Saturday, November 20, 2010

Forgive Us Our Debts!

Matthew 6:12
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.



I don't know why, but I feel compelled to talk to you today about our debt. Maybe it's just another "truth" that God wants me to share.



I've shared that we're in debt, I've shared that our financial situation is not good right now, but for some reason, God wants me to take this deeper. Maybe this is to remind me things aren't as bad as we think, maybe this is to remind you things are not as bad for you as you might think. Maybe, someone will read this, and have an idea where we can make changes, or do something different, maybe you will see where you can make changes...who knows. This blog is for Him, this post if for Him, and I just pray that He is glorified in some way by it.



We are in debt! Yes, I've said it before, I may even have given specifics. But here is a list of our current financial situation, for all to see. (Seriously, who in their right mind shares financial information with everyone on the Internet).

This is long, but there is a point to it all, I promise! ;)

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DEBT: We are approximately $21,000 in debt. This does not include a car debt, mortgage, nothing of value. This is from a young couple getting married and falling into the trap that they needed it all, they deserved it all and they didn't have to wait for it. Followed by the trap that they spent more than they could afford, and then had to use their credit card to buy groceries, and pay for gas because all their "extra" income was going towards paying the debt.

This is a trap we are still in. There is no extra, we live paycheck to paycheck (which currently there isn't one because hubby is laid off for 5 months). I'm so ashamed to have gotten into this mess in the first place. To have "wanted" for so much, when there are so many who do not even have enough for their basic needs.


Our current monthly debt payment is between $550 and $700 depending on how much we owe on the credit card. This is paying for a line of credit, and a credit card.

We recently sold our car and paid that debt off, so our debt had come down $250 a month, whoo! Unfortunately the downside is we had to purchase a much older less reliable vehicle, which just broke down the other week and cost us $500 to fix (and it's still not running very well). I'm still grateful for that debt to be forgiven.

BILLS: We currently pay for....

MONTHLY

Hydro 140 (we have a wood stove for heat, and have been blessed with wood as gifts)

Garbage 20

Car insurance 67 (Praise God for our cheap van that doesn't cost much to insure!)

Internet 60 (This covers our Phone and Internet service)

Phone ...See above..

Bank Fee 12 (I've tried other options, this is the cheapest we can do right now)

Recycling 17 (Now, I know I could cut this out to save money, but I think recycling is very important, and something God has dealt with me on many times (God's an environmentalist!) The time and energy and storage space and cost of gas to take our recycling in just doesn't compare to having it picked up for us.

Rent 850 God blessed us with a beautiful home. I prayed and prayed for months for God to send us the right home for us, but mostly for my oldest daughter. I prayed for the place that she could have childhood memories, and become the person He wanted her to be. Prices at the time for a place like ours were about $1400 a month. I found an add with no price, chuckled to myself at the absurdity of the thought we might be able to afford it and called the woman. I told God I knew that we couldn't afford a penny more than $850 a month.....The woman on the phone told me they were renting it to the right people for $850! I nearly passed out. After a long process and competition with many others wanting the place, we got were able to rent our 5 bedroom, 3 acre paradise, from a couple we found out were Christians who were praying on the other side for the right people to fill their home. Praise God for His blessings and miracles!



TV: We don't have cable

Medical: We are officially broke enough not to have our medical paid for, YAY! lol

Car Debt: Sold our car for an older cheaper one so we would have no debt there.

(A $400 savings right there!)



So for a month we currently owe:

BILLS: 1166 including rent

DEBT: 700 Is about what we usually pay (but hoping this goes down to the $500 range soon)


INCOME:
A normal working month would earn us about $2000, and child tax was normally about $600

Previous monthly income:
$2600


Right now my husband doesn't have work. We had one short job for him, which will hopefully bring in about $400 in time for our rent payment at the end of the month. Our child tax has gone up to $800 (see kids don't just cost money). We are waiting to see if my husbands EI claim goes through (not something we want to do, but we do what we have to until hubby can find more work) if it does I'm hoping that will be about $1600 month eventually.

So hopefully soon, our new monthly income will be:

$2400 not a far cry from what we were making before anyway!




SUMMARY:
$2400 income (eventually)

$1866 bills and debt

That (if our claim goes through) will leave

$534 For groceries and gas...gas is usually about $200 a month. So about $334 a month leftover for groceries, car maintenance and repair, misc, clothing, prescriptions, pet care (we have 1 dog 1 cat and 12 chickens) for a family of 5. $334 seems like a lot to me, but I know we could go through that grocery wise in 1 or 2 weeks. I don't know how I will stretch that properly....and I don't know what to do until we get to that point.

As it stands right now I have $50 for gas, groceries and everything else, until something else comes in.

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I want to be forgiven our debts. To be forgiven our debts, would mean and extra $700 a month for my family. But we put ourselves in this situation, and we must work to get out of it. Shouldn't we?

I've been wondering lately (and this is why I wrote this post) are we allowing ourselves to be forgiven this debt? Are we holding it over our own heads as a punishment? God has already forgiven us.

Are we not able to get out of it, is it not being forgiven, because we have not forgiven our debtors? I thought about this. No one owes us anything, we've never had the money to lend to anyone, and I'm sure if we did, we would not hold it over them.

What about things other than money? Is there anyone that you think owes you something? Anyone you feel should be doing something for you? Do you hold an account of what you do for others in comparison to what they do for you? Do you think God owes you, do you think your children owe you, do you think your husband owes you?

I think as women this one comes up often for us. Are you forgiving your debtors? Are you forgiving and continuing to do for others even if you think it's your turn to have something done for you? We shouldn't think anyone owes us anything, but if we do get to that point, we should be willing to forgive that debt.


