We are finding that our plans don’t always work out the way we hope. Even in our best intentions to expedite paying off debt our goals can be intercepted causing us to take a different path. When I wrote my first blog post on “The Cost of Debt” we had shared that we would be selling Charlie’s car in effort to relieve ourselves from the remainder of his car payment. We also had purchased an older jeep in hopes that it would take his VW’s place giving him a car to get from work to home. We truly felt that this was the best direction to make a gazelle intense decision and take a chunk of debt away. But ironically, we were having a hard time selling the car. We had so many bites but no one that wanted to actually buy it. Along with this disappointment, one of the first times taking the jeep on a drive the clutch went out and had to be immediately towed to the shop. We began to realize that this might not be our best effort in paying off debt. Dave Ramsey always speaks on the importance of the four walls being taken care of before you conquer any debt. Here’s a great video explaining further what that means:
While our intentions were honorable to sell the car it was going to cause more stress than relief. We only have $3800 left on our car payment and believe we can conquer this amount quickly. We fixed the jeep and resold it losing only $27. We are still making head way with our debt snow ball but have been praying together and processing ways we can get out of debt faster. We have financially run into a couple of tough months. It’s been extremely cold in the south this year and our heat bills have been overwhelmingly high. If we weren’t paying out monthly on debt then these tough months wouldn’t be so hard. But, since we are, our finances have been tight. Along with over budgeted electric bills, both of our check engine lights in our cars came on in the same week. When it rains it pours! Our cars each needed over $1000 worth of repairs. To say the least, we were discouraged. We spent some time in prayer together asking God to help us trust in His provision. We were even contemplating for the first time in a while using a firestone card to get at least one vehicle working. Charlie works a lot of extra freelance and thankfully a couple checks came in the mail the same day and we received enough to have the van worked on. God is absolutely taking care of our family and we will trust and wait for the rest of the money to have Charlie’s car fixed.
Through our time of prayer as a family we have decided that the best way we can attack our debt is to lower our monthly housing rent. We live in one of the wealthiest small towns in TN and with that comes a highly desired location allowing cost of living to be high. Our current rental has wonderfully served our family’s needs. Our transition from Chattanooga to Franklin has been an amazing experience and this home has been a huge source of peace and joy. But with our rent being at the top of our housing budget we found that moving out of Franklin could save us quite a bit of money to put towards debt. This past weekend we found a wonderful town home 3 exits away and are now preparing to move in 3 months. We will be saving over $500 a month on rent alone and we are really excited for this next season of our lives as we continue to attack our goal of being debt free by the end of the year! We will be downsizing about 600 sq ft and will be selling quite a few things to help transition us into a smaller space.
We are consumed with the desire for financial freedom. It is so much more than just freeing up money and having more to spend. It effects every aspect of our family and what our future holds. It effects our ability to give and to serve others, and it shapes our children’s perspective as they watch us wrestle with what it means to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us.