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Focus: Being satisfied
1 Timothy 6:6 (NKJV) Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
Easy credit has put a lot of people into bankruptcy. Easy credit and greed, that is. Not many people want to take ownership of greed as being a factor. They want to shift the attention to a bad economy. But, the truth is—a lot of us were all too willing to borrow when money was easy to get. Easy credit made ‘getting more stuff’ easier to do.
Suddenly, it was like somebody pulled the plug and a lot of people got sucked under. ‘Easy credit’ and a lot of people’s homes and businesses went swirling down the drain.
My husband and I were fortunate not to have been among many of those in our town who ‘left in the night’, when the financial strains became more than they could bear. We saw it coming and took some steps ahead of time.
These days, there are some people who believe we are in a slump and they’re waiting for the market to go back up. I’m not so sure it will. I think the peak we saw a few years back was a ‘spike’. I’m convinced we aren’t so much in a slump—as we are ‘back to reality’.
But, how does a person recover from losing everything? How do you cope when your home is financed for more than the market value? Well, I’m not a financial expert, but I can tell you that with God all things are possible. I can also tell you that you don’t need as much stuff as you may think. I am very sure we could all get along with a lot less and be happier.
Ask yourself: What am I holding onto? What can I do without? What if I just started over? Those are all valid considerations.
In financial crisis, many people become deeply depressed. In their depression—they run from reality—instead of seeking possible alternatives. They ignore the truth of their condition—and that’s when the real trouble begins.
If you are in a crunch right now, take any steps you can to stabilize your situation. First of all, you need to assess the facts. Take a serious look at exactly what your debts are and total things up—even if it scares you to think about it. Not wanting to think about it won’t make it go away.
Put a ‘freeze’ on spending and using credit cards.
Look at what you can do to lower your costs.
Sell what you can to pay off debt. Get an extra part time job and use the money to pay off debt.
Stop buying anything you don’t absolutely need. When you truly need something—consider buying it second hand and shopping at thrift stores.
Be willing to change. Stop the spiral.
Don’t forget to give God ten percent of your gross income. If you’ve never done that—you should try it. He said, “Test me in this and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that you can’t contain”. I don’t know how it works, but it does. Somehow, what you have just goes further and money comes from unexpected places.
Remember you aren’t alone. Many people are learning to live differently than they did in the past. They are becoming more frugal and thinking more carefully about the purchases they make.
If you are upside down in house payments—try going to your lender and getting them to refinance. Don’t assume they won’t do it. They want to keep you in your house and making payments. You might be able to lower your payment and free up some money to pay off credit debt.
If there is no alternative for you on your mortgage, consider getting out and starting over in a rental. The loss you think you would take might be a myth anyway. People start over everyday. Some of the world’s most wealthy people lost everything several times before they became successful.
Less is more. Let me say it again—less is more.
Declaration: I will find new strength by doing an honest financial inventory of my assets and liabilities. I will do my best to start acting responsibly with money. I will give God what is His and not question His economy. I will be content with what I have and stop thinking I have to have ‘more’.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.