November 14, 2011

Don't Keep Up with the Kardashians, Part II

     Recent news of Kim's Kardashians failed, brief marriage makes me wonder what she feels now about spending $10 million on the wedding. Often, when we spend lots of money on things that don't last, we are distraught, especially if there is a burden of debt associated with that spending.
     Some circumstances that cause debt, such as serious illness, loss of employment and under-funded ministry support, are unavoidable.
     However, before you acquire new debt by spending money that you don't have on something that you don't need, stop and count the cost. Start with a
proper view of God and continue with thinking biblically about finances. 
     Look before you leap. Seek God's guidance before going into debt for big-ticket items like houses, cars, electronics and college tuition.

     For example, many freshmen sign up for loan programs with the misunderstanding that a college education guarantees a high-paying job. Despair may result when there is no job after graduation to repay the loans. Before this happens to your child, prayerfully consider the wisest plan of action. Obtaining scholarships, attending a less expensive college and working before going to college can reduce, if not eliminate, the debt load.
     Avoid confusing wants and needs. Most of us would agree that certain basics, such as groceries, are needs. But, we must be careful to distinguish between wants and needs. Have you ever heard a child plead that he needs a piece of candy? Ministry women can be like that, too.
     Credit cards make the purchase of gourmet foods and designer outfits possible for someone who, based on her income, should be buying store brand groceries and thrift store clothing. If you are prone to overspending on necessities, ask a wise Christian to help you.

     Just say, "No!" You are tempted to overextend yourself financially for many reasons. You might be discouraged by your ministry, physically weary or feeling lonely and unloved. At that weak moment, you think that a new outfit or paint color will solve all your problems. In the end, you might feel worse because of the added debt.
      If you are married, talk to your husband. Pray together for solutions to the underlying causes. Ask God to show you the security of His love.

     Debt is a complex problem. Taking your thoughts captive to Christ about what you are spending and why will help you to be a better steward of what He has given you. In addition, once you stop adding to your debt load, your stress over finances is reduced. The resulting peace is priceless.


  1. True confession: I can relate to the "we gotta eat--right?" justification for over-spending. Until my husband gave me a specific grocery budget amount a few years ago, I would justify all kinds of luxuries (organic, imported, local, fresh, or marinated) under the mental excuse of food.

  2. I can also confess with Megan! Having a monthly budget amount has really helped me discern between needs and wants. But I'm thankful that I don't have to create the budget. I like just being told the amount, but that's just me.

  3. Excellent advice!! With a child in college and one headed there next year, we have decided on a "no debt" policy for them. It does mean sitting out a semester sometimes, but God has faithfully provided in His time. As far as groceries, we use a cash system and plan meals for two weeks at at time. Craigslist, ebay, thrift stores, clearance racks and coupon shopping have become a standard for our family (when we do spend), but we love the challenges of making it work for us. "Creativity is a product of necessity."

  4. I am so glad we are able to pay off our credit card bill in full each month. The new, ominous warning on the statement tells me that if I only make the minimum payment each month, it will take 25 years to pay off the balance. What a cloud to have over your head!

  5. Uptown Frog, it looks like you are on the right track. Keep up the good work!


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