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Breaking the Plastic Addiction

MoneyWise | Aug 21, 2021

Show Notes

Often a bad habit doesn’t seem to start that way. Maybe it’s just something fun that you do with others and only on weekends. But before long you’re doing it everyday and hiding it. You’ve developed a credit card habit. Falling into the grip of plastic can definitely feel like an addiction, but like with any bad habit there’s a way to wean yourself off of it.

  • The Bible doesn’t call debt a sin, but neither does it encourage it. Some debt is acceptable if it promises a return that’s greater than the cost. That might be for education buying a home or starting a business.
  • Credit card debt is not acceptable because there is no return. It’s used to fund a lifestyle that you can’t afford and the interest payments are a huge net loss to your finances. Plus, it limits how much God can use you for Kingdom work.
  • We mainly talk about two things here on the program, God and money, specifically, managing money to glorify God. You can’t do that if you’re up to your neck in credit card debt.
  • If you’re caught in a repeating cycle of using credit cards and you’re falling behind each month as your balance and interest payments grow I want to tell you that you’re not alone.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
  • The first thing you need to do is pray. Ask God to send His Spirit to strengthen you and lead you. Pray for wisdom and encouragement as you commit to managing your finances according to biblical principles. Ask and you will receive.
  • Next, take a simple, practical step you can take to start weaning yourself off of credit cards.
  • A group of researchers asked participants to follow something called the $20 rule. They agreed not to use a credit card to purchase anything that cost less than $20. If that resulted in them spending less money they could apply the savings to their credit card balance.
  • The study went on for six months and those who followed the rule produced some interesting results. By using cash for all purchases under $20 those folks on average reduced their credit card balance by just over $100.
  • Our friends at Christian Credit Counselors can get you on a debt management program that lowers your interest rates and helps you pay off your debt up to 80% faster. The folks there take a biblical approach to paying off debt. Find out more at ChristianCreditCounselors.org.

Here are a couple of questions we answered from our callers on this program:

  • Do you recommend a revocable or irrevocable trust?
  • I have seven credit cards with a zero balance. What is the best way to get rid of them?
  • We have a couple pieces of property that we divided. We would like to sell a couple of them. We thought we could use the profits to help supplement retirement and do some work on our home. How do we calculate capital gains?
  • We own two properties. We are soon to pay off one of them and will pay off the next one next year. How do we insulate our credit score to avoid a dip?

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