Testimonial submitted by reader, Michelle Thomas
My husband and I have been married for 12 ½ years. Unfortunately, we started out our marriage about $25,000 in debt. After our wedding, we immediately established a budget and started paying off debt. Within about 14 months, we were debt free and began to save for our home. Very early in our marriage, God spoke to my husband. He wanted us to commit never to go into debt again, for anything.
My husband is a public school teacher, and at this time I was working full-time for Christian Financial Concepts, founded by the late Larry Burkett. So, we had very average incomes.
Ways We Saved
So, we began to save to pay cash for our home. We owned a piece of land, and we began to make plans to build a home on it. Instead of continuing to rent an apartment, we decided to ask my grandparents if we could live in the upstairs of their home so we could save more money. We lived with them for a couple of years and were able to save tens of thousands of dollars toward our home.
We broke ground on our home in February 2000. We had decided to frame the entire house but finish the basement first and move into it while saving and finishing the remainder of the house. By doing it this way, the outside of the house would look complete, as we hoped not to annoy our neighbors with our lengthy building process.
We were able to move into the basement in August, 2001 (and we found out the day after we moved in that our first baby was on the way!).
We did a lot of the work on our home ourselves, with much, much help from friends and family members. God perfectly orchestrated all of the circumstances of our financial path. It took us about 3 ½ years to complete our home and move upstairs, and we’ve continued to save for upgrades and finishing touches since we moved in.
What We Gained
God has been so faithful and so good to us through this entire journey, and hopefully we’ve encouraged others along the way. We lead a financial Bible study in our church periodically, and I’ve done budget counseling through the years also.
We continually praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us, and we wonder what our family would have been like had we continued on the widely traveled road of debt on which we began our marriage.
Watch more about our story and how we built our home debt-free in the video below:
Michelle Thomas lives with her husband Trevor and four small children in Gainesville, GA. She graduated as valedictorian from North Georgia College with a degree in Sociology. Michelle homeschools her children, handles the bookkeeping for their church, works part-time from home for Crown Financial Ministries and loves saving her family money.
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