Alrighty friends! We are trucking through 2019 and making financial freedom a priority! If you have been following the last couple of weeks, I shared our personal financial testimony. I also gave a challenge for those who are ready to seek financial freedom to be honest with their spouse and self and pull out all the bills. No hiding anything. This is where the rubber meets the road!
Let’s take some action steps this week. As I previously mentioned, we participated in a local church workshop led by Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I think Dave is great. I also recognize there are other financial guru’s as well. With all that being said, choose a budgeting app or worksheet that best accommodates your family. Here are my recommendations:
Action Steps to Financial Freedom:
- Step 1: Honesty. Have the conversation with your spouse (or mentor if you are single) and be completely honest about what te financial situation looks like. Don’t hide ANYTHING. Bring out all the bills, credit cards, loans, etc.
- Step 2: Budget. Now that everything has been laid out on the table, it is time to budget. This seems easy, but it can be taxing. Give yourself several days or a whole weekend to really add up all the numbers.
- Budgeting requires looking at income and expenses. Essentially your income should be higher than your expenses. Unfortunately, we know that a great majority of American’s live above their means. Financial Freedom doesn’t involve spending more money that you bring in. We must be good stewards with what God has given us. Overspending is not good stewardship. For me, that was a huge wake-up call. God, I am not being wise and careful with what you have entrusted me with. I needed to repent. Friends, repentance in any area of your life leads to true freedom.
- It is often easy to skip areas of a budget sheet and think “I only spend a couple of dollars here, so this category doesn’t matter.” YES IT DOES! Remember step 1, Honesty! Dave always says, you must tell your money where to go. In other words, $2 + $4 + $10 + + + starts to add up. Before you know it, you have easily spent a Jackson or a Benjamin.
- Once you have completed an income vs. expenses sheet, you can have a better understanding of where your money is going. If expenses are more than income you have some decisions to make. Either add additional income (extra jobs, sell some stuff, etc.) or get rid of some expenses. For us, eliminating expenses was a no-brainer. My shopping therapy came to a screeching halt. We got rid of cable TV. We got rid of car payments. I drive an amazing 2007 minivan that runs like a champ. We paid cash for it. We will drive it until the wheels fall off and we have saved enough cash to buy something else.
- Now it is time to budget. How much money are you going to spend in every area of your life? If you absolutely can’t live without Starbucks, then you need to budget for that. That budget line may require that you sacrifice something else. Yes, I said the word sacrifice. Friends, true freedom can’t be achieved without a sacrifice. Just look at Christ. His sacrifice allowed all of us that accept Him the freedom from sin. I am no longer bound, but I am free. If you want freedom in your finances you MUST SACRIFICE! Don’t be so stuffy you can’t breath, but get rid of excess so that you can live!
I don’t want to see anyone living in bondage. Especially the bondage of finances. If finances and debt are consuming your life, take the steps to seek freedom. Please ask me for help! Gray and I are still working through our debt snowball, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! There is no greater feeling than knowing we are on the path towards true financial freedom. It is exhilarating! I want that for you and your household as well!