Let’s talk about money.
Because what would a fun monologue be without such a joyful, uplifting topic (especially right after Christmas).
It’s been mentioned a few times throughout FilingThePapers.com that student debt, payday loans, and selling all my DVD’s have been either cursed or used in order to determine not sucess, but survival.
A few days ago Darco and I were making mention of a moment that we remember, both very vividly, from the first year that we were married. We had overdrafted our bank account, we were floating debit transaction holds from a gas station to ensure that we had fuel to drive to work, and we had around $15.00 in cash. Knowing where we sat with our money; together we practically just gave up. We drove to McDonald’s purchased a $12.00 meal and sat on our bed, staring at the wall, not knowing how we were even going to afford to get to work the next day.
We were reckless.
We were desperate.
We were lost.
The thing that I love about being a Christian is accepting the gift, the grace, while still accepting the continued flawed nature of the human condition. I’m going to screw up, but God forgives. That’s the key. That means as a Christian, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes (and I still do…daily). Much of that over the years has stemmed in the form of finances. Whether it was running away from problems, refusing to make contact with bill collectors, or just ignoring my phone on a daily basis. I’ve really don’t poorly with the resources that God has provided me with. It’s a major, embarrassing flaw of mine.
I’m not sure what possessed me a few months ago, but I created a spreadsheet and started documenting all of the bills we face each month. Additionally, knowing what each one of us makes through salary per paycheck, I started plugging in our take-home amounts. Do you know what I learned that day?
I have no excuse before my God. Get this, in one month alone, we spend $700 on just eating out at restaurants. We don’t go to high dollar places to eat; this is like $700 worth of Sonic. I added our misses and compared them to our bills and I started to connect the dots. We had been provided exactly with what we’ve needed, but we squandered away our earnings.
It couldn’t stay like that. I downloaded an app for my phone that prioritized and budgeted multiple expenses groups throughout the month (groceries, fuel, school loan debt, eating out, etc…). I predicted our future earnings throughout three to six months into the future. I looked for opportunities to not pay down items, but pay off items instead (I.E. Instead of $200 per month for five months on a credit card, just dropping the $1000 and being done with it). The more I typed, the more I calculated, the more humbled I felt. We have those moments when we know we’ve dropped the ball with God; whether it be lust, jealousy, hatred, or gossip…just to name a few. However, sometimes we miss those moments where we haven’t been diligent servants with our master’s resources.
Darco and I sat down the next day I went line item by line item; even if the truth of where we were setting hurt, we still addressed it.
That’s been nearly two months ago. It’s only, solely praise that I’m able to say that within three months two credit cards and two payday loans are vanishing completely from the bills. There’s only one account from the student loans that is behind; scheduled to be brought current by May of ’16. By July of ’16 we’ll have several thousands of dollars inside a secure savings account. And one other thing…
With all the restrictions, limitations, and discipline that has been placed on us; it’s opened another door. Darco and I never had a honeymoon. It never took place solely because of finances.
For Christmas this year I was able to surprise my wife with our own honeymoon in July of next year.
Make no mistake though; I can easily suggest that this is one of the areas that I’ll probably forever work on.
Praise God, He’s in the department of second, third, fourth, and additional chances…