It all started with a seemingly simple Christmas gift from Nana 8 years ago. Little did we know what an impact this book (that I’m embarrassed to admit collected dust on a shelf for a year) would have on our future finances. The book I’m referring to is Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. When our oldest was in the womb, our church facilitated a Financial Peace University class. Around this time, a co-worker of Trey’s started getting pretty vocal and excited about the progress he was making paying down debt through this program. It was enough to prompt Trey to dust off the book and subsequently inspire me to check out the class. Mind blown; game over; this changed everything.
As compared to the “general public,” I wouldn’t say that we had a lot of debt. We had the usual car payments and student loans, but no credit card debt. In fact, we proudly charged every purchase and then paid off our credit card balances each month in the name of getting that cash back. Pack of gum? Charge it! Night on the town? Cha-Ching! Shopping spree? Gonna get me that cash back, baby! We (mostly: I) was addicted to 2 practices: accumulating “stuff” with as many payments as our income allowed and utilizing a credit card for every purchase in the name of receiving cash back. While I considered myself rather crafty and fiscally responsible in my financial decision-making, I started to see that there was a different, better way to handle money. Moreover, I started to learn that the bible has much to say on the subject of money and I wasn’t exactly doing things His way.
Trey and I have focused a great deal of time and sacrifice to more closely align our financial pulse with what the bible says about money. Outside of our mortgage, we are debt free and set a lofty goal to pay that in full by the time our oldest begins college. I plan to share some very practical things we did, ways we sacrificed, and resources we used to be able to make that statement. I also plan to share how we sow these truths into our children on their level. My hope and prayer is that it equips other families to start a money conversation that, in all reality, may change not only the financial trajectory of your future but also your family tree.