First, greed is definitely the number one reason why people are in debt. Greed is one of the most powerful desires known to man. Proverbs 27:20 “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man never satisfied.” People also believe that having more things will make them happy. Advertising tells us we’ve got to have “it” to really live. The average high school student, by the time he graduates, has seen 350,000 commercials and they are all saying, “Buy my stuff”. Happiness can’t be bought. Eccl 5:10-11 “He who loves money shall never have enough. The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness! The more you have, the more you spend…” The goal of greed is to get you to look successful before you are successful. Greed will cause you to take all you can get without considering your family, friends, church, or any needs that they might have.
Second, the desire for new things gets people in debt. In school, kids always want to have the newest shoes and clothes first. Within six months the styles change and those shoes become outdated. We keep on updating our home PC’s, but at best it is used as a word processor and the kids are playing games on it. Remember that products are designed to interest you temporarily until the next fad comes through. Luke 12:15 “Be on your guard against greed in any shape or form. For a man’s real life in no way depends on the number of his possessions.”
The lack of discipline causes people to get in debt. Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Discipline is the key to success in all areas of life. When you feed your flesh more than you feed your spirit, your flesh has more control.
Then there is the idea that having more things will make me more secure. Every person has a vacuum in his or her spirit that God created and that only He can fill. When we attempt to fill that void with other things, we will never be satisfied. Total sufficiency and happiness comes from a relationship with God. Proverbs 11:28 “Those who depend on their wealth will fall like the leaves of autumn.” Proverbs 18:18 “The rich man thinks of his wealth as an impregnable defense, a high wall of safety. What a dreamer!”
People get into debt trying to impress others. Many times people spend money that they don’t have on things they don’t need to impress people who don’t matter. Many years ago the name tags on our clothes were on the inside. These days they are on the outside, making us walking advertisements. It is also very easy to get into debt. A friend told me about a woman that went through a shopping mall one day and after two hours she spent R65 000,00 all on credit. I call it plastic money. Impulsive buying can get you into debt. Everyone tells you, “60 easy payments”. There is no such thing as an easy payment. We need to plan our spending. This is called budgeting. When making a purchase, it is wise to count the cost (Luke 14:28), to see how it will affect your budget, and to plan for it ahead of time.
Get out of debt
If you really want to get out of debt make a decision to get out of debt. Draw up a short or medium term plan with a budget and get out of debt. There are two ways of drawing a budget if you are married. One is to put all the earnings together in one budget, make all the payments and share what is left. The other is to work on separate budgets, sharing responsibilities. This is what a budget should look like:
10% The Tithe, Leviticus 27:30
20% Short & Long Term Investments, Genesis 41:34
70% Living Costs
- Salary income R______________
- Renting income R______________
- Investments R______________
- Selling R______________
- Other income R______________
- TOTAL R______________
- Tithe 10% R______________
- Seed % R______________
- Short/Long term 20%R_____________
- Bond payments R______________
- Garden services R______________
- Maintenance 5% p/a R______________
- Utilities R______________
- Groceries R______________
- Dining R______________
DEBT PAYMENTS 0-10%
- Credit cards R______________
- Personal loans R______________
- Overdrafts R______________
CAR & TRANSPORT 10-15%
- Car payments R______________
- Petrol/Gas R______________
- Maintenance R______________
- Always pay cash! R____________
- Payments R______________
- Medical R______________
- Car R______________
- Dentist R______________
- Sports R______________
- Vacation R______________
- Gifts R______________
- Others R______________
It is Biblical and very important to have a budget. Jesus had a financial adviser. Paul worked with a budget as did Solomon and many more. Look at the following scriptures:
Luke 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?”
Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
Here are practical steps to get out of debt.
- Ask God to help you and start to live on Biblical principles.
- Develop the right attitude about money and possessions.
- Always spend less than you earn.
- Pay off all your credit cards and cut them up.
- Determine that you will never put furniture, clothes, or personal items on a charge card.
- Establish a debt-reduction plan immediately to reduce principle and interest payments.
- Set a goal to get out of debt.
- Determine how much you owe. Get a total of your bills, and don’t leave anything out. If your bond payment is R2,800.00 per month and you have 120 months outstanding multiply it by 120. Thus, you owe 120×2800=R336,000.00. Do the same with your car and other payments.
- Prioritize your bills from the smallest to the largest. This is very important. Take the smallest bill and focus your attention on paying it first.
- Once bill number one is paid in full, take the money that you were paying on bill number one and apply it to bill number two. Repeat this process until all your debts are paid.
- Now take that extra money and pay off your “BIG” debt such as your bond.
- A house bond of R200, 000.00 at 15% interest will give you a payment of R2, 561.00 per month. This equals R640, 00.00 after 25 years.
- R100, 00 extra per month will save you R192, 000.00.
- R200, 00 extra per month will save you R281, 000.00.
- R500, 00 extra per month will save you R417, 000, 00.
- Let your interest work for you, not against you.
- Always pay all debt you have created.
- Start a savings program.
- Start giving according to the Scriptures. Put God first and put yourself second.
Proverbs 22:7 “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” You don’t have to be in debt forever. God has given you the power to make money in order to provide for your family and achieve your goals. Get out of debt and stay out of debt and you will become financially free and prosperous.
God bless you!!!
Dr. Danie Reynecke
COO Judea Harvest