How I Got Out of Debt

Just about a year ago, I celebrated paying off all of my debt — over $28,000 in 21 months — with an unexpected confetti party while sharing my journey on The Dave Ramsey Show.  To give you some backstory to my debt situation, I put myself through private college and by the time I graduated, I had about $25k in student loans.  Then a few months later, my old car bit the dust and I had to buy a new (used) one, taking out a $12k car loan.  Let's do some math: at only six months out of undergrad, I was looking at over $35,000 of debt.  I was barely 23 years old, working two part-time jobs as a nanny and children's ministry leader, and staring at a crap ton of money I had to pay off that didn't seem possible at the time.  So I just made my minimum payments for a while and life went on.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself living in Nashville and working at Dave Ramsey's company, where an integral part of what they do is teach people how to get out of debt.  If you've never heard of Ramsey, I highly recommend you check out his 7 Baby Steps and/or read Total Money Makeover.  After working there for over a year, I found myself deep in prayer with God about what He really wanted to do with this life of mine, because I had a deep sense that there just had to be more than what it looked like at the time.  Through prayer, I felt Him impress on my heart that He did have more, but that He couldn't take me there until I dealt with my debt... and that was what really ignited my fire to pay off my debt as fast as I possibly could, because I knew that I didn't want to miss out on what He had waiting for me on the other side.  So 21 months later in December 2016, I made my last student loan payment, and shortly after shared my story on Dave's show...

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On Debt and Budgeting

About a year ago, as I was preparing for the next year, I found myself wrestling with and questioning where I was, what I was doing, and how to get to where I believed (and still believe) God ultimately wants me.  I began feeling a deep conviction over an ugly four-letter word in my life: DEBT.  See, as I had been praying about all of the questions that were plaguing my heart, I felt the Lord tenderly say to me, "Gennean, while I need you to stay faithful to where you are now, the truth is that I cannot take you to where I've planned for you go until you take care of this."

For some backstory, you should know that I put myself through college, which was especially tough since I decided to attend a private, Christian university (a.k.a. expensive, but I have no regrets; my experience there was key to my spiritual growth).   I was beyond blessed to have received multiple scholarships while in school, but still graduated with around $20,000 in student loan debt.  Rough.  And just a few months after graduation, I needed to get a new car and chose to invest in a more reliable vehicle than my previous one, walking away from that purchase with a $12,000 car loan.  Okay, let's do that math... I had racked up $32,000 of debt only six months out of college. Yikes.

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Money Matters

Where is our money going?  What are we spending our "hard-earned" income on?  Clothes?  Food?  Bills?  Other things ?  It's easy while living in a culture/society that thrives on consumerism to feel the need to have the latest and greatest things, on top of simply feeling the need to have a lot of things.  But is that money really even ours to begin with?

I've been struggling lately with the concept of money...

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