TRANSFORMED: A Journey In Financial Health
Contributed by Kara Nalley
A recent study showed that 47% of Americans do not have enough money to cover a $400 emergency without selling something or borrowing money. Many middle class Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
This was the case for my husband Matt and I several years ago. Due to the loss of my job and a drop in Matt’s commission at his job, our income was cut by over half. We had never saved or thought about tomorrow. We weren’t ready for an emergency. Many times we struggled to buy groceries. We were at a place where we either had to learn to manage money or the lack of it was going to manage us.
One day, Matt’s Aunt came over with a photocopied page from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University that gave us steps to get our financial house in order. Did you know that God has specific ways that He wants us to handle the money He gave us? We had no idea! We looked at the money we made as OUR money, not His.
The Bible is full of instructions! Look at Psalm 24:1, which says “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof,” and Proverbs 21:20, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has,” (such as living paycheck to paycheck). We learned how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, save for emergencies, save for our future and increase our giving.
I will tell you the task wasn’t easy. In fact, it was down right difficult! We cut back our lifestyle to living on less than we made and had to determine wants versus needs. We didn’t go on vacation, didn’t go out to eat, cut cable, and I washed Ziploc bags to save money in order to get us out of debt. Actually, they were store brand zip top sandwich bags – no way we were buying name brand! We aimed to save in every way we could.
Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” It did seem painful at the time, but focusing on the biggest problem in our marriage resulted in our marriage improving. The #1 cause of divorce in America is disputes over money and money problems.
We were forced to work together as a team. We discussed every aspect of our finances and even created a budget together, which we had never done before in our lives. The best part was that we started dreaming. We dreamed of our future and even set goals together!
You may feel financially hopeless, but we are here to tell you there is hope. You can learn how to transform your thought process, habits and actions to become financially peaceful.
Because of the impact Dave Ramsey’s teachings had on our lives, Matt and I will be leading Financial Peace University again in the fall at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Wednesday evenings beginning in September). Please consider joining us and make a bold step toward finding financial peace in your life!
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
In His Service,
You can connect with Kara Nalley via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and stay tuned for Financial Peace University registration information closer to Fall.