How you can get out of debt

Debt is common but it doesn’t need to be certain.

Living in debt is being controlled by money rather than having control over it. When we owe somebody money, we are financially chained to an obligation (Proverbs 22:7).

The way we view money matters because it affects the rest of our lives. God wants us to have more freedom because of our financial situation, not be burdened by it. When an opportunity arises to help a friend in need or eat a fancy dinner out spontaneously, an unburdened financial situation lets you say “I can” instead of “I can’t.”

You can do this.

Six Steps on the Path to Overcoming Debt

1. Put God first in your finances.

Putting God first is a matter of trust; it’s saying to God, “What I have is in Your hands. Do what You want with it.”

Because God generously provides for us, we can be generous, too. When we give the first 10 percent of our income back to God, we see Him do greater things with that money than we ever could (Malachi 3:10).

2. Admit money isn’t the problem.

Money itself isn’t evil. The love of money is what leads to making poor decisions (1 Timothy 6:10).

The problem is us. When we’re more concerned about riches than richness in our relationships with God and people, we’re headed for trouble. Money is a great tool but a terrible god.

Money is a great tool but a terrible god.

3. Resolve to attack your debt.

Admitting you have a problem is only the beginning. Decide from the start that you’re going to defeat the mounds of debt that keep you from the better things God has in store for your life. Important things worth doing are usually a long obedience in the same direction. It will take a while, but paying off debt now sets you up for a better long-term financial situation.

4. Make a budget and stick to it.

Wading through all the numbers is painstaking but worthwhile work.

Gather your utility bills, medical bills, credit card bills, home or car payments, loans, receipts and personal expenses. Visit www.newspring.cc/finances for budgeting tools, advice and to sign up for financial coaching to get help along the way.

A budget won’t do any good unless you stick to it. Keeping it accurate will allow you to track your progress and forecast when you’ll be debt-free.

5. Save and reduce spending.

The less you spend, the more you can put toward paying down loans. Keep the same clothes in your wardrobe a little longer before you buy new outfits. Buy one less coffee at Starbucks every week and see how much that adds up to pay off debts. Every bit counts.

Overcoming debt isn’t only a good thing for your wallet; it’s good for your whole life.

6. Celebrate!

You’re moving away from being overwhelmed and toward overcoming. Tell your family and friends about your progress so they can celebrate with you! Overcoming debt isn’t only a good thing for your wallet; it’s good for your whole life.

When debts no longer hold our attention and our obligation, we can be free to live the lives God calls us to.

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