Updated: Jan 3
The first time this blessing came, I was fresh out of Howard, full-time offer with a major pharmaceutical company in hand, and maybe $5K in debt. I didn’t even want the blessing that time. I was naïve.
The second time this blessing came, I knew it was grace + mercy, but after a while, my depression stole my ability to cherish it. I wasted time, abusing the provisions God set out for me and wasted even more money trying to keep up with a lifestyle that could have taken my life or even my sanity...but that's a story for another day!
Nonetheless, with the first 2, I missed the mark. I sought no wise counsel and I made financial decisions without an intention to achieve defined financial goals. This 3rd time, I’m wise enough to know this blessing is setting the foundation of my legacy…allowing me to currently “live like no one else, so one day I can live + give like no one else.”, as in the words of money-management expert, Dave Ramsey. Y’all wondering what that blessing is…it is the blessing of being able to live rent-free at my momma’s house! Yes, I said it, me and Moms share the same address.
Don’t ask me why I didn’t create a plan for debt-free living before. I gather I just wanted to be “grown” and prove that I could build the life I wanted by binge shopping and living in expensive apartments. At thirty-something years old, I am finally learning how to make my money work for me through a monthly budget. I am building my emergency fund and paying off debt, one headache at a time. I am intentional about the next phases of my life and it involves being debt-free! It hasn’t been easy eliminating my monthly $100 clothing line item, but Proverbs 21:20 tells us,
"The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get."
Most of us know right from wrong when it comes to managing our finances, but the flesh will have you thinking you need Chanel mascara when you have L’oreal money. This season, it’s 3rd Times a Charm. I have financial goals that will change the trajectory of my life and I will not stop until my "expensive-behind" Wrangler car note disappears.
My prayer is that you too adopt the Bible’s mindset around debt. Here are a few roses that helped me start to shift my relationship with debt.
1. Utilize the Tools at Your Fingertips. You’re glued to your phone 24/7 anyway, why not utilize technology to manage your budget. There are many apps that put your budget right at your fingertips that allow for real-time financial updates and may even connect directly to your bank account. I’m currently using Every Dollar.
2. Accountability. Seek out a reliable accountability partner that is just as motivated as you are to get out of debt. If they don’t buy into the journey, it will be easy to go back to bad habits.
3. Eliminate Debt. Stop holding on to savings when you have all this debt staring you down. You will feel much better when you are able to start snowballing your debt payments strategically.
4. Be Resourceful. Cook Boo…and dust off that Keurig! You have given Starbucks and Chipotle enough of your money.
5. Live Like No One Else. Lastly, but most importantly, reduce your living expenses by moving in with family, renting, or finding a roommate that is NOT Bae (because shacking up ain’t the move, Amen).
Make Money Moves,