self-sustainability for everyone #2

get out of debt / /

Joe and I made a decision when getting married, that we would not bring debt in with us. He paid off all of his college loans before we got engaged and I didn’t have any. Neither of us have ever had credit cards at all.

We tried taking out a loan for a home right before our wedding, but we felt really uncomfortable about doing so. As it turned out, you need to have ongoing debt in order to take out a loan without a co-sign so we weren’t able to do it. (there is something wrong with your culture’s state of mind when you have to be in debt in order to go further into debt).

The Bible teaches this:

 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8

Most people are going to spend their entire lives paying off debt because they would rather have something before they can afford it. They took out a loan for their car, their house, their wedding, their kids college, etc. and all these things have snowballed into an abyss of paying back debt. They are slaves to money. Are you?

Pay off your debts! If you are to be free to live the self-sustained lifestyle, this is the very first thing you must do. How can you be sustaining yourself if you are too busy working for the harsh slave driver that is debt? Get out of debt – the sooner the better!

First of all, pay back everything you owe

  • car loan
  • home loan
  • college loans
  • credit cards
  • friends and family
  • Santa Clause
  • other

You may have to make sacrifices to find “extra money.” This is a great opportunity to get incredibly creative!

  • reuse & repurpose
  • don’t spend money on things other than necessities
  • don’t buy “new”
  • shop clearance
  • sell things you don’t use/need
  • etc.

Make sure you have emergency money in a savings account, and then whatever else extra you have should be dumped into your debt. Make above and beyond the minimum payments!

Then, when you finally have everything payed off, start saving that money. Rather than taking out a loan, or using a credit card where you are charged interest and end up having to pay more for something than its face value, put that money aside, or invest it in hard assets. When you have saved enough to buy what you want, you won’t have to pay the interest on it. I wonder how badly you will even want it once you have waited and saved for it? Will it finally be worth it, or will you have better ideas for the money you’ve saved?

Joe and I have chosen sacrifice over debt. Instead of living in our own home on our own property, we rent a tiny one room apartent above my parents garage, and we only have one vehicle.  The drawbacks are that we have to go back and forth between our home and my parents’ because we share a shower, oven, and washer/dryer; we don’t have separate bedrooms with doors to close and keep out noise; we can’t really have much company if any; I can only do my grocery shopping if Joe’s home or if my mom takes me, and can rarely visit friends. But the benefits are that we can use my parents 5 acres of property to grow a garden of as much food as we may need, we can keep any animals we want while Piper gets to live close to her grandparents, aunts, and uncles; I also get a lot of help with the baby.

These are the sacrifices we have chosen to make in order to stay debt-free. Yours may be completely different. I just know that it has made us think very differently about how we use our money. It has also made the decision to become self-sustained all the more easy to work toward because it is becoming more and more a necessity.

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