Testimony from Sarah
In December 2010, my husband (Brad) brought up the idea about us looking at our finances, creating a budget, and making some sacrifices so we could pay off our debt. I was a little skeptical as I felt we were already living tight. What more could we do?
He was teaching Financial Peace University classes and I just thought it was his emotional high from that. I wanted some proof that if I committed to this new way of life and gave up my cable it would actually mean something.
Even though we never argued much over money, the stress of debt touched our relationship in ways I never realized. I finally agreed to it, but still was not ready to make any of the major sacrifices Brad was proposing at the time.
The Moment of Realization
However, I had my moment of realization when I was building a humanitarian aid web site. I was entering in items you could purchase, and an option to feed a whole school in Rwanda for one week was $250.00.
Seriously, we could feed an entire school for a week and all it would cost us is one car payment! I felt almost sick to my stomach at our selfishness. We were surrounding ourselves with “things” that we told ourselves we needed or deserved, while that same amount could feed a school of 450 children.
I became mad that we had this debt and wanted to do something about it so that we could be free to give. I told Brad that I was ready to kick this debt… and fast.
Kicking Up Our Momentum
So we started with the budget and were determined to make this work. We had a garage sale and sold everything we could think of in that. We still weren’t satisfied — so we talked about Brad getting another job.
He became a referee and started reffing at our church. Then, an opportunity came along for me to give personal basketball lessons and regularly babysit two of my friend’s children. These were unexpected bonuses and we socked that money away towards debt.
Kissing Our Nice Car (and Car Payment!) Goodbye
At the start of this, Brad asked that I think about selling our car. I immediately rolled my eyes and said “no”. I explained to him that our car was a blessing. I mean, it has an automatic starter, we needed a reliable car, we only have two years left to pay it off… and on and on my excuses went.
We agreed that we would hold off on that. But what Brad didn’t know was I was seriously considering it and praying that God would give us direction. Finally, after a few months, I told myself and God that I was ready to sell the car if Brad brought it up.
Of course he did, and one week later, we kissed our Honda Accord goodbye and began that painful search for a new-to-us used car. After two weeks, we found a perfect car for our family, in our price range, that we purchased with cash.
It’s Official: We’re Debt-Free!
After 14 months of hard work, we paid off $23,000 and we’re celebrating a huge accomplishment: we’re officially debt-free! I actually feel more humbled than excited because I am so thankful for God’s goodness and grace this past year toward our family.
Sarah is a work-from-home wife and mom of a soon to be 3-year-old girl and another little girl due at the end of May. She works for www.hagcm.org a Christian non profit organization which focuses on radio overseas and humanitarian aid primarily in various African countries.