Let Go, and Let God

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4

I personally feel like debt is demonic, based on its attempt to keep us away from God (I say attempt, because it can only win if we let it). We have become so reliant on it that we limit God’s ability to work on our behalf. If our first response to any financial hardship, hurdle, or roadblock is a credit card or a loan, it makes it harder for God to step in. The bible says that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, HE will give us the desires of our heart, not Visa, Sallie Mae, Discover, etc. Case in point…

This past weekend I took my car in to get inspected praying the whole time that there wouldn’t be anything major that I would have to repair. The results came back and I needed new wiper blades, two new bulbs, and a new windshield! Those were not the results that I hoping for. All in all, the cost of the repairs would have been right around $600! I knew that I could get the wipers and bulbs changed someone else for cheaper, for $33 to be exact, but what was I going to do about the windshield? Luckily, the dealer didn’t have one on hand, and that bought me and God some time. I went ahead and settled for the rejection sticker, drove off, and just started talking to God. I wasn’t going to put it on a credit card, and I knew that I needed my emergency fund for another major repair, so I said God, what are you going to do?

That Monday I told a couple of my co-workers what happened, and one of them referred me to a place that ended up replacing my windshield for free! Because my insurance deductible wasn’t more than $100, they waived the entire thing. My dealer doesn’t charge for annual inspections, so I’ll be able to have it reinspected for free! Within one week, my car went from being rejected with $600 in repairs, to passing with just $33 invested in parts replacements. So forget Geico; look how much I saved by switching to God-co!

I say all of that to say, if you would trust God, and give Him the opportunity to act on your behalf, He will. Cut up your credit cards, pay off your loans, start tithing, commit to paying in cash, and let God be your financial source. I am a witness that He will provide in more ways than one. You simply have to believe. Are you willing to take the leap of faith?

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

Advertisements

Imagine Me…

“Imagine me, being free, trusting you totally; finally, I can…Imagine me.” Kirk Franklin

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a debt free life. What do you see? What’s the weather like? What emotions are being displayed? Who is around you? I saw blue skies, the bright sun, perfect breeze, and nothing but smiles and laughter with my friends and family. The weight of debt was off my shoulders, and I was free. That’s the way that life should be. In fact, that’s the way that God intended for our lives to be. The thing this, if you can’t see it in your mind first, you won’t see it in your reality. You have to have an image of what your life will look like when you’re debt free and keep that image in your mind until it becomes your reality.

Some of us have been bound by debt for so long that we’ve accepted it as the norm and can’t see ourselves any other way. As long as you see yourself in debt, you will remain in debt. Your actions will continue to reflect what has been ingrained in your heart and mind. The war against debt starts in your mind first. You must retrain your thoughts so that your actions will follow. Vow to never use another credit card again. Make a promise to pay for your next car in cash. Commit to paying extra on loans each month even if it’s just $5. Pray that God would position you to rely fully on Him as it pertains to your finances.Take time out of each day, close your eyes, and envision your life debt free. If you continue to do that on a consistent basis, your circumstances will start to change.

Are you willing to see yourself debt free? A lifestyle that some will only hope for can be yours if you would just use your imagination and work your faith. I not only imagine myself debt free, but I also imagine my friends and family being debt free as well. Free to focus on God, and free to enjoy life. Dare to be different by living free. You’re only a thought away…

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

The Rich Plan

Luke 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

There is a difference between hoping to get out of debt, and planning to get out of debt. In order to get out and stay out of debt, we have to create a strategic plan for doing so. Unfortunately, those that continue to hope for debt freedom probably won’t get very far. Once you decide to get out of debt, you then need to orchestrate actions that will help you achieve the desired result. How do you do that? By setting a budget and sticking to it!

I know, I know, the dreaded “B” word. I think the word budget has gotten a bad rap. The first word that used to come to my mind when I heard the word budget was restriction! And who wants to feel restricted, especially when it comes to money that you’ve worked for? Well, that’s exactly what debt does. It limits the amount of money that you can control and enjoy. On the other hand, a budget actually gives you more authority. You set the boundaries by determining how much you’re going to spend in each category. A budget doesn’t have to include only your bills. It should include entertainment, shopping, and whatever else you like to do in your free time. If doing those things strain you financially, then simply reallocate. You are free to design the plan however it best fits you. That’s good news!

A budget is not only your plan for getting rich, but it’s your road map to freedom as well. Without one, your money will continue to control you. With a plan in place, you are able to tell your money where to go, instead of having it fall where it may. Remember, your budget can and should include both bills and extracurricular activities. After all, you should be able to reward yourself for all of the hard work that you’re doing (without going into debt of course)! So get to work, your freedom depends on it!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

Stay in Your Lane!

1 Corinthians 9:24 [ The Need for Self-Discipline ]   Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

While running the race towards debt freedom, it can be very easy to get caught up in what the other runners are doing in the lanes next to you. Your friends, family, and co-workers are on one side, while Apple, Coach, and a host of other retailers are on the other. Although you all may be running in the same direction, the reward at the finish line is specific only to the lane that you’re in. You have your eyes set on debt freedom, while your friend has their eyes set on buying the latest fashion or technology trend, and the retailer has their eyes set on a sales goal. Whose race are you going to run?

