This is an article from blogger Adam Faughn who preaches for the Lebanon Road church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee. Married to the former Leah Moon, Adam is the dad of two children: Mary Carol is 3, and Turner is 2. Adam is also co-hosts iPreach the podcast each week. He blogs at Faughn Family Of 4
A special thank you to Bible Money Matters for letting me tell this story of our journey. Hopefully, it will help others as they seek to do God's will with finances.
August 10, 2009 is a date that we will remember in our family for quite some time. It's a day that some will think isn't any big deal, but it's a huge day in our family.
Taking Stock, And Making A Plan To Be Debt Free
In May 2007, we sat down and added up all our debt. It included a bank loan for the adoption of our daughter (good reason for some debt!), some medical debt from the birth of our son (another good thing), and our car (yuck). All told, it was just shy of $30,000.
We had been firm believers in Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps for quite some time, and we decided to use those steps to snowball our debt away as quickly as possible. As a preacher's family, we knew that the Bible clearly teaches that having debt isn't a wise decision (cf. Proverbs 22:7). We wanted to give more, help others more, and (yes) do some fun things in the future.
On August 10, 2009, the final debt of that original amount was paid off! Along the way, we added about $4500 in medical debt, of which we still owe about $2100. We are disputing that amount with insurance, so we are continuing to pay, but we really think we will get to stop soon (and even get some money back!).
Along the way, we just decided to live on less than we make. We sold a few smaller items (totaling about $400), but our major way of paying off debt was living below our means. I drive a car that cost $800. We turned off our DirecTV package and we go “TV-less”, saving us about $75 each month) Our budget for eating out is very tiny (less than $50 each month), and we don't splurge on presents at all.
Most of all, we are thankful that God has continued to bless us with employment and with a family that has supported us through the process. While they didn't always understand our total focus on this, they supported us. Other young people at church also were behind us (and we will be going through Financial Peace University with many of them starting in a few weeks).
You Can Dump Your Debt Too!
Our journey has not taken as long as some others, but we are thankful to God for what He has done in our lives. We are happier in our marriage because we have done this as a team. As a preacher, I often mention money (since Jesus did), and am thankful that I was at least trying to live what I preached in that area. We are grateful that one reason it took us as long as it did to pay off our debt is that we were able to give no less than 13% of our income at any time during the journey.
Friend, you can do this! The feeling is amazing, because it's a feeling of freedom. My wife and I have already listed our next goals, and now we know those goals are attainable.