Posts Tagged ‘debt’

My Jeep - stalking prey in it's natural environment

I love Jeeps.  In fact, I’ve had 4 of them (if you count the Grand Cherokee I had for 6 months).  If you count my wife’s Jeep, then I’ve had 5.  My current Jeep is a 2006 Wrangler Rubicon.  I love it, it’s by far the nicest one I’ve owned.  I had a CJ-5 in high school and I bought a CJ-7 just a few years ago.  I got rid of it and the Grand Cherokee to get the Rubicon when I decided owning 2 Jeeps was pretty unnecessary.  My love for Jeeps runs so deep, I even married a girl who owns a Jeep (hers is a 2007 Wrangler Unlimited for those keeping track).  Granted, that’s not the only reason I married her, but it was a pretty sweet selling point.

Now that I’m married, I have been thinking a lot about finances, specifically debt, and wondering if making payments on two Jeeps is a smart idea.  My wife and I have two car payments, a motorcycle payment, credit cards and student loans.  I understand that it’s not so abnormal to owe lots of people money.  In fact, I would venture to guess that you are in a similar situation. Although debt is normal, normal does not seem to be working anymore.  At least not for me.  I see a lot of people around me who are struggling financially, but have no plan of escape, and don’t have any idea how to even start to dig free.  I want to be in charge of my financial life.  My wife and I decided to take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course and in it, we are learning about how to look at money from a different perspective.  To be honest, we just started the course, but it has already taught us a lot about money, retirement, debt, emergency funds, credit cards and savings.

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499

I put a quarter in, but the loan on the piggy bank is $100 a month

My wife and I have been talking for a few months about our debt and how we plan on getting out of it.  We are both fairly impulsive with our money, and we both want need to make better decisions.  We both want to have more financial freedom and we both want to be able to give money to those who need it.  We also would love to be less tied down by our debt.  We want to be able to move around and do whatever we feel called to do.  We are sick of being stuck by our financial decisions.

We now have a choice to make.  Keep the Jeep because it’s fun, or sell it because it makes financial sense.  If I sell the Jeep, I can make enough money to pay it off and buy a cheap car with the money left over.  How willing am I to get out of debt?  How willing are any of us?  Are you out of debt?  Did you have to make tough decisions?  Are you glad you did?

What’s Your Major?

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Christian Living, General Life
Tags: , , , , ,

Maybe you’ve heard this question before. If you attend or have attended a college, chances are, you have heard this one before. Depending on your answer, there are many follow-up questions, such as; “When did you decide you wanted to do that?” or “Do you want to be a history teacher (or English, or math…). When I talk to teenagers about their college plans, I usually get blank stares back, or some rehearsed speech about the importance of college in today’s society. Granted, education is important, and should not be shunned for the sake of rebellion, but is college always the right answer? In the US, education is free from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. After that, it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not to continue formal education. College is not free for Americans. And it shouldn’t be. College is supposed to be higher education. It should be worth something, and thus, should cost something. My problem is not with the cost of school, but in the way our society forces college on our teenagers.

Now, college is not cheap. A rough estimate for tuition over a year at a 4 year public school is slightly over $7k, while the average yearly cost of a 4 year private school is just over $26k (I looked up stats on collegeboard.com). Multiply that by four and you’re looking at student loans hovering near six-figures. Now, if you want to enter a career field where college is not an option, well, college is not an option, but there are not many of those. For the other career fields, there are other more creative ways to learn a trade or educate yourself. I work in the technology field, and spent no money on education. I joined the Army instead. They trained me to do all kinds of nifty things, and then even gave me money to go to college when we parted ways. If you don’t feel like taking up arms against others, there are free books at the library and online that will help you learn a new trade or to know more about your current one. My point is, college is not the only option after high school.

Now to the real point of my post. Why? We tell kids they need to go to college as if life depends on it. Even in Christian circles, it seems that we put a lot of faith in this system. You go to school, get good grades (maybe even play a sport or two), get into a good college, then get a good 9-5. Get married, have kids and ignore them as you climb the corporate ladder. Ah, the American way.

There is no difference in how Christians live than most other Americans. There is nothing separating us from the crowd. Faith in God is not demonstrated by following the status quo. Our faith seems to be in the system of this society. Our faith in God is that we hope He will help us bend the system to our wills. I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way. Shouldn’t there be another way? If we continue to follow the ways of the world, how are we supposed to show that there is another way? If we didn’t spend so much time trying to earn money, and actually took care of each other, and lived simpler lives, wouldn’t we be different?

What do you think? Is college the only viable answer? Does following the crowd mean we don’t have faith in God for our paths in life? I would really like to hear some opinions on this, if you’re willing to post responses in the comments section.