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News > Commentary - Chaplain's Corner: Keeping your financial house in order promotes peace
Chaplain's Corner: Keeping your financial house in order promotes peace

Posted 7/10/2013   Updated 7/10/2013 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Army Chaplain (Capt.) James Duran
17th CSSB Chaplain

7/10/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The economy is not doing well.

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, "There's not a lot you can do about the national economy, but there is a lot you can do about your personal economy."

What can we learn from the financial decisions that we made in past and previous years? No matter what financial bracket we live in, we all struggle.

Sometimes we like to live beyond our means. We often realize spending more money than we have will hurt our family, marriage and us.

We think we can get away with it for a couple of months or even years and everything will be all right.

Eventually it catches up with us.

Don't let our national economy be the example for you or your family.

Don't be the borrower who always makes the credit card companies richer. Get rid of those credit cards and strive to be debt free.

Here are some suggestions to enlisted and officer service members.

First and foremost, sit down with your spouse and come to a mutual agreement of some basic financial goals: what debt do you want to pay off first, save for emergencies and lastly spend less than you make.

It's important you understand these basic essentials of balancing your budget, and make sure you both agree.

The scriptures say, "The borrower is a servant to the lender."

Don't be a servant to a lender. Having the freedom to make decisions about your personal finances will put you in a better position.

Secondly, one of the ways to start paying off debt is to begin with the smallest debt first.
Once you have paid off the debt completely, use the same amount of money you were paying on it to start paying off off the next debt. By the time you're paying bigger debts, you're putting more money toward them - the snowball effect.

Make sure you both agree on a time it needs to be paid off. You will not always agree on everything, but make sure that you work it out together and reach a reasonable compromise.

I have witnessed and heard that people have paid off a large amount of debt in a short amount of time.

It can be done. Stay diligent with the plan and don't veer from it.

One of the ways to keep out of debt is to make sure you have an emergency relief fund. A safe amount to have would be one thousand dollars. This will enable you to pay these things off with cash.

When you have that unexpected car repair, you will be in a better position to pay it off with your emergency fund, and it will stop you from using your credit card.

Third, quit searching for a means of possessing something just because it is stylish.
Quit. Stop buying every new gadget that comes out. Stay out of places that cause you to spend money you don't have.

Don't give your kids things to replace with quality time they deserve from you. You need to start saving for those wanted vacations and to pay with cash.

This will enhance your ability to do things with your family without the headache of coming home and facing those unwanted bills at the end of your vacationing.

As the proverb says, "the plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty."

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