Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Debt Free

Dear Friends,

Hello! This is Catherine posting. :) Recently, my husband Matt's heart has been stirred to pay off all our debt (with the only exception of our mortgage). We're very close to reaching that goal... a little left on a car payment and a little left on a college loan. The closer we get to paying these off, the more freeing it feels.

But there will always be more purchases, right? How long can we sustain being out of debt before the next thing comes along? We're at a crucial point where we need to make a decision... are we going to commit to managing our finances in a way that leaves us debt free?

With the impending arrival of Baby #3, we have some new purchases on the horizon. Namely, we have to take the plunge and buy a minivan. Our first clue that we will soon outgrow our current vehicle was when we tried to put a third carseat in there. We couldn't close the doors! :) We have a practical need and an important decision to make. Will we take on more car payments or will we search for a used van that we can afford without financing it?

Last night, Matt expressed that he would really like to do that latter. That means going without the latest bells and whistles and perhaps having to wait patiently until the right van comes along.

I haven't done a lot of reading up on living debt free, but as I've thought about it a little, I came up with the following list of benefits:

- It will allow us to wait patiently for God's provision.
- We will be more prayerful about the dollars we spend.
- When God provides, the thanks will go to Him. (James 1:17)
- It will be so freeing! Debt is always burdensome whether you owe the bank, parents, or friends.
- It will allow us to give more generously and radically.
- It kills covetousness and wanting things that are beyond our means. If we can't afford it, we can't have it.
- Our focus will be placed on kingdom building and things eternal. How much better will it be to store up treasures in heaven? (Matthew 6:19-20)

Matt sent me this John Piper video over email last week and it really made us think about our long term financial goals. What do we want to treasure?

If you live debt free, what advantages/disadvantages have you experienced from living this way?

Image credit: Alan Cleaver

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