...

Amy, congrats! That is awesome! When i was your age (gah, i sound old!), I was so careless with money. I had NO savings, lived paycheck to paycheck, & had debt. Student loans + 3 other little things. I just ignored them until the interest made me owe even more! When i got married my husband found out & was like, 'oh, no! we gotta fix this!' haha. So i was way late but we are now debtfree except the mortgage! A great place to be! :)

Anonymous said...

GOOOOOOOD GIRRRRRRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ronnie

Julie said...

Amy this is awesome! It's so great to see you boldly following where God is taking you financially. What a wonderful feeling it must be to be debt free AND have that wonderful peace from God in your heart :)

Lauren said...

I am working on getting my student loans paid on time, its tough! I can't wait for the day I can say I am debt free too!! Definitely an awesome feeling knowing God will take care of you.... he cares for the birds, how much more will he care for you.... that's the verse I am holding tight to right now! xo Lauren of www.cornwellfam.com

Rebecca O said...

I am so freaking proud of you. God will absolutely take care of each and every need in your life - financially and mentally. I worked my butt off to go through college debt-free and it is such a freeing felling!! Keep yourself debt-free, and you will be soo much happier! Plus, it will cause you to rely on God to be your sufficiency, not things in this world.

Hannah said...

That's awesome, Amy! You go girl. We're debt free, too, thank God. But we're still pretty poor.... next step, make more money so we can have a savings account. ;)

I second the tithing thing!!! Always good to be surrendered to God with finances.

Leah said...

Oh my goodness, that is great Amy! God is so faithful to provide always. What a great step of faith!

Melissa Jo said...

Proud of you girl! This is something I struggle with too.. going back and forth trying to figure out to save or to pay down. It's a struggle. I really do need to give up my finances - did you a specific program or who did you talk to ?

Allan Morais said...

I like how you revised your bucket list. You have to do your best to recover from a financial setback. But, it's better if you at least keep a small balance on your credit because a zero balance still affects your credit score. Nevertheless, I know that you can do it. Just make sure that you keep yourself on track! :)

Jaden Allred said...

One good thing about paying off your debts is that you can rebuild your savings. Sometimes, we struggle to pay our debts not because we refuse to change our lifestyles to ease our financial burdens. I'm happy to hear that you've finally cleared off your debts. Keep it that way and you'll be enjoying more peace. Congratulations, Amy!
Irving A. Burton