If you follow me on Instagram, or are friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen a picture from our celebratory dinner at The Melting Pot on Saturday night…
…and let me just tell you, eating bread dipped in hot cheese (on the left), and a whole slew of amazing things dipped in melty chocolate (on the right) is the BEST way to celebrate. Not that we can afford to do so every year, but I think special occasions can call for melty chocolate covered rice krispies.
Anyway…the reason for our celebration is that WE ARE…
…PREGNANT! (Just kidding…I mean, we are, but that’s not why we were celebrating. It just seemed like the kind of thing people would make a big deal over right?)
Ok, sorry…the real reason is that:
Now, I’m not writing this post to brag about the fact that we are debt free, or make it seem like we are amazing financial wizards (although…have you met my husband??) and therefore it’s due to our own awesomeness that we are debt free. Cause it’s not.
IT WAS ALL GOD.
(And a little bit of Dave Ramsey.) Yes, we decided to attack our debt like seagulls at the Jersey Shore. And yes, we were lucky that our only debt was Stuart’s school loans. But seriously guys, God provided part time jobs, babysitting for friends, and generous family who enabled us to put every extra cent towards our debt. Whether it was actual money given to us in unexpected ways, or living with our parents rent-free, or my amazing Dad paying for my entire college tuition, this was a group effort, not just our own.
We also aren’t naive to the fact that we’ll probably be in debt again at some point in our lives. We are hoping to replace Stuart’s car next year, and eventually buy a house. But for us, debt has become something we want to work as hard as we can to live without, and only enter into when absolutely necessary (like buying a house).
Our plan going forward is to save all the money (plus more) that we’ve been putting towards our debt, pay for a car in as much cash as we can, and save up for big purchases in the future so as not to enter into unnecessary debt. Other than my handsome husband’s money savvyness, (yes, I made up that word) we read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover together, and implemented a lot of his practices. We believe God has called us to be stewards of the money He has provided, and we want to work as hard as we can to glorify Him with how we manage our money.
I don’t know about you, but I can definitely struggle with materialism. It’s hard to not want nice things! But over the past few years, I’ve learned that “stuff” isn’t as important as our culture can make it. I’m not saying it’s wrong to have nice things, but when we’re putting our worth and priorities on having the best and newest thing and spending money where it’s not needed, that’s when it becomes wrong. I will probably continue to struggle with materialism sometimes, especially adding a babe to our family…there are some REALLY cute baby items out there, friends!! But I hope to remember how I feel in this moment: not owing anyone money, feeling good about where our money is going, and being content with what we have and what God has provided for us.
If there is any lesson I’ve learned through this process, it’s that God will ALWAYS provide for my needs, even needs I don’t know I have. He may provide them in ways different from which I would choose, but He will always provide for me. He may not provide for every want and wish, but He’s got my needs taken care of. (Why do I EVER worry about ANYTHING!??!)
“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for God has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.'”