Through our one-on-one financial counseling here at NewSpring Church, we are able to help a lot of people through life-changing financial decisions. I recently received an e-mail from a lady I met with over fourteen months ago who suggested that I share on the topic of "how singles can manage money well." I suggested that she write the blog post, and she did. Today, with her permission, I present it to you.
Sticking With It
I have been a fan of Joe’s for the past year because he has completely changed my life. Joe has me "marching to debt freedom." But, before I tell you more about my journey to debt freedom you should know a little bit about me. I am 26 years old, a nurse, and I owe more than $23,000 in debt. I am definitely not an expert – I’m still learning each day – but over the past year, I have stuck with budgeting and have seen the rewards.
As a twenty-something single, I know that there are unique challenges that people my age face. I wrote an email to Joe and told him that he should blog about some singles who working to be debt free. And here I am, writing about my experience. I am writing this for all of the single people out there who are struggling with debt. I really hope that my story inspires and helps motivate some of you!
To brag a little, I have to share some of my big accomplishments this year. I have paid off $9,000 towards my student loans, and, as of October 31st they will be completely paid off. Bye bye federal government! Looking back, it is so hard to believe that I was content with my original 10 year minimum payment plan. Right now, I can’t wait to delete that line from my budget!! My goal is to be debt free by November 2009!!
Budgeting was hard at first, but I stuck with it, and each month got easier and easier. I was able to predict and save for future expenses including car repairs, Christmas gifts, car taxes, vacations, and medical expenses. I often think back to how I spent the first 3 years of my nursing pay eating out and wasting money. I regret those decisions, but I’ve learned from them. No longer do I waste money!! I want to be financially free from the bondage of debt and I’m working hard to make it happen!
One of the toughest parts of budgeting and being single is not having anyone to hold me accountable. I do not have a spouse, but I have found others who are using their money wisely. I seek these people out before making financial decisions. I have read many books and prayed about money decisions.
Tithing was also a struggle for me, and I didn’t begin to tithe until I joined Newspring and realized that I needed to give back to God what already belongs to him. I grew up in a single-mom household where money was tight and learning to tithe was the hardest thing I did in my Christian walk. But, God has been faithful to me and honored that decision. Of course, giant checks have not appeared in my mailbox but I have been taken care of in small ways. For example, during this paycheck my cell phone bill was -0.63 due to Suncom switching to T-mobile,and I ended up with extra money in my pocket! God is good.
When Perry recently spoke on stewardship, God spoke to me. I had to pass up the opportunity to go on an awesome trip, but I know God will honor that. Being single there are so many great social opportunities and activities that are so hard to turn down. I have to be selective so I can be a good manager of what God has given me. As it says in Matthew 25:14-30 I want to be told “well done my good and faithful servant you have been faithful over little I will set you over much.”
I hope this helps someone out there and spurs them on toward financial freedom!
Sangl says …
For all of you singles out there, what would you add?