Shaina and I made a decision awhile back that debt would not be something we would have lingering over us for a lifetime.
It's a funny thing that people use the government as their primary model for financial management. They spend money they don't have to live in ways that they don't need to.
I've brought 7 years of school loans into our marriage, but I love that we are 100 percent on the same page about eliminating this debt. This means that we are not currently focusing anything on savings, investments or retirement...We are on pace to attempt to be debt free by September of 2010. We have an emergency fund established in case something unexpected happens, but we believe the Bible when Jesus tells the people that there is no way to serve two masters.
So the order of financial budget for us is to budget our tithe and the budget our loan payments then budget everything else for the month.
I read an article the other day about house payments and that someone who has a mortgage of $200,000 and pays it off over 30 years will end up paying almost 400,000 when its all said and done. Nobody in their right mind should want to blow almost a quarter of a million dollars like that.
Similarly, people live their whole lives with a car payment. Shaina and I paid off our cavalier and are planning to never have a car payment again in our lives. If we can't pay cash for it, then we won't get it. This may mean that while we're digging ourselves out of debt, we have to get a junker to hold us over...but we will never spend outside of our means...and we will always get a better price for a car because we will pay cash.
I don't say this too boast or anything like that...I just want to challenge that the way you manage your finances matters and you will never be much of a blessing to others around you if you're stuck paying a huge house payment, a huge car payment, etc. etc.
It gets more challenging when children are in the picture, but intelligent money managers tell their money where to go rather than wondering where their money went.
What is the greatest lesson or conviction you have about money?