Our Journey to Financial Freedom

A year ago, I told you Financial Freedom is Possible. Still remember that? Two years ago, my wife and I outlined a three-year plan to become debt free in 3 years.

Image by Emma Brabrook | Flickr

Image by Emma Brabrook | Flickr

By the end of 2013, we hit that milestone… one year sooner than planned. Watching our debt snowball melt away was a beautiful experience. But I’ll tell you the best part before the end of this post.

Before we settle into 2014, I want to write a few posts on our journey to getting out of debt (how we did it and how you can). It was tough and rough but has taught us so many lessons. I believe God wants His children to prosper financially but more than that, He desires we reflect Him with how we handle money.

In the last 3 years, I’ve discovered that our problems with money wasn’t so much about Wall Street’s financial crisis but our understanding of and interaction with it.

Renowned financial expert, Dave Ramsey calls it Behavioral Modification! (Dave says, “If I can get the guy in the mirror to behave with how he handles money, he can be skinny and rich”).

How true!

Basics of Biblical Finance

In 2010, I was introduced to Dave Ramsey’s Total MoneyMakeover by my friend, Gori Olusina Daniel. In hindsight, that moment in Uxbridge would set us on a course to change our lives and family tree.

I sat in the Financial Masterclass session and watched (and felt) Dave’s contagious passion. It was infectious and being a Christian too, I could relate completely with his views on money. For example, when he says “The borrower is slave to the lender”, that made lots of personal and biblical sense. I was fired up!

I came home that evening and shared with my wife my new vision for our financial freedom. As usual, she greeted my enthusiasm with a bit of caution. But over time, she would go on to become a champion of money management herself.

We knew the road wasn’t going to be easy. And it proved so. The first thing we needed to do was learn the basics of biblical finance. And it’s simple:

  1. Our money matter (circumstance) matters to God. We are stewards and how we interact with money (and debts) say a lot about our relationship with God. 
  2. Get out of consumer debt!

Our first ‘baby’ step

By May 2012, our consumer debts totalled $43,000; a scary reality that stared us in the face. From a backload of credit cards and student debts to moving to a new country and expecting a baby, our debt snowball wasn’t smiling at us. So how did we go from $43000 to $0 in 18 months?

It started with our first baby step…

The first baby step we took before getting on any financial plan was believe we would actually be debt free. As soon as we mustered the courage and confidence that we could do it, we began the journey.

Now to the best part…

We don’t own anything. We are stewards. And God expects us to manage His resources well. Do you remember why God blesses us? I haven’t read anyone put it so well like John Piper did:

Why does God bless us with abundance? So we can have enough to live on, and then use the rest for all manner of good works that alleviate spiritual and physical misery. Enough for us; abundance for others.
God has made us to be conduits of His grace. The danger is in thinking the conduit should be lined with gold. It shouldn’t. Copper will do. Copper can carry unbelievable riches to others.
 

The best part? The freedom and joy of giving, of being conduits of God’s grace to others. It’s an unbelievably amazing experience!

Watch the Part 1 of the series that inspired us on this journey by Dave Ramsey:

Video: Basics of Biblical Finance.

Question: Do you have some experience on a similar journey to financial freedom or currently on a financial plan? What are some of the key lessons you can share?

About Joseph Iregbu

I'm a writer, purpose guy, speaker and business consultant. My passion is to help people live with purpose and not waste their lives. I live in the UK with my wife, Temi and our gorgeous Isabel Juda. Let's connect on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Thanks for sharing a bit of your financial journey. I’ve always liked the stuff David Ramsey puts out but I’ve never been through his course. I’m going to check out his video.

    For us faith also plays a big role, especially since we rely on support from churches and individuals who donate to our ministry. There have been lean times and fatter times and we have certainly learned to be content in both. There was time about 10 years ago when we started to carry some balance on our credit cards but as soon as we decided to go into ministry full time it seemed like the Lord helped us take care of that debt in the matter of about 12 months time.

    • Thanks Caleb. You should check out Dave Ramsey but you’re right about faith… for us, we needed to believe it was possible and we moved.

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