The Credit Card Trap & Hope

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There’s something to that verse that says:

“Owe no man anything, but to love him.”  ~ Romans 13:8

We’ve all been there…credit card debt.  They say the average American owes over $15,000 in consumer debt.  That is an astounding figure, isn’t it?  Ouch.  Double ouch.  I’m happy to say that, in this instance, we are well below average.  We almost have none.

It is entirely too easy and relatively painless to swipe that shiny plastic card when making purchases, isn’t it?  The illusion is that we can buy anything we want.  And, we can…up to our credit limit.  But, eventually that dreaded credit card statement arrives in the mailbox and it’s time to face the music.  If we are spending within our means, it’s no problem.  We merely pay the balance in full.  The problem lies in our inability to make that payment in full and the compounding interest on our outstanding balance.  And, then how do most of us deal with this issue?  We pay the minimum balance due.  But, that’s not all.  We continue to charge.  This is when our spending habits can really spiral out of control.

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Robbing Peter to pay Paul never works!  When we are taking money from future earnings (which is what credit card debt is), we are stealing from ourselves.  We are stealing our time and energy…and joy, my friend.  This is a self defeating habit that must end.

The advertisements for credit card debt seem to be so appealing with cash back bonuses, airline mileage points, hotel points, etc.  They neglect to equally advertise that you are more than paying for these purported advantages in credit card interest and any annual fees that may apply.  They lure you in, and, if you’re not careful, things can quickly get out of control.

I’m no financial advisor, but I’ve had some experience in this arena.  If you find yourself in credit card debt, I’d definitely recommend:

http://www.daveramsey.com/get-started?ictid=hpbanner.ny14&goal=debt

The first step is obviously to stop spending and assess your present situation.  Write down every debt you owe.  Map out a game plan on paper of how you’re going to eat this elephant.  One bite at a time.  It didn’t occur overnight, therefore, it will not magically disappear overnight.  But, you will begin to see progress as you put one foot in front of the other.

A change in the way you view money and debt is vital at this point.  Finances are a direct reflection of our mindset.  If you are weak in the area of finances or need motivation to get back on track, I suggest reading books on the topic from successful people.  Your local library is a great resource for this…and it’s free!  Bonus!

Why do you think the Bible says that we aren’t to owe anyone?  Is it just another verse to keep us from having fun??  A resounding no!  It’s to establish freedom in our lives!  God wants us to be free in every area.  Freedom.  No chains.  No bondage.  Anywhere.

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My husband and I often pray that we will continue to be wise stewards with the resources that God has entrusted us with.  I pray that for you as well, my friend.  When we are financially free and operating in wisdom, we are then able to further God’s kingdom on this earth and accomplish His will for our lives.

Prayer:  “Dear God, I thank you for the resources and talents you have given to me.  I pray that you will give me wisdom to use them.  Show me new ways I can be a better steward of all you’ve entrusted in my care.  Help me to walk in financial freedom every day, I pray.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Other Resources:

http://www.christiancreditcounselors.org/crown/

(This is the ministry that the late Larry Burkett merged with.)

http://www.finishrich.com/

(My husband has been devouring David Bach’s books, especially Start Late, Finish Rich and the one on real estate.  I can’t say I’ve personally read his books, but I thought it was worth throwing it out there as a possible resource worthy of investigating further.)

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2 Comments

Filed under Finances, frugal living

2 responses to “The Credit Card Trap & Hope

  1. sarahlearichards

    I get sucked in with the 30% off coupons from Kohl’s and the free shipping at Target (no minimum purchase). With the help of our tax refund, we have almost no credit card debt now, though what we’ve saved in coupons, we’d probably paid back in interest, and it would have been nice to have enjoyed that tax refund just a little more. It’s not very fun to have any extra money already spoken for.

    • I know exactly what you mean. It’s tough to make changes in our habits, but having a set goal in mind, say for next year’s return, may help rein in extra spending? I’ve found when I don’t have every dollar accounted for in our budget, it is much easier to spend it. If we have a goal in mind, that dollar already has a designation. Have a blessed day, my friend!

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