Sunday, January 03, 2010

Come Back Tomorrow, And Then I'll Help You

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
We've discussed it and have told ourselves that once we get out of debt (or more controlled debt at least) that we'll turn that around. That we'll give our money to church and to charity instead of to our creditors...when we stop owing them. It seems like a responsible thing to do--to us at least.

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."
-Proverbs 3:28
This is essentially what we're doing.
But we're not.

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?