Hey, friends!! This is a post I wrote about two years ago that has some information that was super motivating and helpful to Rick and I as we began our “getting out of debt” journey. Since this post continues to inspire our growing readership, I thought I’d run this again. Hope you enjoy it!
Happy Monday, all! I’m feeling led today to share with you some tidbits from the financial teaching that motivated us to turn our financial life around. As I’ve mentioned before, we’d been terrible at managing our finances for most of our marriage. We knew it, but just couldn’t seem to find the willpower to do anything about it.
Then I came across a teaching by a Christian finance teacher by the name of Paul Milligan. I listened to Part 1 and Part 2 of his personal and business finance class, and something about what he taught and how he taught it just opened our eyes to:
a. how big the mess we were in was
b. the fact that we could indeed get out of it if we worked the plan
I first watched the online video teaching in December of 2011, and by kinda sorta following the plan, we reduced out debt total by $6k in 2012. I watched it again in the fall of this year, though, knowing that we weren’t putting in the effort we should be at this, and that’s when the light bulb really went off and we made a whole-hearted commitment to do this, starting January 1st of this year. It’s a long video session (each link above is about 2 hours), so I thought I’d share with you all some of the notes I took while watching; some of the wise sayings that really stick with me as we work the plan. The bold stuff is Paul Milligan’s, and my notes follow. Whether or not you are a follower of Christ, I think you’ll find Paul’s stuff encouraging and entertaining.
12 Commandments of Prosperity
1. We’ll always abuse what we don’t understand the purpose of. One of the purposes of money is to love and serve and bless others. I love this statement. It gives me a whole new reason for not spending and getting out of debt. There are so many out there who are less fortunate than we are, and who could really use our help.
2. Our circumstance or situation will never determine our success or failure, but our attitude toward it will. ‘nough said.
3. The smallest amount of extra effort will separate the good from the best. Every dime you don’t spend is a dime put toward debt, and all those dimes really do add up.
4. The greatest gap in the world is between what we know and what we do. This was SO us. We knew what to do, we never did it.
5. The key to prosperity is focus and obedience. If you want to reach financial freedom, you have to be focused, and you have to obey your plan.
6. It is a waste of time to do work that doesn’t serve your purpose. Be careful with your time. Figure out what your purpose is in life, and do things/work that promote it. Grayson over at Debt Round Up is great at this. He has a highly successful blog, but he wants to help more people, so he’s changing things up, even though they’re working well for him. John at Frugal Rules is doing the same thing, even though his blog is highly successful as well. Both of these guys have determined their purpose and are working daily to serve it.
7. Challenges come to tell you you’re going to fail, but with challenge comes the opportunity to grow. The Enemy uses challenges to destroy. God uses challenges to overcome.
8. Most of us quit too soon because quitting seems easier or makes more sense. It’s easier to quit. Really, it is. But you deserve better.
9. Commit to your plan. Commitment is your default no matter what happens. Without commitment, don’t bother.
10. Find your why. Those who know why will always outdo those who know how. See our list of whys here. It’s really helped us to stay motivated during the tough times.
11. Stop being a victim, and find someone to be accountable to for your spending. This is why we started our blog. We wanted to help others, and we wanted accountability.
12. Your grattitude will determine your attitude and your attitude will determind your altitude. If you want success where your money is concerned, be grateful for what you have now.
Recommended Reading: Financial Stewardship: Experience the Freedom of Turning Your Finances Over to God
7 STEPS TO ELIMINATING DEBT
1. Commit to creating no more debt. This is crucial. If you aren’t totally “done” with creating debt, your plan won’t work.
2. Formulate your plan. You have to have a plan. You can use other people’s tips/methods, but your life must have your own plan. Pauline over at Reach Financial Independence explains this wonderfully here.
3. Start now. No, not tomorrow, or next month. Start now.
4. Accept personal responsibility for your debt. If your debt continues to be someone else’s fault, you’re not ready.
5. Focus on the details of your plan. This is what will get you through. Study your plan and re-read it for motivation.
6. Obey the disciplines of your plan. Focus without obedience is pointless.
7. Persevere in the execution of your plan. This is called stick-with-itness. You must decide that you won’t give up, no matter how difficult it is.
I hope this list motivated you and encouraged you like it did us. You really can get out of debt and achieve financial freedom, no matter what your situation is now. Let’s do this!