I sometimes tend to dislike starting plans or events because I know if I had started a long time ago I would have been done by now and for this circumstance saved as well. But to be honest, I never became serious about my finances because I didn’t know where to start. But you have to start somewhere sometime. For Ben and I, that was attending a realign financial class at our church in 2017. For me, I missed a lot of classes because I was sick due to being pregnant with our first son.
But it sparked something in me and I noticed there were two things I had felt. I realized that I had some ill feelings about money and debt. I was being prideful because I didn’t feel it was necessary to be attending this class. I liked the way we were and really didn’t want to look at the future of our finances. We had a credit card and we paid it off every month so what’s the big deal?
The second thing I noticed was that I had some financial hurt that was rooted when I was a young girl. My family helped in what they thought best, yet there was a lot lacking in my heart about finances. It was also hard to watch my parents go through a divorce and fight about money.
I was taught to always save and work hard but I didn’t have a solid foundation on how to manage what was coming in. In addition, I would ask for help when I would be in a bad spot and people made promise to help me but never followed through or I would ask for help yet I was given a no with many explanations as to why.
So to fill a void I would buy clothing, a car I could not afford and I did not want to pay my Dad rent due to some ill feeling towards family issues. Not saying that was the right thing to do because it isn’t. A lot of these bad habits were brought into my marriage with Ben.
When Ben and I decided to become serious about our finances, I decided I would give it a try because MAYBE there would be something I could learn. Ben ended up attending way more classes than I could but it planted a seed to pursue a financial journey that I am now so grateful for.
Ben wanted to save but I also wanted to spend money. He wanted to continue using the credit card for points and I wanted to get rid of them to be “cut off” from temptation to use them. So we didn’t get very far and ended up spending even more money than we should have. We never had a huge amount of debt at one time but we always were in debt. Whether it was 1,000 dollars or 10,000, we were chasing one debt to another debt. One of the mentality that we stuck by instead of saving was “we spent this much on our credit card so we can’t spend anymore this month till next month.” We never saved. We spent which lead us to constantly never having enough money. We would pay off our car and then buy another car, phone, cloths because we felt we needed it. We never bought the newest, latest item but we also did not have any self-control to wait and let God provide.
We realize where our faults were and this realization helped lay down the starting blocks to our journey to becoming debt free. Realizing our weaknesses make us stronger because we have the strength to admit our vulnerabilities. If you are single and starting at this point, I encourage you to bring in a trusted ally to help you realize where you’re at. Be patient and open to what that person says and thank them for their help.
We learned the hard way at times and did it ourselves instead of hoping and praying for all our needs or confiding in each other or other people. Not saying God will or does provide everything we want or think we need. But God is there with you in your process. I encourage you to invite Him in to every decision you make. God brought us through a journey to strengthen our relationship, finances, and our foundation of faith and trust in God and its amazing where we are now to where we were then.
I am not claiming I am an expert on this but here are 3 questions and statements to ask yourself this week:
- Where are you financially? (Be honest with yourself and whoever is helping you with your journey)
- What places do you need to heal from in order to move forward?
- What is the first starting block of your financial journey?
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
This isn’t to say that we should hate money but we as people, whether Christian or not, should not fear or let money be our God. God knows that you need it but he wants you to realize that He is in control of everything, even your finances.
Feel bold and vulnerable? Post the answers in the comments below and we will pray for you!
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