Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thanks Evelyn

I want to thank Evelyn at Chase for making the cancellation of my Amazon Chase Card so easy. Since starting my baby steps to financial freedom, I have not used the card since November. The only problem that I have since had was being refused a game rental at Blockbuster Video: they would not take my Visa Check Card as insurance that I will return there game. Instead, I traded in a few older games and got the game I was going to rent for free. I have had the card completely paid off since February.

I have completed the first two baby steps and am well into the third. The fully funded emergency fund may take me another year. But, that was always my "credit card" belief...that I needed it for emergencies. Now, I have cold hard cash for emergencies and can depend on that rather than Chase (who does not have my best interest in mind).

When we talk about financial stewardship in church, we are reminded that "it all belongs to God anyways." But we are quickly reminded that "God does not need our money." Followed with "God loves a cheerful giver." Follow the line of thinking and I sometimes feel that I am in the middle of a Mafia movie where the boys are using euphemisms for rubbing somebody out. Stewardship becomes defined as how much we give. Nuts.

Stewardship is being responsible with what you have been given.

We live in a society that encourages us to spend money that we do not have. If you do not have the money for xy or z, you can always find some company willing to loan you the money. Usually in under ninety seconds. Go to Kohls and you can open a line of credit with them (and save 10% on your purchase) right at the cash register (I know, I've done this). If easy credit was not enough, they entice us with Zero Interest and Reward Plans.

I felt burdened with all of the debt that I was carrying. How could I be a cheerful giver? I was looking at 10% of my income going to the church while I was making a decision on which creditor to pay? No, we should be teaching our brothers and sisters how to handle money and start spending only what you have and save for that rainy day.

Dave has a pretty good program. And now, I am a very cheerful giver. And not just on Sunday mornings. The greatest financial feeling that I have ever had was giving an anonymous cashiers check to a sister in need.

The borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

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