Fighting for freedom. (Financial and other types.)

February 8, 2016

Listen you guys.  I have 3 debts left.  THREE.  When I started this crazy journey I had 6!  Halfway there.  Actually, over halfway there because back in September, I picked up my student loan from my parents, tacking on a 7th debt.  That felt liberating, responsible, and scary all at once, but I knew it was something I wanted to do and something God was prompting me to do.  He was prompting me to lean on Him a little bit more and asking me to trust that He will continue to provide like he had been for the last 11 months since I had started this Financial Peace track.  

He has been faithful.

So let's do a little recap here since it's been a hot minute since we've discussed the monies.  Here's what's been paid off thus far with the start date of November 2014:

$1438 (credit card)

$1591 (credit card...stinkin' Ann Taylor Loft)

$1628 (personal loan)

$1747 (personal loan)

GRAND TOTAL of $6,404 all paid off in 10 (count them, TEN) months.  All thanks to working that debt snowball you know I'm so in love with.  That, and God's grace. 

So fast forward to now and I've got a bit of a confession to make.  

I've fallen off the wagon a little bit.  Not completely off the wagon, but maybe my foot's been dragging the ground a little.  Or maybe it's more like my foot, ankle, and potentially my knee are all that's hanging out of this moving wagon.

There are some reasons behind this, though none of them are good or valid reasons.  Much of it has to do with the big move to Houston; however, the funny thing about this is that I was actually extremely well covered with money for my move to Houston.  With a payout for annual leave from my last job to having moving expenses covered from my new job to the generosity of amazingly, dear friends, I was able to get myself here and settled and even furnish most of my apartment without blinking an eye.  What an amazing blessing I was given.  A blessing that is still hard to fully comprehend.

But, as I began my new routine here, I cut myself some slack about being so disciplined with my budget. The first few months were legitimately trying to figure out exactly what my finances would look like (fair), but even once I figured that out, I still remained relaxed in the discipline (unfair/dumb).  I was still eagerly snowballing (paying $300 toward a bill that had a minimum payment of $59), but my life of throwing all my extra money (i.e. money I earn from teaching fitness classes) toward debt had ceased.

So, with all the honesty and vulnerability I have to offer (and we know this is a lot), I'm laying it out for you again because accountability and community is what gets things done, amirite?

Here's what I've got left!:

$2,267 (credit card)

$13,609 (car payment)

$13,300 (student loan)

(side note: in a true debt snowball, the student loan would be listed second as it stacks in order from smallest debt to largest; however, I decided I wanted to pay off my car payment first since I've been working so long to make that happen)

I literally cannot wait to get this credit card paid off because once I do, I'll go from paying $329 a month toward my car to $679...plus all the extra monies! It's going to be amazing.

So why do I share this all with you?  Why do I share these really private numbers with you?  Because I believe that letting you into this sacred space of confession is a beautiful way for change to occur.  I also believe, hope, and pray that sharing my testimony will help you with yours.  Maybe you're not ready to share yours, yet, and that's fine; but I hope sharing mine helps you face your own battle head first.

This is hard work, friends.  But aren't most things that are worth fighting for?  A fight for freedom shouldn't be easy or we'll never truly value where we've come from nor appreciate how God has worked in our lives.  This goes for all of the battles we find ourselves facing.  Maybe you're facing the battle of comparison or the battle of healthy eating and exercising or the battle of forgiving yourself for your past.  It applies to all.  The deep, private, vulnerable battle of finances just happens to be the biggest one I face.

So keep fighting the good fight.  It's going to take a lot of discipline and even more grace, but you've got this.  Surround yourself with people that will fight alongside you, in deed and in prayer, and get to work.  I'm rooting for you.