Our Journey to Financial Freedom
The Lord has been dealing with me regarding our finances. When it comes to money, I want nothing more but to do things God’s way. There are many areas where we know we’re doing things right, but other areas, not so much. Today I want to share with you my journey to financial freedom, in hopes that it will help you too.
There are three areas where I feel that the Lord is very pleased with my husband and I:
We’ve always been very faithful with our tithes. To learn a little more of our story and to see how you can tithe when you’re barely making ends meet, click here.
The Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). I’m so glad that I married a man who enjoys giving just as much as I do. If you are not well off financially, there are many ways to give. For example, you can give your time and service to others. You can also give things from your own home that you don’t use anymore.
When I had my first real job, I put in the maximum amount that I could contribute to my 401k. I’ve been gone from that job for over ten years, but it continues to make money as an IRA. We also have several other IRAs and other investments.
It is the Lord’s desire that we invest what He’s blessed us with. There’s a story in the Bible called the Parable of the Talents. Three men were given different amounts of money from their master, while he went on a journey. Two of the men invested the money, while the other dug a hole and buried it. When their master returned, he was well pleased with the two who had invested, but called the other one wicked and lazy. You can read the entire Parable here.
“Financial freedom means that you get to make life decisions without being overly stressed about the financial impact because you are prepared. You control your finances instead of being controlled by them.” Dave Ramsey
Now for the things we need to work on to gain financial freedom!
I remember a time in my childhood where we stood in the welfare line, eager to get cheese, rice, and canned meat. I wore hand-me-downs from my brothers (yeah…brothers) and cousins. Eating out was a rarity. As a young, freshly married adult, I gave up a great paying job so I could stay home with my son. The first tens years or so of marriage were pretty rough. Many times I questioned God’s calling on my life to just stay home. I always felt the need to try to help out financially.
I think coming from these humble beginnings both strengthened me and caused issues in adulthood.
When people go through hardships, they come out stronger. But because so much of my life has been one struggle after another, when we finally started having excess money, the desire to spend it was highly magnified! I often feel like I deserve all the stuff that I buy, because of all the times in my life that I haven’t been able to buy what I wanted.
I do try to be frugal by shopping at yard sales, using coupons, and seeking out great deals though. Most of the stuff I buy is actually for our children. Why is it that we feel so much guilt over buying something that we actually need, yet we don’t think twice about buying treasures for our children?
God wants to bless us, but He doesn’t want us to become hoarders, or to put too much emphasis on the “stuff” in our lives.
Here’s a verse that really keeps me in check. Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
So, if you’re like me, and you’ve been spending too much on unnecessary things, pray and ask God to reveal to you where your treasure is. Is it really in the stuff that you buy? Or is it in heavenly treasures? If you find that it is in material things, ask Him to renew your mind and your heart and to help you focus more on heavenly treasures. Ask Him to help you to avoid the temptations and to show you things you can do instead of spending money on stuff. I bet He’ll show you a way to be a blessing to others!
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Take the first step towards financial freedom!” quote=”One of the first steps you can take towards financial freedom, is getting rid of some of the clutter that’s just taking up space.”]
If you can find things that are worth selling, put those profits in the bank!
This goes right along with spending. When you spend more than you make, you get debt!
We don’t have a lot of debt outside of our mortgage, but even the smallest amount just makes you feel bad and makes life more of a struggle. There have been a few times when we were completely debt free other than our home, and I can tell you that it’s the greatest feeling ever. We’re working on getting back to that point.
You know what stinks about debt, and it’s so true?
Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
When you borrow money, whether it’s from a bank, a friend or family member, or it’s something you bought on a credit card, you become a slave! Even if it’s something you borrowed from a family member who doesn’t care how or when you pay them back, it changes the relationship. You’ll always be thinking about it in the back of your mind.
The B Word
My husband works strictly on commission. It is HARD to budget with this type of income. One paycheck can be so amazing, and the next is just enough for our tithe and half of a mortgage payment. I’m learning (the hard way) to set more aside when he gets a really good check. But that’s not enough really. We need to set up a budget and start telling our money where to go, instead of the money showing us where it went. If you don’t make a plan and start working it, you’ll always end up right back at square one. It’s like a viscous cycle that repeats itself over and over.
There are so many apps like “Every Dollar”, and websites like www.Mint.com, that make budgeting easier for you. There really shouldn’t be excuses. I love Dave Ramsey’s motto:
Friends, I am walking this financial freedom journey out with you. We’re all human and therefore we all make mistakes. I declare today and from this point forward, the beginning of something beautiful. Stop making excuses! There are so many opportunities out there for us all to receive financial freedom, but it often comes with a price. That price is our hard work!
If you are interested in my financial updates and the steps that I’m taking to become debt free again, be sure to subscribe to my blog! I’ll be transparent with you, in hopes that my journey will help set you free too!
Be blessed my friends!
I’m Amanda and a Christian homeschooling Mom to 4 awesome boys from ages 4 to 20.
I have an amazing, supportive husband, a passion for encouraging others in their faith, and helping new homeschoolers find their way through their journey.
Thank you for stopping by and getting to know me better.