How easy it is to carry a little debt – it almost seems like an inevitable part of the American way of life. But most of us know how quickly that can become a runaway train! The key is to start living the new way, even as we go on a debt reduction plan, so we’re not continuing to pay interest on interest.

In a personal finance workshop, the Center for Faith and Giving teaches ten new behaviors we can use to organize our personal lives or household. Eventually they lead to financial stability. They are:
• Don’t spend more than you make;
• Don’t spend all that you make;
• Save;
• Build a budget;
• Balance your checkbook or electronic statement each month;
• Set priorities;
• Avoid paying interest;
• Plan for emergencies;
• Plan for retirement; and
• Don’t pay full price – negotiate.

Sometimes the simplest things work the best – not that it’s easy to do, of course, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science to figure out where we need to be. Often the biggest requirement is persistence. Consistency is good, too, but sometimes we have to get off the train of excessive debt more than once. But thanks to the Center for Faith and Giving, at least we know what can derail that debt train for good.

Your partner in ministry,
Betsy Schwarzentraub