Summary: What to do to avoid debt and to get yourself out of debt.
MONEY IN HD: TOOLS TO AVOID DEBT
So let me ask you a question, do you know if you have a problem with debt? Now that might seem like a pretty obvious question to some of you. I mean, some of you might be thinking, well, ya, I definitely have a problem with debt. I have creditors calling me all the time asking me for money that I don’t have and my credit card bills are so high I just don’t know how I will ever pay them. And then there might be some of you here that are thinking, I don’t have any debt, I don’t owe any credit card companies anything, so it is not a problem for me. But how do you really know? Well, let me share six indicators that you have a problem with debt.
INDICATOR #1: You are living on credit instead of paying cash.
INDICATOR #2: You are delaying payments or paying the minimum you owe.
INDICATOR #3: Your debt is more than 20 percent of your net monthly income.
INDICATOR #4: You are unable to tithe or save.
INDICATOR #5: You spend money on extravagant items.
INDICATOR #6: You are always looking for get rich quick ideas.
If any of those indicators describe you, then you are probably struggling with debt or at the very least are vulnerable to being in debt in the future. However, you do not have to live in debt any longer, and can avoid owing money all together by coming up with a plan. Proverbs 21:5 in your notes says, “If you plan and work hard, you will have plenty; if you get in a hurry, you will end up poor.” Would you underline the words, if you plan and work hard, you will have plenty? What you must understand is that if you want to be debt free, if you want to avoid debt, it will take a major commitment from you. It will require dedication, persistence and faithfulness to a plan. (talk about financial plan I gave them last week, encourage them to do them, to put a plan together to avoid debt) To avoid Debt I must…
DETERMINE TO BE DEBT FREE
Talk about last week, and share about us being in $25,000 debt, Jennifer praying for me to come around. And I came around because of some need in the church.
Acts 4:32 says, “The group of followers all felt the same way about everything. None of them claimed that their possessions were their own, and they shared everything they had with each other.”
That is what made me decide I no longer wanted to live in debt. So I am determined to be debt free. What about you, what will cause you to decide to no longer live in debt? You know, there are many reasons to get out of debt. It helps alleviate stress in your life, makes your marriage stronger, helps us to stop living paycheck to paycheck, gives us the ability to set money aside for rainy days, enables us to prepare for our future, and sets us up so we can honor God with our money. Of all the reasons to get out of debt, to honor God with our money is the greatest reason.
Proverbs 11:24-25 says, “Sometimes you can become rich by being generous or poor by being greedy. Generosity will be rewarded: Give a cup of water, and you will receive a cup of water in return.”
LEARN TO BE CONTENT
Understand something, it is not a sin to buy something on credit. It is just not in your best interest. Using credit cards is not a sin but we should examine our motives when we decide to make a purchase with our credit cards. Because your motivation to use credit might be a sin. You know, in the ten commandments, one of the things that God told us not to do is covet. The word covet is defined this way. To desire enviously what belongs to another. When you are out there shopping, or looking through store sale fliers, do you find yourself coveting what belongs to the store?
And you know, something I came to realize as I was preparing this message, when we buy things on sale, and put it on a credit card, we aren’t really getting it on sale. We didn’t get a good deal. Because the credit card company loans us the money for anywhere from 7% to 23% interest. And if you don’t pay that amount off each month, the longer it is on your credit card, the more you pay for it. The only way we truly get a good deal is by paying cash. (Share about buying furniture at Raymour and Flanigan, how we thought we were getting a good deal at 0% interest, but they just tack the interest on to the price of the furniture)