How I'm Getting Out of Debt by Giving Away Money
Being in debt is a scary, stressful, anxiety ridden, fun-smothering, embarrassing thing for someone to deal with. When I first started paying off my student loans, I literally thought there was no way to pay them off anytime within the next 3 decades. I had accepted them for who they were in my life and basically told them to just move in and get comfortable (they were like extended family now). I was paying just the minimum payment, because at the time, even that seemed like a huge financial burden to my very new and not-so-big salary.
When I met Tyler, I was IMPRESSED...I mean like so impressed with him, his maturity and his lack of student debt, that I felt unworthy. I didn't want Tyler to have to deal with all my student debt, yet had no idea how to get out of it quickly. And then Tyler introduced me to the third person in our relationship...Dave Ramsey.
We religiously listen to his podcast and then took his Financial Peace University (FPU) class together earlier this year. The FPU class taught me how to tell every dollar I earned where I wanted it to go, every dollar now has a name. I was amazed at how much money I was putting in the wrong places, and amazed at how much I could be putting towards my debt every month.
Because of Dave's teachings, according my calculations, I will be debt free by September of 2015. Something I never could have even imagined.
I have never been a consistent giver, here and there yes, a season or a year of giving, and then my finances start to overwhelm me yet again and I start pinching and hoarding every penny I have. Since insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, I felt a change of heart was in order. The old pattern of hoarding money when things seemed tight wasn't moving me any closer to debt freedom, it was actually just allowing me to spend more on things I didn't ever need.
It would make sense that every single dollar that I didn't need for food, shelter, utilities would go straight to my student loan debt...but that's not exactly how my current budget works.
My solution to get out of debt was to start giving away more of my money. I am intense about getting out of debt, but giving away 10% (a tithe) is still part of my current budget. People usually tell me this is crazy. If I'm so serious about debt freedom, why not stop giving money away and use it towards debt?!
....Because giving provides the perspective you need to rid your life of extras. It helps define your wants versus needs. Giving money to those who need it way more than me during my debt freedom journey has shown me how tight I can really stretch my budget, how I have way more things than I will ever need, and how God will fill your heart and life when you give to others. God intended for us to be givers, and our souls are incomplete until we can cheerfully give.
Letting go of money feels really good, it's the way God intended us to be. Money doesn't own or consume my thoughts anymore. I was far more stressed about money when I had no idea how I piddled it all away each month. Now that I spend and save my money more consciously, I'm able to give much more generously, cheerfully too.
If you want to get out of debt quickly, I'd suggest you start giving some of that money away.
I'm feeling called to help someone else get debt free too by GIVING AWAY one Financial Peace University Class! Follow the instructions below to be entered to win. Share this post so others can learn about giving, comment on why you personally want to be debt free, and pinky swear that when you're debt free you will give this life-changing gift away to someone else too. Drawing will take place on Friday (1/16/2015).