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Managing Debt

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2020 2:00 am

Managing Debt

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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May 24, 2020 2:00 am

One way to avoid unnecessary debt in the first place is simply working with a budget. What little things eat away at your finances little by little? Living within your means is the first solution to debt management.


From the Salvation Army, you're listening to Wonderful Words of Life.

Welcome back to Wonderful Words of Life. I'm Bernie Dake, and my guest is Cheryl Gillum. She's no longer a guest. She's our host, and we're glad that you're here, Cheryl.

Thanks. It's good to be here. You know, we've been talking about the very real pandemic that's going on around the world, and there's been so many great stories of heroism or people doing very generous things. But I'm really excited about some of the benefits that have come out of this, meaning, for instance, there's a company called Zoom that's enabled parents and grandparents and great grandparents to be online and properly social distanced and see each other and just catch up. But I was talking to Cheryl and her husband, Tim, the other day, and there's something good that's come out of this for you guys, too.

Right. So we've done this for a long time now with our kids. We have a non-negotiable in our house where at night we pray together. And during this pandemic, you know, as I've been trying to listen for the Lord's voice, I actually felt Him leading us to expand that because we usually do it with just those who are in our house.

But you know, I have two adult children who are in Maryland. And so because of technology, we're able to connect with them every night. And we've expanded a little bit more than just a prayer time. We actually go around and we've assigned nights to everybody in regards to giving us an encouraging word that the Lord has showed them during the day.

And then we have a prayer time and we pray for ourselves, we pray for others. And it's just been an uplifting time. And again, you know, something that I probably or I might not have thought about prior to the pandemic, but just expanding that and allowing our whole family to have this time together in prayer has been just a blessing. I'm encouraged by that. And I want to say to our listeners that being intentional has been a very important part of, for me, dealing with the stress of and the anxiety of everything that's going on around me. And I just pray that that's that you're able to find something from the Lord each day.

You know, particularly if you're someone who has been able to work from home or shelter in place, there's no commute anymore. And that's time that you've got back to really then reinvest in yourself, dig into God's Word, dig into your relationships and be intentional in particular. Yeah. Well, we hope you've been enjoying this series and we hope that you've already taken something away from Mike Harris's advice that has helped bring some peace into your finances. Last week, we started talking about debt and primarily how to avoid it. However, you may be listening to this and thinking, well, I have debt now. So what now?

That's right. Again, no condemnation about any of these topics. God meets us where we are. So today, Mike and I discussed some of the best practices on how to relieve the burden of debt. And like we said last week, learning to live within our means is one of the best weapons against getting in over our heads.

But Cheryl, that can be a difficult thing to do at times. It really does, because sometimes our desires outweigh the wisdom that it takes to manage those resources that we've been given. And I don't know about you, but I've learned a lot of lessons throughout my life in regards to what not to do. And God's still teaching me.

Yeah. Well, for me, keeping it debt-related, I have been the assigned task person for grocery shopping. And the other day I went to the grocery store with a list for the people living in my home so we could continue to cook meals. And when I saw the sales and the two-fers, I mean, I immediately diverted from my list and went after the sales, which was probably not the smartest thing because, you know, that's being compulsive and I'm seeing something and I want it.

And I think I shouldn't do this, but I think particularly men who are visual people, they see a sale and they're drawn to it. You've got to spend that money. And it's money that you really could have saved. So again, just encouraging you to live within your means. Usually the main reason any of us live beyond our means is the comparison trap. Keeping up with the Joneses is a real challenge for a lot of us. It's hard not to compare our finances with others.

However, I read a great article by Dave Ramsey recently, and his advice is to stop trying to live like the Joneses and instead live like no one else. It's really hard to do, though, isn't it? I mean, when we see commercials on TV about taking amazing vacations and then you hear of your friends that are, you know, just come off of a cruise or whatever. But I think what this time has done is really been beneficial in kind of being introspective. And it's it's forced us to kind of come back to reality because we don't have the means now. First of all, we can't go anywhere.

Right. But then second of all, do I really I don't really have the money to do that. And it might be best if I hold off and and again, use wisdom in how I plan my extracurricular activities. And the dangerous thing is all of us are now seeing commercials from very wise marketing companies like car dealerships who are offering you a brand new car with no payment for six months.

Well, that that sounds great. But what you're doing is putting yourself into debt for six months of really insecurity. You don't really know what tomorrow holds. So it'd be better to just kind of wait this out, pull your finances together and then jump into something when you're ready.

It's really retraining our thinking that newer is not better. Well, again, we hope you're enjoying this series. Make sure to follow us on social media as we'll be posting these articles and surveys. And we'd love to hear from you share some advice you've learned or share your prayer requests.

