As with just about every person living in the US today, Jenny and I have some serious debt problems. I had them before I got married for that matter.
Spending more than I make, student loan debt, credit cards, the whole deal.
We've spent the past year or two really working these things down. We paid off our car a year early, we've worked through some cards, consolidated others, and are down a significant percentage from what we were earlier.
We've really cut down on expenses, the going out to eat, frivolous (or in some cases, not so) purchases and have been really adamant about taking the "extra" money from our budget and applying it to paying down our debts.
This strategy comes into debate sometimes, because we're not exactly sure if we should. Due to this strategy of getting out of debt as fast as possible, we don't donate much money.
- To church
- To charity
- To causes
- To just about anything
But then some things challenge our decision. Like some Bible verses that you come across while doing a scheduled read-through of Proverbs:
If you can help your neighbor now, don't say, "Come back tomorrow, and then I'll help you."This is essentially what we're doing.
- We could be using our money to help others today.
- We could be tithing now.
- We could be sponsoring kids through Compassion International
- We could be donating livestock through World Vision
- We could be digging wells & combating AIDS through Blood Water Mission
We're saying that we need to take care of OUR problems now, and we'll deal with THEIR problems later.
Some other day.
A distant futuristic 'tomorrow.'
Some time that we haven't assigned, that when this 'tomorrow' arrives--will we recognize it?
Is this a responsible way of handling troubled finances? Of digging ourselves out of a mess that we put ourselves into?
Or in an attempt to put ourselves on 'steadier' financial footing, are we really being irresponsible and unfaithful with the amounts that we do have access to NOW. Today. Not tomorrow.
In the long run, would we be able to do more by what we're doing? Or is an alternate strategy better?
What would you do about this?