It was a well-intentioned, really, it was – in fact, it was right up there with losing weight, keeping a clean house, and eating healthier: write a blog post on a regular basis. Yeah, we see how well we did on that one… *sheepish look*
That New Year’s resolution got busted real quickly when life got crazy in January. Let me explain: Seth and I both had some significant negative changes in income in January, and life started to become more about survival than thriving and letting you, our blog audience, into the picture and being consistent writers.
And while we’re on the subject of personal failures, I must confess that we did pay off one of our credit cards…only to add two plane tickets back on to it and thus, increase our total debt. And tonight as we sat in our March “Garrepy, LLC” meeting, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to pay off those tickets in one lump sum, as we had originally planned. *disappointed sigh*
But here, my faithful readers, is the silver lining to those black clouds of debt: in our LLC meeting tonight, we began to both plan and dream. And hope began to build in my heart as we worked together to tackle these challenges. We structured our meeting as such:
1. Expenses and cash flow for the upcoming month.
2. Goals for 6-8 months down the line (trips, debt reduction, etc.)
3. Discuss longer-term goals for debt-reduction and dreams for the future.
4. Prayer and agreement together over the finances.
(Like I said in an earlier post, some of you may absolutely cringe at the idea of having a sort of “business meeting” within the context of a marriage. But let me tell you, it helps set expectations–which is key to avoiding discord and frustration–and helps to depersonalize discussion of the finances.)
Once we had our cash flow figured out for the month of April, and discussed upcoming trips and bills, we lined up our debts from easiest (and smallest) to most difficult, and drew them in a pyramid, with the top being the easiest to tackle, and the bottom being potentially the most difficult. Our goal is to “snowball” our debt, so that when one is paid off, the money that would have gone to that debt goes to pay off another, and so on. Our pyramid ended up looking something like this:
1. Immediate medical bills incurred.
2. Consumer debt.
3. Car loan.
4. Personal loans.
5. Private student loans.
6. Federal student loans.
Just talking about obliterating these debts and a potential timetable for it brought a sense of peace. And I am so excited to see what God’s going to do next in our family.
Well, as I wrap up this post, let me just say: I may not be great at consistently writing or keeping New Year’s resolutions, but I am glad I serve a God who is consistent in His promises to care for His children and their financial needs when they honor Him and honor each other. Now clear some space off the messy kitchen table, and pass me the ice cream!