Financial Success Stories
We had 46,000 reasons to live debt free
Martin Reed realized his actions needed to match his wife's dreams to be a stay-at-home mom.
For the first five or six years of our marriage, I got really good at managing our $40,000 to $50,000 of debt, most of it student loans.
We went through a nine-week financial course in 2015, and that’s when we decided to get serious. My wife, Randi, had a dream of being able to be a stay-at-home mom. At the time, we had an 11-month-old girl, and we knew that in our current state, that wasn't possible.
During the course, I really began to realize that 100 percent of "my" money was God's. If I would be diligent with all of it — and not just the 10 percent I had been tithing — He promised to honor that. We put a tangible goal in front of God that seemed impossible and watched Him work out immeasurably more.
"God is able to do immeasurably more than anything we can ask for or imagine"
We paid off all $46,000 of our debt! He turned what looked on paper like 31 months to debt freedom into 13 months. We were willing to do whatever it took.
We lived in a garage apartment at my in-laws in order to remove the stress of having a mortgage. I did as many woodworking and handyman jobs on the side as I could to increase our income. We still had fun and dated, but we cooked a lot instead of eating out. God even moved the hearts of two people to pay off $13,500 of our debt!
We’re currently working on saving 3-to-6 months living expenses and investing 15 percent of our income. God is able to do immeasurably more than anything we can ask for or imagine!
Trusting God was my way out of financial bondage
Tithing was Carla Jones first step toward taking responsibility for her finances and living in financial freedom.
I started tithing because money has been a weak spot with me all my life. Tithing shows that you want to trust God with your finances. Our money isn't ours. Everything we have is a blessing from God, and I didn't want to be selfish with it.
I’m an emotional spender. If I was down or sad, I would spend on stuff the kids didn't need or makeup for myself — whatever it was, I would just buy it. Then I would get personal loans, with high-interest rates, knowing it would be hard to pay it back.
At one point, I owed more than $5,000. I knew I had to do something because being in financial bondage is no fun.
Tithing shows that the love I have for Christ is worth sacrificing for. God always seems to bless a cheerful giver in ways you least expect. After I started tithing in 2014, I got promoted — twice.
As a result of tithing and budgeting, I am within a couple months of being debt free!
I needed help to fix my financial mess
Financial coaching was key for single mom Josie Lane to realize her dream of buying her own home.
My finances were a mess. No budget. No idea of where my money went. Bills paid late or not at all. I had no emergency fund. No savings.
I had grown up in church, and I knew what it means to tithe, but I didn’t know I could tithe. I thought I had to choose between tithing and paying a bill.
After I got divorced in 2008, my credit cards reached $9,000, and my student loan was at $40,000. I was never getting ahead. So I took the step to trust Jesus with my money one paycheck at a time, tithing 10 percent of my income.
I knew there were some things I could do to help my situation. I just didn’t know how to do them. I attended budgeting classes, and I reached out and got some financial coaching at our campus. The coaches helped me set up a budget and showed me how to use a cash-only envelope system.
"When I am obedient, I know God will provide for me and take care of me."
I followed my budget, and now I have only one credit card left, with a $2,000 balance. I am still paying off my student loan, but I was able to save up a good down payment and buy a house in August 2016. Through my experience, I now coach others about how they can live in financial peace, too.
As a single mom of three — two still living at home — there are still days and times when I don’t have a whole lot in my checking account. I have to work the steps and take it day by day.
But God has been so faithful to me in the past, and because of that, I know he’s going to be faithful in my future. When I am obedient, I know God will provide for me and take care of me.
Not From You, For You
"Plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed." - Proverbs 15:22
We've all needed help with our finances at one time or another. There's no shame in that. So if you're feeling stuck in your finances, or just not sure where to go for help understanding it all, we've gathered together some tools and resources to help you.