Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Seeking Finanical Freedom Part 7

If this is your first time checking in on Wednesdays, WELCOME! Each week we are talking about MONEY and how to handle it using the Bible as our blueprint. You will hear me discuss the book YOUR MONEY COUNTS by Howard Dayton. When I read this book it changed my whole mindset on how I viewed finances and really gave "us" a boost on our journey to DEBT FREE living! If you would like to check out this series from the beginning scroll down and on the left hand side of your screen you will see a Label titled "Seeking Financial Freedom" click on that and you can start with Part ONE and work your way through......Also feel free to let other people you know about this series and encourage them to join us each week as we talk more in depth about our journey!


This week we are talking about GETTING OUT OF DEBT PART 2-"D" Day!!

Well NOBODY gets out of debt by accident so having a game plan is essential! Not everyone will have the same plan, but having a plan of repayment written down on paper so that you can prioritize what to pay off first is KEY!!

If you are deeply in debt or behind on payments it is a good idea to send your creditors a copy of your repayment schedule. Deciding what debt to pay off first depends on two things....
The size of the debt and the interest rate your being charged.



PAY OFF SMALL DEBT FIRST: You will be encouraged as these small debts are eliminated and it will free up more money to go towards other debts. After you pay off the first debt then take the money you were applying there and pay ALL that towards the second debt. Keep up this same process until ALL debt is GONE!!!!

PAY OFF HIGHER INTEREST RATE DEBTS: After figuring out which debt is charging you the most interest and after you pay off the smaller debts focus on the higher interest rates debt and pay them off.

6. CONSIDER EARNING ADDITIONAL INCOME: Some families simply don't earn enough money to support their needs even if they spend their money wisely. First, decide in advance which debt to pay off with your added income. Second, earn additional income without harming your relationship with the Lord or your family.

7. ACCUMULATE NO NEW DEBT: Pay for everything with cash, check, or debt card. The book points out that credit cards are not sinful, but very dangerous!!! Stats show that people spend 1/3 more when they use their credit cards. Instead of having 9 credit cards, it's a good idea to have only ONE and then if you are not paying off the entire balance EVERY month then perform surgery...any good sharp pair of scissors should help surgery be a success.

8. BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE: Ohhhhh watch out cause this one is a biggy!!!! We live in a culture that is founded in discontent (my words not the book)....Credit cards are plentiful and the society says "Go ahead you deserve it!" Money management is not taught in any schools as a whole to my knowledge and then with the rising cost of college!!! College students are entering the work force with enormous amounts of debt they racked up on their credit cards during school and then college loans on top of that........Here are three facts the book points out.....

*The more TV you watch, the more money you spend.

*The more you look at catalogs and magazines, the more you spend.

*The more you shop, the more you spend.

I don't think the book is saying you can't do these things anymore or that they are wrong...I think the author is encouraging you to put a tight limit on TV, shopping, and magazine looking while you get your contentment issues under wraps and your debt under control....a temptation for one person might not be a temptation for another...you know what yours are....right????....if not figure them out and use them to your advantage and not to dig yourself deeper.

9. CONSIDER A RADICAL CHANGE IN YOUR LIFESTYLE: Some people have sold their houses and moved to smaller ones...some people have sold vechiles with high monthly payment and bought used cars for cash.....some drastically lower their monthly cost of living.Bold.... Are there any drastic changes you need to make in help catapult you into DEBT FREE LIVING????

10. DON'T GIVE UP: In the beginning their will be a million reason why you should delay or not start on this journey....don't give into that temptation!! Stand firm in your commitment to get out of DEBT!!! Even along the way in your journey you may get tired and discouraged, but don't give up!!!!

HOW DO YOU ESCAPE THE AUTO DEBT TRAP???

Automobile debt is one of the leading causes of consumer indebtedness. About 70 percent of all the autos in our nation are financed!!! The average person keeps his car about 3 to 4 years.....but the average car lasts 10 years (in my opinion I think they can last much longer than that if taken care of and maintained.) First decide to keep your car at least 6 years....Second pay off your auto loan....Third, then continue to pay your car payment into your savings account. Then with the cash you save, and with a trade-in you should be able to afford a nice low-mileage car without going into debt.

WHAT ABOUT THE HOME MORTGAGE?

(from the author:page 48) I would like to challenge you to seek the Lord's direction concerning your home mortgage if you own a home. Is it possible that He may want yo to pay off everything you owe, including your mortgage? Usually this is a long-term goal because of the size of the average mortgage. When Bev and I began to explore seriously what God wanted for us, we sensed we were to work on paying off everything, including the mortgage. Frankly, this was an unrealistic goal for us at the time, but we researched how we might accomplish this.

Check out your amortization schedule (the payment schedule for paying your house off...if you don't have one call you loan company and request one.) Take a look at the first 12 payment (the first year of the loan) add up the principal paid....add up the interest paid....add up the money you paid in payments......You will quickly see hardly any went to pay off the principle....which is what we are aiming to do!!!

One method to reduce your loan is to increase your monthly payment....for example (in the book) $75,000 loan @ 12% (I realize this % is high compared to what most of have today, but just use this as an example) payments would be $771.47....if you just increase those payment $128.70 each payment (then the payment would be $900.17) you could pay off that 30 year mortgage in 15 years!!! WOW!!!!! Paying off that loan in 15 years will save you $138,864 in interest for the lifetime of that loan.....AMAZING HUH?????!!!!!
When we first started on our journey of paying off the house we could only round up our payment to the next hundred dollars....which I think was an extra $40 or $60 a month...I can't remember exactly....Well that is not much but it was something extra eating away at the principle. Also when we got our tax check back each year we would try to put the majority of it on the house loan as well. Another thing you might not realize is that we all get an extra paycheck throughout the year.....Some of you are paid weekly...every two weeks...and someof us monthly.....this year July is the month you get paid extra.....We always pay an extra payment when that happens, because the whole payment will go on priniciple....Did you know that by simply doing this idea every year you will take 5 years off the lifetime of your loan????
Before prepaying a payment a paying off your loan early you'll want to check and make sure there is no penalty....usually there isn't one but check just in case!

Well that's all for now....there are a few more thing in this chapter that I would also like to pass on to you all, but I will have to try to do that either later today or later this week...I'm out of time for now!!
So did you get the homework done from last week??? Are you ready to start your journey????
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2 comments:

Salma said...

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Michelle said...

I'm liking this series the more I read. One thing that I found is that when we seek Him in this area, He can work things out in ways that we never could have imagined. It can be a real faith stretcher, but there are blessings if we are faithful to walk where He leads. :-)

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