Is debt something that you are experiencing? Do you have too little paycheck for too many bills? Do you want to get out from under debt? Are you and your spouse constantly arguing about money?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can get help here. The posts in this site will to help you get out-of-debt. The steps to get out-of-debt are few, but the process is long. Remember you probably didn’t get into debt overnight, so don’t expect to get out of debt overnight.
If you are a Christian, the bible has plenty to say about debt and money. One verse that is appropriate is Proverbs 22:7 – “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” There are over 2000 bible verses that deal with money. God does not want us to be in debt because then we are unable to help others.
If you are not a Christian, these posts will still help you. Yes, scripture and references to God will be included in the posts.
There are steps to getting out of debt.
Step 1: Remember that God owns everything and you are his steward. Transfer everything to God. Pray for His wisdom.
Step 2: Gather all your credit card statements for the month. You don’t need the prior statements. In fact, if you don’t need them, shred them. The current statement will have all the information you need. If you have a car loan, bank loan, mortgage, etc. gather all the current statements as well. Your stack of bills doesn’t look as bad now. Does it?
Step 3: Make a list of all the debt. The list should include:
- To whom owed (Payee);
- The pay-off amount;
- The number of payments you have left;
- Monthly payment amount;
- The interest rate;
- The due date.
Add up the amounts you owe and the monthly payment amount. Now, you know exactly how much you owe.
Step 4: Now, it’s time to start creating a spending plan. Yes, it is a budget. Remember that a budget is not a constraint. It is a way to tell your money where to go.
You may choose to use an app to help you keep track of your spending and create your budget. NerdWallet has a great post listing the best free apps. Check it out here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/best-budget-apps.
Step 5: For the next 30 days, take a small notebook and write down every single amount you spend. For example, you go to a store and buy a candy bar, water, soda, etc. Enter the item you bought, the date, and the amount. At month’s end, see where those amounts fit in your budget. Then enter them. This will give you a very good idea of what you spend your money on.
Note: If you are using one of the apps mentioned above, you won’t need the notebook.
Step 6: Perform surgery, cut up every single credit card you have, except for your debit card. Do not take out any more cards, lines of credit, or any other type of credit. This includes consolidation loans. If you pay off all your credit card debt with a consolidated loan, you must make sure that you do not charge anything on those cleared cards. Otherwise, you’ll be in more debt. This is why it is very important to destroy those cards,
Step 7: Begin saving towards an emergency fund. Initially, strive for $1,000. Then, as you are able try to achieve three to six months. Eventually, you will want to have eight to twelve months of living expenses. The reason for these amounts is to cover you in case of a job loss or other emergency. Imagine what would happen if you became sick and were hospitalized or couldn’t work. Who is going to pay for your rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, or car expenses? An emergency fund has you covered. It takes away your worries.