That sale or clearance sign might look tempting, but they’re not in your lane right now. The girls or the guys want to hang out, and you can too, just not EVERY week. Apple comes out with a new model/upgrade every year, so you’ll be able to catch them later on in the next race. While they are depending on you to propel them towards their finish line, they have no intention of helping you across yours.

At times it may look like you’re falling behind, but keep your eyes straight ahead, and stay in your lane. If you catch yourself drifting to the left or to the right, readjust and get back on track. This is the time to put on your blinders and block out all of the temptations that keep showing up in your peripheral vision. Debt freedom is your prize. Will you leave it unclaimed or will you press on toward the goal to win the prize that God has predestined for you to obtain? If you choose the latter, I’ll see you at the finish line!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

Re-Order My Steps

God wants you to have the desires of your heart. However, if we are in debt, I believe we have gotten our steps out of order. Buy now, pay later is out of divine order. Why? The bible says to owe no man anything except the debt of love. Look at the trouble debt has caused in not only our own lives, but in the life of the church. We toil day in and day night to produce a paycheck only to have it taken away by our lenders, aka financial slave masters, every payday. To go through that process every month over a lifetime of employment is not God’s will for our lives because it limits the work that He is able to do through us. Not only does the Kingdom suffer, but so do we. I must admit, I am tired of that cycle. So what do we do? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expect a different result. If we want different results, we must change our current behavior.

The world focuses so much on consuming, that saving and giving are mere afterthoughts. The two least thought about actions, but they are also the two most important. In order to induce change, we have to flip the script. Give, save, then spend. That is divine order. God first, then ourselves, then the world. When we put God first in our financial order, everything else falls in line. But when we put the world first, our saving and giving suffers.

Giving has to be our number one priority. When we take care of God, He takes care of us. Second, we must ensure our own financial stability by saving. There will always be a time of feast and a time of famine, as we are witnessing in today’s financial crisis. The last thing on our list should be spending. At first glance, the child in us would think “but what about me?” Spending is last, but it usually satisfies some kind of temporary gratification. Once we mature, we realize that God’s order will satisfy our wants and needs for a lifetime.

I have been on both sides of this fence, and I have to tell you that God’s order hasn’t failed me yet. If you are currently operating outside of God’s financial order, I challenge you to re-order your steps and start experiencing the life that God desires for you!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

The Interest Match

One of the ways that I’ve been able to pay off loans at least 2 years early is by paying more than the minimum amount due. I would start off by paying just $5 or $10 more, and then would continue to increase that amount the closer I became to paying of the balance completely. A dollar here and there may not seem like a lot at the time, but it’s more about challenging yourself to go above and beyond. Once you see that you can “spare” $5 or $10, challenge yourself to add another $5 or $10 a month and more.

To start off, I instituted something that I call an “interest match.” It has worked really well on my car and student loans, and I hope to eventually apply the same method to my mortgage. For instance, if your loan payment is $100 per month, a portion of the $100 will go towards the principle balance, while the other portion goes towards the interest. Let’s just say that $70 goes to the principle, while $30 goes towards interest. Your payment of $100 only reduces the amount that you owe by $70 instead of the full $100. Over the course of 12 months, that’s a loss of $360 that could have gone towards the principal balance owed. Multiply that out over the course of 5 years, and that equates to a total loss of $1800. Can you think of something better to do with $1800 than to give it away to a bank? I know I can. What a nice vacation that would be! The point is, add the interest amount to your minimum payment. In this case, we would pay $130 per month instead of the minimum of $100. That way the principle balance is reduced faster, which in turn will also reduce the amount of interest paid over time as well. Don’t get me wrong, you will still lose money by having to pay interest. However, the sooner you pay the loan off, the less money you will lose over time. You might as well take advantage wherever you can.

I often heard that you should pay more than the minimum balance, but I never knew how much more or if a few extra dollars would even matter. I can tell you firsthand that it does make a difference. This is just one way to get you started. If you have any outstanding loans, take a look at your more recent statement and see just how much of your payment went to the principle, and how much went to interest. If you’re able, I challenge you to make an interest match on your next payment and stick to it for several months. You should notice a bigger decrease in both your principle and interest payments over time. Once you get into the habit of paying more, you’ll be able to apply it to all other loans and debts until you’ve finally paid everything off. Don’t settle for the minimum. Your freedom is worth so much more!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

My sentiments exactly!

Life of a Sinner

Proverbs 3:9-10(KJV)

Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

Proverbs 3:9-10(NIV)

Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Money. Money. Money. I’ve always thought of money as a nice gift but nothing I’ve ever wanted. When ever I have more than I need, I’d either spend it all, or give it away. After much thought, that isn’t very wise. Money is a gift from the Lord, a gift that should be taken more seriously. We often spend our money just as fast, if not faster than we are getting it. Spending it away on earthly possessions, things we “need,” things we will only use once, things we will…

View original post 336 more words