Biblical View on Paying with Cash to Get Out of Debt


cash to get out of debtHow many times do you hear or read that Credit Card A pays X-percent on their rebate program, or Chevyotassan Motors is offering zero percent financing on their 2011 model Q cars? How about 90 days financing as good as cash?❠Or the favorite of all credit offers–buy now and pay NO interest until January 2013?

You can’t blame businesses for trying to grease the wheels of their sales by offering too-good-to-pass-up financing deals. And maybe these packages are even all that they say they are. Does that mean you should jump and buy if they are?

Not if you’re already in debt. In fact your plunge into debt may have started with just such an offer. You get into one easy payment planâ, which is followed by another and still more. Before too long you’re on a debt treadmill that you aren’t sure you can get off of.

Getting into debt is always easier than getting out of it. There are different ways to get out of debt once you have too much of it, but the foundation of it all is changing your financial behaviorâ”and learning to pay with cash. And by cash, I mean debit cards, checks, automatic debits and the Federal Reserve Notes in your wallet that most of us refer to as moneyâ.

 

Getting out of debt starts with not using credit anymore

Part of the problem with debt is that it’s cumulativeâ”if you’re adding new debt before you’ve paid off old debt, the pile is only getting bigger. The first, best way to get out of debt then is to stop taking on new debt, and the way to do that is to put away your credit cards, ignore the come-on loan offers and pay cash on the barrel.

Cash is the only way to guarantee that you’re living within your means. People get caught up in favorable terms, like low interest rates or zero interest rates or no payments for six monthsâ, ignoring the basic fact that even if you have no interest to pay, you still have a debt to be serviced. Worse, you’re still paying with money you don’t have.

 

Use of debt is a form of voluntary bondageâ”at first

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.ââ”Proverbs 22:7

Slave is a heavy word, and in a world that’s been running on easy credit for several generations, it isn’t one we normally associate with borrowing. Yet if you’re in debt to anyone, you have entered into an arrangement that approaches slavery on some level. For example, you are legally bound to pay the loan according to the terms of the loan agreement, which is to say that you’ve given at least partial control of your incomeâ”and even you’re assetsâ”to the lender.

No matter what soft or emotionally comforting labels you may place on your debt, your freedom of action will be limited by the loan. If you have several loans, the servitude will be even greater. Bankruptcy and foreclosure occur when lenders have control over more of your resources than you do.

Even if your debt situation doesn’t require bankruptcy or foreclosure, it will still restrict your life. You may not be able to change jobs, do mission work or make a geographic move because of your debt obligations.

You’ll free yourself of those limits when you come to equate cash with freedom, and debt with bondage.

 

Debt says I can❠when reality screams I can’t!â

Credit has become something like a financial drive-through window; its purpose for existing is mostly to keep the economy running. Don’t have any money? No problemâ”drive up to the credit window, get a loan, then pick up you’re merchandise at the front desk.

We’re paying a steep price for that convenience. Credit gives us the option to buy what we know we can’t afford, and sooner or later you’ll use that option even when the little voice inside❠is telling you otherwise.

Even if you pay your credit card balances in full each month, you’re still living on a floatââ”paying this months bills with next months income. If next month has a major expense surprise, or if your income is disrupted, this month’s bills might not be paid next month, but carried into the following month where it becomes permanent debt. That can’t happen if you pay for this month’s expenses in cash. Everything you buy is paid for so there’s never any debt being carried forward.

 

Like anything else that isn’t good for us, debt is mostly a bad habit

One of the problems with debt is that today we have a benign view of it. It’s less of a thing or event than it is a lifestyle. You generally see people who are either debt adverse, and therefore debt free, or those who see debt as a convenient enabler to get them from where they are to where they want to be. For people in the latter category, credit becomes a habit, a way of doing business. What’s so bad about that?

And lead us not into temptationâ¦ââ”Matthew 6:13

Is it a sin borrow money? Probably not. But it’s pretty safe to say that it IS a temptationâ”one that draws us to spend money we don’t have, to buy things we often don’t need and to extend ourselves into bondage. How well are we able to resist temptation when we put ourselves so close to it?

If we can put some distance between ourselves and creditâ”maybe not to see it as a sin, but not to view it as holy eitherâ”we take ourselves out of harms way. Cash is the best way to do this.

 

The simplicity of cash to the rescue

You’ll enjoy the following benefits if you begin paying cash for all of your purchases:

  1. You’ll never spend more money than you actually have
  2. You’ll never get stuck paying last months bills this month
  3. You won’t live in fear that you might have charged too much
  4. Your debts will stop growing, and as you pay them, they’ll eventually disappear
  5. As your debts fall, you’ll have even more cash either to spend or to save
  6. If you choose to save your extra cash, your savings will eventually replace credit as your preferred source of extra money
  7. As your savings grow, you can pay cash even for major purchases, like repairs, furniture and even cars
  8. When every thing you own is owned free and clear, YOU’LL be free and clear!

So simple, yet so powerful. Pay cash from now on, pay your debts faithfully and even if you do nothing else, in a few years, you’ll be debt free.

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Written by Kevin

With backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry, Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of OutOfYourRut.com, a website about careers, business ideas, money and more. A committed Christian, he lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

Kevin

With backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry, Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of OutOfYourRut.com, a website about careers, business ideas, money and more. A committed Christian, he lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

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