Proverbs 22:7, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
Financial struggle is one of the most burdensome trials of our generation. Debt encumbers our future dreams, marriages, families, and even the next generation from experiencing financial freedom.
How Did I Get Here?
I am a millennial just trying to make it in this world and it has been an exhausting journey. When I was younger I thought that I would have my life together by the time I reached my 30th birthday, but I was woefully mistaken. Some of the most debilitating and hopeless moments of my life have been in my 30’s when I was presented with insurmountable credit card debt, an empty refrigerator, and harrowing eviction notices. I’ve looked at my bank statements and thought, “how did I get here?” Even though the road has not been easy, I have realized—this way of life DOES NOT have to be my normal.
It’s easy to lose hope in the depths of overwhelming expenses. To be honest, I would have lost hope completely if I didn’t have something greater in my life than my debt, but I encouraged myself with God’s word.
Taking Ownership of my Finances
Philippians 4:19 has been a constant in my life,
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.”
I love this scripture because it declares an incredible truth—God is my provider! There is no doubt that that God wants all of our needs to be met. However, He expects us to be good stewards with the money, opportunities, and talents He has gifted us.
There has to come a moment when I take ownership of unwise decisions I’ve made and decide that I’m not going to fall into the pressures I feel to have more stuff. I am on a journey of being grateful for exactly what I have.
I wish I would have had the wisdom I have now when I was in my twenties. However, I realize that I have a decision to make: I can either allow my finances to control me—or—I can control my finances.
I am tired of being a servant to the lender. Are you?
Debt hinders us from getting ahead and steals the hope of financial freedom.
- Students across North America are pressured to pursue higher education if they desire to get a decent job one day, and then graduate with insurmountable student loan debt. I’m not against going to College or University, but I do believe we can prepare our kids and ourselves to be more financially wise during their adolescent and young adult life.
- Young adults are pressured to live above their means, sinking themselves more into debt by living lives of luxury that they have not earned. Our culture has learned the simplicity of swiping our credit card when we want something we cannot afford.
- Adults live under the guise that everyone has succumbed to debt and that it is the normalcy of adulthood.
Here are some recent financial statistics concerning the debt in America and I hope they surprise you as much as they did me:
- According to the Federal Reserve, the combined credit card debt of Americans is 1.02 trillion dollars. 1.02 TRILLION DOLLARS IN CREDIT CARD DEBT! That number is inconceivable.
- CNBC, in a 2018 financial study, states “the average American now has about $38,000 in personal debt, excluding home mortgages.”
- CNBC also records the average debt by age group:
~ “Gen Z & younger millennials (ages 18–24): $22,000.”
~ “Older millennials (ages 25–34): $42,000.”
~ “Gen X (ages 35–49): 39,000.”
~ “Baby Boomers (ages 50+): $36,000.”
These stats are a wake-up call, not only for you and me, but for our Country! I do not want to be part of these statistics. I do not want to be a servant to the lender, do you?
Join the Journey of Financial Freedom
I’ve been on an incredible journey of having financial peace and one resource that has helped me so much is Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover (https://amzn.to/2LTwFaX). I’ve learned that it is never too late to change bad habits. It does not matter how young or old you are, it is NOT too early or too late to have financial freedom.
We have an opportunity to be debt-free in our future, but not without sacrifice.
Right now, I am renting my home on Airbnb, selling my clothes on Poshmark, teaching piano lessons, and sharing one car with my husband. I have my Master’s Degree, but that does not eliminate me from making sacrifices that are, at times, humbling and inconvenient. I will do whatever it takes to get back on track. If I desire my future to look different than my present situation, then it is imperative that I change my lifestyle and money habits.
Below is a link to Dave Ramsey’s book, if you desire to be debt free I encourage you to purchase this resource because it gives you the tools to make it happen. It is not just a book to inspire you—Dave gives his readers a step-by-step guide to achieving financial peace. There are many things he has written that has convicted and challenged me. Right now I am in an uncomfortable place, but I know I’m obeying God’s word by aspiring to not be a servant to the lender.
I want to you be free from debt—let’s encourage one another on this journey! Please share ways you are working toward having financial freedom in your life. I’m open ears.
If you’re interested reading more about my financial journey, check out this blog post about anxiety, https://angelaoverton.com/2019/06/29/be-still-anxious-heart/
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