When I was seventeen years old I thought I was a grown up. My parents always attended church and they expected us to go as well, this didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, not be told what to do.
I rebelled, I gave them a hard time at every turn. I was an arrogant seventeen year old but things came to a boiling point. My parents drew a line in the sand and said that if I didn’t obey the rules I had to leave, so I left.
I stayed with friends, sleeping on their couches. I hit up family members begging, they stood with my parents. I spent a few hard nights sleeping in parks and bus stops, I even stayed in a few homeless shelters. I definitely learned that I wasn’t all that I thought I was.
During this time I got two minimum wage jobs and ended up meeting my wife at one of the jobs, we were married three months later. We ended up getting our own place and I felt vindicated in my mind, I still didn’t get it.
Since I was so arrogant I didn’t heed any lessons from my elders, actually I didn’t listen to anyone. My wife and I made good money but I spent money like we were millionaires. I bought what I wanted and didn’t save a penny.
I wish I could tell you that as I grew up I learned some lessons about money but I just learned how to live beyond my means. Things went from bad to worse fast.
Early last year I had over $100,000 in debt, I probably owed you money. I was constantly getting calls from bills collectors, I was getting calls at home, work, and my cell phone. It seemed like every step forward I took, I fell ten more steps back.
The bills were so overwhelming at times that I had some pretty dark thoughts. I just didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, I didn’t have any real relationship with my Lord. I was afraid of what would happen next.
I never said it out loud but I thought with the life insurance policy I had, it would be better if I was gone and my wife and kids could get that money and pay off the debt. Looking back on it now that wouldn’t have been a better plan, it would have been an EASIER plan, a cowardly plan.
I praise the Lord for His grace and I thank Him for sending amazing people to be in my life. Eventually I did get a clue and went back to my parents and other family members and apologized and begged for help!
I was turned onto Dave Ramsey and I started making smart decisions with my money. Things still weren’t perfect but at least there was hope.
Can you relate? Have you ever been in a rough financial situation?
I don’t have a real outline for this post, more than anything I just want you to know that there is hope if you are, have been or will be in this situation. Please don’t feel like checking out is your best option, it’s the worst!
Please don’t feel like you’ll never get from underneath your bills, like you’ll never have financial freedom because if you want to you can. Please don’t fell like you have to be “strong” and hold it all inside not wanting to “bother” anybody. Be a bother, ask for help, CRY if you have to.
After you have gotten help, after you have cried it out, after you have done whatever you have to do to get through the worst of it, take control.
For me to get control I had to work a crazy amount of overtime to start making progress, I hate to say it but you’re going to have to as well. If you want control, if you want to finally get out of the hole, you’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes.
I wouldn’t suggest taking out a loan, you can’t get out of debt by taking on more debt. I will say that if you absolutely have to, ask your family for help. Do the research, figure out a budget, work overtime and start to make progress.
Once you do get out of this situation, learn the lesson and don’t ever go back. I know I won’t!
Have you ever been broke?