Thoughts, observations, scripture and other articles relating to Christianity and the Christian life.

In The News: Bible-based programs for the debt-ridden surge in popularity

The original article can be found here: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/religion/fl-biblical-finance-20100301,0,6351335.story

Jenn and I have used the methodology found in this article (The Dave Ramsey program) for about a year now and it has been a huge help to our budget.  Are three key steps Dave reccomends that Jenn and I have instituted:

  1. Do not buy anything with credit! Credit is absolutely deadly for your financial future.  We have committed to not getting into debt unless dire circumstances arise.  In other words, all luxury purchases must be paid in full up front in cash.
  2. Make an effort to get your debt snowball rolling! The whole idea is top start getting your debts paid off as soon as possible.  In other words, work on paying off your $100 debt, then your $1,000 debt and then your $10,000 debt. (Unless one of those debts interest rates increase with time, then it’s a little different) This has worked well for us so far and we are making noticeable progress toward being debt free (Lord willing we will be completely debt free in about five years).
  3. Use the envelope system! The envelope system is genius in its simplicity.  At the beginning of each pay period (once a month for us) we schedule every single expense we can, and then put all of our cash (letterally stacks of bills) into an envelope for the entire month.  It is easy to keep track of how much you spend, and once you are out, you are out.  It encourages discipline and a realistic view of how easy it is to spend yourself into trouble.

While this movement for responsible money managing is WONDERFUL, I pray that no one is sucked into the prosperity gospel preached by many popular “preachers” today.  Anyone preaching whose message is essentially “Give your life to Jesus and he’ll make you wealthy and happy!” is NOT preaching the gospel.  Don’t be sucked into it.  Don’t make Jesus your “Holy ATM”.  He is the lord to serve and be worshiped, he is not to be worshiped in exchange for material gain.

What has your experience with the gospel, the bible, church or with Christ taught you about money management?   What things did you have to learn the hard way?

-Neil

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