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Money Goals for 2022 – 2: Getting Back on Track

Money Goals for 2022 Day 2: Getting Back on Track

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. (Jeremiah 33:6, ESV)

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (Proverbs 11:24-25, ESV)

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5, ESV)

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1, ESV)

In March 2021, I had two things to do on the same evening. I needed to put a shelf in our coat closet and I wanted to watch my beloved North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. I was streaming the game on my phone and maniacally sawing a wire shelf in the garage so I could get back inside and watch the rest of the game on television. Once the shelf was cut, I brought it inside and had the bright idea to eyeball the installation of the brackets and the shelf so I could watch as much of the game as possible afterward. I did my best estimates of where the brackets should be, drilled the holes, installed the brackets, and brought out the shelf to complete the installation. 

When I placed the shelf in the brackets, I could immediately tell something was not quite right. The bottom support wouldn’t fit—no big deal. I just redrilled the hole a few inches above the old one and the bottom support fit like a glove. Still, the shelf didn’t look quite right. It was level side to side (nothing short of a miracle), but the front of the shelf was higher than the back. It functioned, technically, but it really looked bad. Why? Because there was no plan in place. I wanted to watch the game (the Heels got absolutely obliterated to boot) and I knew the quickest way to do that was to eyeball the installation and skip all the measuring and planning. Unfortunately, the shelf looked terrible, and the Tar Heels somehow looked worse. I ended up losing on both fronts.

In our first study, we talked about recovering from overdoing it on Christmas spending. Now that a problem has been diagnosed, how do we recover? Any time I find myself in a financial bind, the next two things I do are pray and make a plan. Why pray? Am I expecting to open my eyes to a pile of money that will bring us back to where we were beforehand? No, but believers should cast their cares on the Lord, and it provides peace of mind during the next stage of the financial recovery process: planning. 

There are many different methods people use to get out of debt, but I am a planner. I find it helpful to assess the total damage and start to think of ways to chip away at the total. How big is the total? How does it fit into your budget? What is the interest rate? There are many questions to consider. If you find yourself in this scenario, what kind of financial moves can you make to pay what you owe? Cashing in credit card rewards, tapping into savings to avoid large interest payments, cutting out unnecessary spending, picking up an extra shift, using birthday/Christmas money— these are all options (and there are many more) to try and dig out of a financial hole. 

Whatever method(s) you choose, putting a plan in place will be very helpful in getting the debt repaid. The verses we read emphasized three things: the Lord provides, diligence leads to success, and self-discipline is key. It is unlikely that you will haphazardly stumble your way out of debt, while prayerful consideration and putting a plan in action will put you on the right track. It would be my prayer that if you find yourself in a bind after Christmas that you will seek counsel from the Lord, put together a plan, and get the debt repaid as soon as possible. We discussed a short-term plan in this study; in the next, we will think about some longer-term planning as we go through this new year.

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