Almost a year ago my husband and I decided to go without credit. It was a horrible time for it. We were just about to have our 4th baby, we had spent all our savings that winter on a new furnace part and a few other unexpected house repairs. We realized that we had no way to go and get baby furniture so we headed off to Ikea after a really long night of ‘false’ labor.
That day, we spent nearly $700 on credit.
On the way home, we talked about how ridiculous it was that we would do that ‘on a whim’. It was true, we needed that stuff that we got, but honestly, it wasn’t like this baby had jumped out and bit us. He had been coming for a long time. We just had failed to plan (frankly, I was in denial most of the pregnancy that it would actually lead to a baby… laboring all night kinda snapped me out of my delusion.). We had a long talk that ended in “Let’s sign all our credit cards over to a counseling company ” (I can feel all out Dave Ramsey people cringing now.)
Two weeks later we had all our paperwork together and we went and switched banks, got all our credit signed over to the credit counseling company and I took a pair of kitchen shears to our credit cards. It felt great. And a little crazy. Luke wasn’t even born yet. We had no idea what the next year would hold… but we took a little leap of faith and it paid off. We are now one year closer to never having consumer debt again. This next month is our last van payment… and once we pay off our vehicles our debt snowball will really start rolling. We should be out of debt in less than 14 months. And that’s without any extra checks or small windfalls going to the cause. Perhaps by Christmas?
Last week in church, our pastor was talking about how God will provide. Now I don’t talk about my spiritual life here at all, but this one hit me hard. The ideas that he presented got me thinking…. what made this last year so much easier to handle than the times we have tried to go credit free before? It wasn’t like we hadn't tried. It wasn’t like we made tons more money, or never had unexpected issues arise that wiped out our savings buffer… it was just that some how, some way, we were able to sneak on through.
Sometimes when we talk about God providing for our needs… well it doesn’t mean that he will provide a way for us to get the things we want. It may mean that we will be given the mental space to choose wisely. It may mean that we will be given the opportunity to go without and see what that looks like. Or to do things another way and make stone soup or party favors out of old sweaters. It may mean we will be given an opportunity to be creative - but also the moment in which to see it.
A friend once said “Financial Freedom does not come from having money, it comes from not needing it.” And over the last year I have found that more and more true. You can do so much with so little in this world of abundance. The more I think ‘Simple, Classic, Elegant, Thrifty” the farther my money goes and I don’t feel deprived at all! In fact, I feel down right abundant. The most simplistic things can be the most beautiful of all.