Debt Free Living- Part 3 – Dealing With A Tight Budget

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Hello everyone! If you’ve read Debt Free Living and Debt Free Living-God Provides, you know that I was recently interviewed about debt free living and how living without debt relates to my faith. Here is the final part, my answer to the top lessons I would give anyone who is dealing with a tight budget.


Interviewer: What are the top lessons you would give a family or even a single person who is dealing with a tight budget?

    • Stop spending.
    • Don’t think that using a credit card or getting a loan will make it better. Going into more debt will not help you get out of debt.
    • Get rid of your pride. You may have to shop at garage sales for a while. You may not be able to have your kids in sports and you might have to say no to friends when they want you to go to an expensive restaurant. Pride is a sin. God didn’t kick the angels out of heaven because they murdered someone or were doing drugs, drinking or smoking but for pride.
    • Stop worrying about what others think or whether or not you are making a good impression. We constantly tell our kids not to give in to peer pressure but we do it all the time. We Christians can be especially bad about worrying what other Christians are going to think of us. That is the same as when your kids worrying about their peers.

  • Cut back on everything. You can save 50% on your grocery bill before you even go to the grocery store by simply exercising good portion control with your food. It is better for you, too. Go from a 30 minute shower to a 5 minute shower. Not only will you save on utilities, but your skin will thank you. I know people who have lost their job, are sponging off of relatives but yet they still got their kids cell phones. This is not cutting back on spending.
  • This should be number one: tithe. Right now when others are panicking about their 401k’s or about what their stocks are doing, I don’t have a worry in the world. I have invested my money in Someone who has promised that no matter what happens in the world, including with finances, I and my children will be fed and taken care of. He has demonstrated His faithfulness over and over. To me, my tithe is the best savings a person can have.
  • The real test of a person’s character occurs during hard times. Keep your integrity, be responsible, be trustworthy and honorable whether your situation is your fault or not, whether it is fair or unfair. Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”

    I once received a notice of foreclosure on my house. I had 2 weeks to come up with $35,000 and I couldn’t sell my house. I didn’t have $35. I wasn’t sure what to do. If I lost my house, my kids and I would literally be out on the streets. After a few moments of panic, I prayed and God told me what to do. One of the first things I did was to call the banker and tell him I wanted to start up our old business, which I knew nothing about and had no money for supplies, no customers and a limited market.

    What loan officer do you think would say, “That’s great– forget the foreclosure and you don’t even need to make a payment until your business is up and running well”? None that I know of, but that is exactly what he said. We had banked there for a while and, because of that, he knew I always paid my bills (the foreclosure was because of my husband’s debts he incurred when we were separated). The loan officer said “Jill, I know you and trust you to pay so I’m not worried.”

    Everything God tells us to do is for a good reason and it is usually for our good. He wants us to have a good name because He knows at times when things hang in the balance, a person’s good name can tip the scale in the right direction.

  • Don’t decide you are going to change your ways and then expect God to suddenly produce a miracle and make all of your debt go away. God loves you, but He is also a just God. He expects you to pull your weight and if you spent 5 years carelessly spending, you may have to work extra long and hard for 5 years to get yourself out of your mess.

    It would be like telling my teenage son to clean his room. After a month goes by, he is out of clean clothes, can’t find anything and has been grounded by me for failing to do what I told him to do. He tells me how sorry he is, insists he’ll never do it again and repents all over the place, but he still has to clean his room, which is such a big mess it is going to take twice as much work.

    I forgive, but he is perfectly capable of cleaning it himself, so he has to clean up his own mess.


Here’s something to think about:

In Matthew 6:24, the Bible says “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” We always think that this verse relates to having lots or money, that it only concerns the wealthy or those seeking wealth, but it can pertain to the poor and those in debt, too.

Be careful. What controls your waking thoughts? God or money? What do you seek after more? God or a way to pay your debts? What do you talk about more with your family? God or how the bills are piling up “in these hard economic times“? Do you spend all of your money eating out, playing a game of golf, buying your kids sports uniforms and dance lessons and having your nails done or do you first tithe?

I have found most people give their money to whoever or whatever has their heart and soul. I don’t say these things to condemn you but to get you thinking, “Do I have things mixed up? Can I do something differently? Do I need to change something, even if it is something small?”

We guard our families in so many areas. Don’t let Satan sneak in the back door with this and destroy you, your family and your testimony.

Read Part 1 – Debt Free Living

Read part 2- Debt Free Living-God Provides


photo by: swimparallel


  1. Kim Shavatt says

    This is exactly what I needed to hear at this moment in time. It appears that God is speaking through you directly to me. I appreciate the tough love approach. Thanks so much!

  2. says

    I’m home sick and I have deleleted all your emails for the last 6 months but today I opened it up. I’m a bible based Christian and fighting my flesh in this battle to get out of dedt. I read all 3 parts of your letter and it really made me take notice again!! It’s not in me but in him that we can do all things. Thank you and God bless your ministry!

    • says

      Ken you sound like you are on the right track. I always say when you get to the point of seeing there is a problem you are 50% there. It may not be easy all the way but trust me God will pull you up by the boot straps if you are serious and it sounds like you are. Interesting how He sometimes has to get us flat on our back (you said you were sick today) before we will hear what He is trying to tell us and help us with.

      I got tickled at the part about deleting our emails. I don’t consider any thing a coincidence, that the one e mail you opened happened to be the one you needed. Let’s face it it could have been on what kind of diapers to use instead. :) :) Anyway just holler if you have any questions and you might (you don’t have to) check out more of the web site because we do have a lot on how to get out of debt and are adding more each day.

