THRIFT'Y, a. Frugal; sparing; using economy and good management of property.(from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)
Thrifty is not something I normally am but the Lord has placed it on our heart to fix our finances. More specifically to get out of debt. In a society that promotes "buy now, pay later" and hands out credit cards to anyone who qualifies it should not surprise us that so many families are in debt. According to the Federal Reserve Statistics released in January 2008 Consumer Credit was at 2524.5 Billion dollars (click here for report). Now once we pay off all our debt it will not even put a dent in the report they release each month but it will make a huge difference in our lives. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender. Which in all honesty is exactly how I feel when I think about bills. It is like a dark cloud hanging over my head but slowly with the Lord's help it will begin to disappear.
I recently read Larry Burkett's book "Debt-Free Living". For anyone who has not read it and is in debt I highly recommend it. The book explains why we are in debt and what to do about it by using "real" people and circumstances to explain debt. This makes it not only an easy read but interesting to read as well. I do not know if there is an updated version, the one I read I found at a local used bookstore. If you are in debt or want to know more it is an engaging read and well worth the money. The next book on my reading list is Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover". I am really excited about this one since I have heard some rave reviews about him.
In the end it is by changing our attitude towards money and looking at what the Bible says about money that will allow us to become good stewards over all the Lord has blessed us with. For... “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” - Luke 16:13
My goal for this month is to become more thrifty and to start a budget. We have tried budgeting a few times before but they never lasted because we did not take into account the little things that pop up unexpectedly nor did we truly look at the amount of money we owe compared to our intake. This week I have pulled our credit report (you can get yours free once a year at annualcreditreport.com and am making a list of $$ owed. Once that is complete I will have a better understanding of where we are financially and how long it will take to be out of debt. Out of debt - means owing NO money at all to anyone.
Next Thursday I will let you know how it is going and whether I have been able to stick to being thrifty this past week :-)