Debt…the state of owing

Webster defines debt as “the state of owing”.

Are you in a state of owing? Do you want to be out but don’t know where to start?

Keith and I have struggled through debt and know it’s not fun. Earlier this year we decided we didn’t want to be in the state of owing anymore, so we changed our financial thinking and got out (except our mortgage). It’s hard to get out of debt…really hard. For us, it required us to change the way we thought about alot of things. Mainly, the definition of “need” and the definition of “want” and to “tell” our money where to go every month instead of waiting for the bills to roll in and seeing where it went.

Financial times are definitely different than they were a year or two ago. The way I look at it is there’s no better time to get my finances in order so that whether or not things get better or worse in our economy, I am not in a “state of owing”.

Again, not a financial expert or advisor. The only expertise I have is that I’ve been in debt, and these are some resources that helped us get out:

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – it’s a very easy-to-read guide to getting out. His website is also full of great information.

Blessed Life by Robert Morris – it’s a phenomenal book about the Biblical foundation of guaranteed financial success

– Joseph Sangl’s Next Steps website – he provides a ton of practical and free tools and resources to help you get out of debt. He also does a class called the “Financial Learning Experience” that is designed to teach participants how they can win with money. If you live in NC, Joseph Sangl will be holding an FLE at Lifepoint Church in Wilmington on December 6th from 5-7:30pm that is open to anyone. For more information, go here

– Use www.mint.com to organize your finances (or some other budgeting software…as a disclaimer, we do not use this. We use Quicken, but in a pretty backwards way and I have heard mint.com is much easier). An extensive list of multiple free/cheap online budgeting tools can be found here 

– Johnston Community College holds a series of 3 classes on financial planning for $15 – and you get a free consultation with a Certified Financial Planner. You can see their Small Business Center course offering here. I don’t see one that’s available right now, but you can call and ask when the next one will be (919-209-2015).

Debt is a really hard thing. Being in and getting out of it. Getting out and staying out means sacrifice of things I want now. But the freedom that comes with that sacrifice far outweighs any “thing” I might have purchased.

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