  3. Mrs.B says

    I haven’t “deleted all your emails” instead I have spend time reading your emails. It seems when I look back at my life, my God has been there every step of the way. I wonder why we sometimes forget that? When things are going great it seems we have the feelings that we are in more control of our life, and we can do all things. Until something happens. I became suddenly single in 1992, when my husband passed away, with one son just starting college and an eight year old son still at home. We always rented the farm that we lived on, and that also left me with more bills and not only myself to now care for, but my sons. Jobs were few and far between, but there always seemed to be money to keep bills paid. I could not have done it alone, I could not have lived in the childhood that I had, I could not have gone through open heart surgery, and the many surgeries that were to follow, nor the recovery, if it were not for a “Higher Power”……My God has stood by for all my years that I have been on this earth and HE will NO DOUBT stand with me for those years that I have left on this earth. I am still single and the money and job I have isn’t the greatest, yet it has always gotten me through the worst of times, and I could help my kids if need be. For what is money, more than most could ever dream of having or ever seeing, in a life-time. Will it help when we pass from this earth, will it “buy” us a way into to Heaven? When one looks at the Tabloid headlines, we can well see what money does.
    It seems when I become disappointed, and depressed, that is when I have an uncanny feeling that I need to seek my GOD. Many things still go wrong, I still get depressed and still am disappointed with the job that I have, still disappointed where I am living and the amount that I have to pay each month plus all the other bills that go with life. But when it gets really bad and I get very down, when I pick up HIS Bible and read all the words that I have read for all these years… seems like maybe, I can make it one more month.

  4. Lahnaya says

    Your site is great ! We are really enjoying it. We have a large family, 8 kids( 5 still home), and we live by the principles you teach. We don`t have cable, we buy used cars, we shop at thrift stores and garage sales, and we buy in bulk. I can count my trips to a regular supermarket over the year on one hand. We have two large gardens, and everyone helps. We hang our clothes, use a wringer washer(less water, and electricity), and don`t think our kids need to keep up with the latest style or toy fad. Our kids do not think they are deprived, in acuality they recognise the wisdom in how we live and have a great work ethic and are responsible with there money(that they earn)It is wonderful to see there are other like minded people out there. We also live on one income, I stay home. It can be done.

  5. wanda says

    How could I have been so blind..your words I think could not have come to me at a better time..The scripture you chose spoke volumes to me today. I have been struggling with our finances for probably 20 years…I get frugal then I loose track of it..and I think it is every time we get an increase in $ we think we should spend it..which has kept us in dept and struggling all our married life..but the part you say God is a just God and that you don’t just get out of debt because you decide one day to serve God, that it is over time..he proved this to me a long time ago and reading your posts on here today made me remember something..When I was 17 I got pregnant with my first daughter..her dad and I got married trying to do the right thing..that ended after 1.5 years..I was a divorced girl at the age of 19 and a single mother..but my child was my priority..I had a great support system but I wanted to make it on my own. I managed to get into an apartment that was for low income but they could only give a certain amount of residents the low based rent rate and i was not one of them. I was paying 272.00 a month and my income was only $480 a month.. About a year after we moved in there things were getting really tough money wise. I just kept thinking I need to get another job to help pay the bills and support my daughter but I already didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to with her..about that same time we started going to church, after a while I gave my heart to Jesus worries seemed to just be lighter and I managed to stay afloat so I didn’t take on a 2nd job..then after about 3 months from the time I gave my heart to Jesus I had come home from work and there was a note on my door..It was from my apartment complex manager..inside it said your monthly rent had been reduced from 272.00 to 72.00 a month..I thought this had to be wrong so I called her and she assured me it was right..typically to get this someone in the complex had to move out so someone else could be eligible..nobody had moved I ask how this could be true..she said she didn’t know but it came down from headquarters…well I knew right then who it was from..God..I thanked him right then and there..he did always provide for me and my daughter..and you know over the years he has always taken care of us through the worst times and I thank him for every time. I haven’t been as dedicated as I should be..and for that reason we have seen some very hard times.. I am at a point in my life where I have been seeking knowledge and meaning..I am married now to the same man for 20 years and in total we have 6 kids.. he is the love of my life and my best friend..I know God made him for me..we are total opposites but couldn’t be better for one another..we have weaknesses though and I can see now that this is one of them..we seem to have trouble staying committed to things in our life and one of them is time..if we have to give of our time we struggle to keep committed to it.. Shame on us.. Your words have really awakened me..I know God was working through you to touch us all here today..I hope God can work through me or someone or just speaks to my husband to see this too!!! Thank you!

  6. Carol Maclean says

    I just discovered your website and it’s very inspiring.
    I have always believed in God, but when my husband lost
    his job and then developed a very bad illness I was terrified. I woke up each day terrified wondering if he was going to make it. This went on for a week. Finally I asked Jesus to help me though this time. The next day I woke up and I felt fine. My husband was still sick, but I knew everything would be O.K. The lord is there for us. My husband has recovered and I thank God every day.

  7. Elizabeth says

    I love your website, I’m not really sure how I came upon it, (yes I do). Tithing has been weighing heavy on my mind today. I listened to Chip Ingram about tithing on the way to work and that made me do some serious thinking. Thanks

    • says

      You are welcome Elizabeth. Loved it when you said you didn’t know how you came upon it and then said “yes I do”. God has a way of gently pushing us in the right direction which sometimes I am in awe of and other times I will say “Oh please no – do I have too?”. Just like our kids do us sometimes but there is always one thing I know and that is God loves me so much and only asks me to do things that are for my best.
      Be sure to holler if you have any questions.

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