Email us at radio at or call 1-800-229-9965. We'll be right back. I hope you're thinking of him even now as a friend.

He is a child of God and someone who brings great, what I perceive as great wisdom from his own life experience. We're talking about finances, and last week we were really getting into the idea of debt being consuming. People get into debt from the fear of missing out or just consumerism.

They want to have the next best thing, the next greatest thing. Mike, when we've got that mountain of debt just sitting on top of us, how can we tackle it? What are some principles that we can use to begin chipping away at that debt? I think the first thing is we've got to change our habits.

Habit has created that. We can talk about debt consolidation. I'm not an expert in that area, but I'm very aware of what that is. And I'm not the biggest fan of it because what debt consolidation does is it doesn't necessarily lower the interest rate that you'll be paying.

It does elongate the period of time, though it does obviously bring down what the payments would be. So although I would say that's something to look at, I'd say that's almost a last resort. So you like the idea of debt elimination. Exactly. OK.

Exactly. And that's where, and I mentioned this in a previous episode, where working on a budget comes in. Reinvent your budget based on what you need to get that debt paid off. And I know that seems almost insurmountable, but you didn't get here in a day. Therefore, you won't get out of it in a day. The key is reevaluating, changing your habits, and starting right now. Don't wait for this. Start six months from now because you've got events happening.

Start right now. It's going to be tight. It's going to be tough. But if you put it into God's hands and honor him, and here's a big thing, and pay him his tenth first. That's where faith is. Faith in tithing is paying it first. Paying it last is not faith at all because if you pay it last, it won't get paid. But if you do that and really work within that budget, you will find yourself making headway. It'll take time.

It won't be fixed in a day. It's rather like me, Bernie. I'm carrying a few more pounds than I used to.

When I go on a diet, after three days of the diet, I start to wonder, why am I not seeing a difference? Well, you know, I didn't get this way overnight, Bernie. That's right. That's right.

So I think that's the big key is changing your habits and getting in there for the long haul. Yeah. One of the principles that my wife and I discovered early on is when you accumulate maybe multiple forms of debt, like in the United States, you know, you have Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Well, back in the day, not everybody took American Express.

The fees were greater. And so we were given a bank card that had a MasterCard symbol on it. And you could use it as a debit card so you could only spend the money that you had. But the credit card would allow you to make purchases that maybe you didn't have the money for right then. And over time, you would pay off those purchases. Well, then we got another credit card because we bought a car and that came with a credit card of some sort. And we discovered before we knew it, we had three different credit cards. One was a debit card, and we needed to pay these things down. And someone shared with us this idea that if you focus, you pay what you absolutely have to, of course, so you don't get into any more trouble. But then if you can begin to pay a little bit more on one, just focus on one and get it out of the way, then take that money that you were paying on the one when it's gone and apply it to the next one. It'll be a much quicker way to get that debt eliminated and start over, again, changing your habits as Mike's already mentioned. But you've got to arrest the idea that you need it now, you need it, you can't live without it.

The truth is you can. And when you begin living within your means, there's a freedom that exists. There's a joy then in the times that you do celebrate with other people or where you feel you can be generous and maybe buy a meal or do something kind towards someone else or even come alongside a ministry opportunity and surrender money that you might have otherwise spent frivolously on something else. I appreciate the idea, Mike, that for you, consolidation is different than elimination. And that's important for the listeners to understand because as you said, it really just elongates the payment. It does bring it down, but you're still paying over time, whereas if you can eliminate the debt, then you're really getting to the crux of, or perhaps a better foundation for you to then springboard into the new practice of your life, the new habits of your life.

If it were just eating, it would be eating well. But we're really talking about spending and getting ourselves in that trouble. If you are someone who needs wisdom or advice, I would tell you that there are so many resources out there. I'm especially interested in you looking for Christian resources. And we've mentioned last week, someone that I have found help from and in the form of Dave Ramsey. And I start right there. I totally agree. That's the first place I'd start.

Yeah. It's a great way to start there. It's unbelievable the age that we live in today, technologically, there's so many great opportunities for us to learn from each other, iron sharpening iron, if you will. Mike, I'm grateful for your ministry to us as the Wonderful Words of Life crowd. And I hope that you'll come back next week and learn even more about financial freedom from our friend, Mike Harris, God bless you. The Salvation Army's mission, doing the most good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit to offer your support. And we would love to hear from you. Email us at radio at

Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. When you contact us, we'll send you our gift for this series. It's totally free for listeners like you, one per household while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for Wonderful Words of Life.

Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army Worship Center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Wonderful Words of Life. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 12:03:12 / 2024-02-03 12:09:07 / 6

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