Tuesday, April 13, 2010
REAL STORIES FROM REAL PEOPLE
Written by Kristie Roach
My life changing money turn around started a little over two years ago. My life was the typical cliché, new house, new cars, vacations, a new camper, and spending money with no end in sight. (1 Timothy 6:10 for the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.)
My husband started working at a family member’s construction company for a little more than minimum wage and quickly worked his way up to making close to $5,000 a month. First we purchased my car a Denali with all the bells and whistles, then my husband’s brand new truck with even more amenities than my car. We did not stop there; we had the cars and a new camper, but wanted a house. We lived in a small mobile home, and it certainly did not fit our new lifestyle. We moved into a large, beautiful lake house in a gated community with a waterfall at the entrance. We were making deals for spec homes and investments. During the time that we were acquiring everything that we thought was important to us we were neglecting God, and not going to church. Instead our weekends were spent shopping, camping, and staying out on the lake all day Saturday and Sunday. We were getting further and further away from God and His word. What is sadder than that is we were keeping our children from God through our lifestyle.
Everything seemed to be going wonderful when the economy dropped in what seemed like a day, and the housing market went belly up. My husband came in one day and said that he no longer had a job, that we had to move back to our old house, and that we would have to give up both cars. We probably could have hung in there for a while with struggling, but the money we had invested was stolen from us to the tune of around 100K. I cried and was angry. I did not understand why it was happening to us. We were decent people; we helped others in need. After a few days of a self-pity party, I started to turn to God for the first time in a very long time. I had been mad at God for so long over my childhood. I prayed and one day said “God, I understand why…I do, just please help me through this”. I did understand why, I understood that we were living outside of God’s word, and spending His money the way we wanted to. He blessed us with so much, and yet we turned from Him to a lifestyle that meant nothing and went nowhere. I decided at that time that I was not going to stray away from God again. I was going to have full trust in Him, to have full faith in Him in everything I do, and in every situation.
My husband lost his job on Thursday and got a call for an interview on Saturday went in and got the job that day! Dear friends, that is God!!! We did move back home and were able to get out from under the house and truck. The only car that was returned was my Denali. I decided to try the Dave Ramsey program, but did not have the $25 to buy the book. I went to the local library and got on a waiting list. Three weeks later the library had a copy in for me and I read it front to back, and back to front. I approached my husband with Dave’s concept, and of course he was still licking his wounds and scoured at the thought of us being anything but in the negative for years to come. I never gave up on him though. He calls it nagging…I call it consistent reminding, but I kept telling him all about the book, and how it could be us. He kept saying that we could not even make minimum payments much less save money and get out of debt. We even through around the idea of filing the horrible “B” word. I can’t tell explain how we did it, how we started to dig out of some of our debt. I can only tell you friend that it was God! My husband gave in, and started working on paying off a small credit card debt. Before we knew it that card was paid and we had freed money up to pay on another, then another, and so on. To add to this I started researching using coupons, and surfing for websites that would guide me to get the most out of coupons. I did find hip2save.com. I get all kinds of free stuff, and learned how to be a savvy shopper and walk out of the store with a cart full of groceries for pennies. I search for great deals and cheap or free activities or trips for our family.
Since then we are no where near out of the woods or even close to being debt free, but we are still working hard on it each day and relying on God. We are now in church full time, tithing faithfully (something we had never done before), watching every penny we spend, and teaching our children about God and the proper way to handle God’s money. I truly believe that we received a blessing from God, an awaking, not a hardship. He has provided everything that we ever need and could want without the fancy cars and house. He has changed our site if you will to see what is truly important. I now have a strong relationship with God, and so much has changed for the better.