How about you? Are you willing to share your financial situation with me or others? Would love to see I'm not alone, or ways that you've been able to stretch your dollars.

If your family is struggling at this time also, please read this post: Today, I Pray For YOU!

This post is part of the Raising Homemakers Homemaking Linkup!

11 comments:

  1. My husband is in charge of finances so I don't we are not doing that great (he needs to works 3 jobs so you can tell)

    I went to university so their is 25.000 debt from that I also bought a house (for rental) before I was married, so right now because all the room are not rented we are in debt because of that! (we live in the country and the house is in the city)

    My husband open his own pizza shop, so starting a business makes you in debt, so you get the picture!

    we have 3 young one, 20 chicken (we sell eggs to pay for their keep) 2dogs and 2 cats, and I keep trying to find new way to live on less!!

    Renee

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  2. It's funny how creative you can get when the need strikes isn't it? I'm sure back in the old days they were much more imaginative than we are now, why, because they had to be. I think it's neat that having to do with less, makes you use your imagination that much more. Thanks for sharing Renee. That is the one reason I am so glad I didn't end up going to university after all.

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  3. Jessica thank you so much for posting this. We are in the same boat and I was so sure that we were the only ones! There is so much debt, and since the economy got so bad we have not ever had any extra to put toward paying it off. It's all we can do to keep our house and keep the power on, etc. I really appreciate this post. God bless you!

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  4. April, we are definetly not alone. I have come across so many women whose families are going through hard times right now. I think we're all just starting to step forward and talk about it. It's hard to see past this moment, but I really feel God has something truly wonderful planned for all those He's allowing to go through these trials right now. God Bless you too!

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  5. Jesus said He will forgive our debts and yet we don't forgive men their debts..it's like the parable Christ spoke about the man debtor who could not pay his debt to his debtor God saw fit to it that his debt was paid but when someone came to the debtor to clear his debt the debtor said no...he forgot how in debt he was...

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  6. Our situation is not the same as yours, but it's very similar...we were barely keeping afloat with our debts, had a tiny grocery budget, etc...and then my husband got laid off. We are now getting some unemployment benefits (praise God) and he is doing a little substitute teaching, but our income is still around half of what it was. Somehow that was the kick in the pants we needed to consolidate our debt, so rather than 5 separate $100+ payments, we now make one payment a month, and it's smaller because the interest rate is much lower.

    We have one car for our family of 5, we are very modest with our clothing and food purchases, we don't have TV or gym memberships. In other words, we have been working for years to get out of debt, and cutting out all kinds of unnecessary expenses so that we could put extra money toward that debt, but it still wasn't enough.

    We do believe in paying our debts--we incurred them through naivety or stupidity, but we did incur them, and I think it is only just that we repay what we promised to pay. On the other hand, there is some mercy in getting a consolidation, a lower rate...we're still paying back the principle, but being saved on some of the fees and interest. That was the middle ground that worked for us. Now we spend about $400/m on debt, rather than $7-800 like we used to.

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  7. Thanks for your courage to post this. My husband and I are very similar situation. We made very selfish unwise decisions when we began our marriage, but praise God we are on our way out of debt. Even with my husband's salary cut in half due to the economy God has shown us how to prioritize our lives. We have paid off 2 out of 4 credit cards, half my student loan. I can't even begin to list all the ways that God has helped us repay our debt once we were truly repentant for our old ways. In what should be a terrible economy, we have been able to renegotiate our credit cards and significantly reduce the interest rates and fees. Keep going!! We're on this path together, God will take us to the other side and financial freedom.

    Through it all we have been able to continue our tithe, and just recently have been able to increase our giving to missions. God loves a cheerful giver. I can' tell you how excited we were that financially we are now reaching a place where we can give as the Holy Spirit directs us and not how our creditors demand.

    I keep reminding myself what Dave Ramsey says "Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else!"

    Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/57265_the-best-dave-ramsey-quotes#ixzz16EwO0GB5

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  8. I got myself into debt some through silly things, others my education which I wish I went a cheaper route. I hate to burden my DH with all of this that I got before we were married so I work part-time to pay for it. It is taking forever and I get so discouraged seeing how long it is taking and also thinking of the other things I could be spending this money on. Your post really brings me hope and inspiration. You and your family will be in my prayers. Thank you so much for this post.

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  9. We paid off $41,099.67 in 18 months of very hard work. My laptop battery is about to die, so I'm giving the short version. Please forgive the brevity. My husband worked a lot of overtime; I learned to plan all expenses and the menu much more carefully. We now volunteer as facilitators with Financial Peace University as a ministry to our church and community.

    Right now your biggest concern is work, not your bills or your financial reputation. You have a family to take care of, so your priorities are rent, food, utilities, transportation and health/life insurance. Put the credit entities on hold if they don't fit after those expenses. They will be unhappy, and your credit score will suffer, but you will be in better shape to address them at a later date if you are well fed and have a place to sleep!

    Take courage. You can do this. May God provide work for you soon - any kind will do while looking for the better stuff. Dave Ramsey has a radio show archived for free on his Web site (daveramsey.com). Every Friday, people call in to tell how they became debt free. The rest of the days are spent with him giving advice to people in situations like yours. He uses general Biblical principles.

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  10. We are also in debt...very large numbers and for the very same reasons you stated above. I am currently reading one of Dave Ramseys books and he is such a great help. My goal is to be debt free very soon. I highly recommend any and all of his material. God has blessed this man greatly with such wisdom concerning this very thing.

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  11. Okay okay, I give, I'm checking into the whole "Dave Ramsey" thing. Too many people rave about his advice not to take a look. Thanks for the advice ladies.

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