Debt gobbles up money for interest payments that you could be spending on useful goods and services. It compels you to devote precious hours of your life and much hard effort to earning more money just to pay your creditors more interest. When you’re free from debt, you can use your time and energy in far better ways. So it makes sense to ask yourself: "How do I get out of debt?" And when you’re thinking of what to pray for, it makes sense to ask God and the angels to help you break free of debt.
Here’s how you can work with God and the angels to achieve the miracle of a debt-free life:
- Create and maintain a healthy budget. Make a budget that reflects your actual expenses and financial goals, and regularly evaluate it to see how you may need to change it so that it truly reflects your current circumstances. Account for every dollar you have.
- Tell the truth. Admit the reality of how you misuse money. Acknowledge that you're powerless to make healthy financial decisions without help from God and the angels. Commit yourself and your financial situation to God. Recognize the emotions behind your spending. Think and pray about how your emotions influence the way you spend money. For example, do you shop when you want to lift your mood? Do you try to buy someone's love through expensive gifts? Do you crave adventure and hope to find excitement by gambling?
- Realize that only God has the power to truly fulfill you. Confess your emotional longings to God and the angels, asking them to give you the healing and satisfaction you desire. Before you spend money on anything, stop and check your motivations. If you're motivated by an emotional need, remind yourself that simply spending money won't truly satisfy that need. Attack the emotional trigger by interrupting the opportunity.
- Don't hide from debt. Understand that debt won't magically go away if you ignore it. Ask God and the angels for the courage to face your debt honestly, and the wisdom to develop a plan to pay it off. Know that there is real hope for you to break free of your debt if you commit to surrender your will to God's will and work diligently to pay what you owe. Avoid taking on new debt while you work to pay off your current debt.
- Don’t depend on others to provide what you can and should do for yourself. Take personal responsibility for what you buy, and decide to purchase something only when you can afford to pay the full cost upfront.
- Participate in a recovery program. Consider getting help from a group such as Consumer Credit Counseling Service or Debtors Anonymous. These and other reputable organizations can provide valuable encouragement, support and accountability as you work to change the way you deal with money.
- Challenge wrong beliefs about money. False beliefs can keep you stuck in self-defeating patterns with money. Understand that you can't make all your dreams come true by spending money and that you can't avoid pain by hoarding money. Know that your needs are legitimate and it's okay to spend money on yourself to meet them. You aren't powerless when it comes to financial decisions; God and the angels will give you the power to make smart choices to enhance the quality of your life.
- Get organized. Get all your financial information in front of you in one clear format. Get your time and space organized (such as by scheduling a block of time each week to pay bills and designating a central place for your receipts). After cleaning up your physical space to deal more effectively with money, get rid of unhealthy attitudes (such as escapism) that clutter your mind, so you can concentrate better.
- Tackle overspending. Analyze your current spending by writing down everything you spend money on for a few days or longer. As you study the record, ask yourself honesty whether or not your purchases truly reflect your values and whether or not they're truly worth what they cost. Consider whether or not you truly need what you bought. Then ask God to give you the clarity of mind to distinguish between wants and needs. Remember that, to subsist, you need very little -- food, water, clothing, and shelter.
- Don't buy things you don't really need, or even want. If you have some extra money, save it rather than spending it. Only buy things when you can afford them. Don't spend money to make yourself feel better. Don't overspend on gifts to impress or gain the approval of others. Don't buy things on sale just because they're on sale. Be clear about what specific things you want to buy before you set foot inside a store (or click onto a vendor's Web site). Make a list and stick to it.
- Use credit cards wisely. If you don't have the cash available to pay for something, don't charge it to a credit card. Plan for big purchases so you'll have enough cash to pay for them without going into debt. Never pay just the minimum balance on credit cards each month; try to pay each month's bill off in full so you don't incur expensive interest. Build up an emergency reserve of savings so you won't need to charge emergency expenses like car repairs and medical bills on credit. Don't spend up to the limit of your credit cards, or use one credit line to pay another. Keep track of what you spend when you use credit cards so you’ll be prepared to pay your credit card bills in full every month and not incur any interest on your accounts.