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Yolanda Roberson serves with her husband, Charles, as Co Pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Fellowship, a church focused on loving people and caring for our community. She is honored to play a key role in the church. As a communicator, leader and role model, Yolanda is passionate about encouraging and empowering women to step into their God-given callings, regardless of their many walks of life.
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Break the Cycle
By: Yolanda Roberson
Recently, in one of our worship services, my husband said something that really got me to think about some things in my life. He said, “Out of your misery comes your ministry.” I truly believe that is true for a lot of people, including myself.When it comes to finances, and handling money, I can admit that I have not always had the mindset that I have now. Like most people, growing up I never really had someone to teach me about finances and how to manage money as a young adult. I only knew that you should work a job, pay your bills, save a little for a rainy day and have good credit. All of those things are true. However as a Christian woman who totally believes in handling money God’s way, it actually took a lot of pit falls, mistakes, bad choices and yes even some miserable days to finally reach a point where I was fed up with cycling through life and always coming out in the negative instead of the positive every month as it relates to finances. Yes, I was married, saved, a tither and all, however our finances were totally jacked up!! Yes jacked up!!
After several years of making horrible choices about finances and not really knowing what to do about it, I started seeking out help. My husband and I finally admitted to ourselves that we had no clue as to how to get ourselves on track. Back in the day, I always had a thing for talk radio. This was before Sirius XM Radio, podcasts and YouTube. I listened to folks like Suze Orman, Clark Howard and others who were financial experts. I was always intrigued about their talks, but never did anything to apply what I heard. Then one day while listening to Talk Radio again, I found someone by the name of Dave Ramsey, who literally helped to reshape my thinking on finances. My husband and I eventually took his Financial Peace University Class, which gave us a road map to getting our finances in order.
The bottom line is, it’s okay to seek help, counsel and wisdom when you’re in a financial crisis. I’m certainly glad that we did!
A few tips that have helped us to “break the cycle” are as follows:
1. Admit that you don’t know it all. You will never break the cycle with your money unless you admit that you have a problem.
2. Come up with a plan. I have heard the old adage that, “If you don’t have a plan, then plan to fail.” My family had to learn that the hard way. You can’t just try to figure things out as you go. We needed a budget! Yes, a written monthly budget that we do at the beginning of the month to tell us where our money is to go, instead of it telling us where it went. A budget helps facilitate your money and it also actually gives you more freedom because you have a plan.
3. Limit debt! Now I know some folks get a little upset when we talk about debt, but the truth is, “Who wants to make payments for the rest of their life?” Try saving up for what you want, and not using credit as a way of life. In the end you will realize that in most cases you have bitten off more than you can chew.
4. Save and invest. Once you have gotten your budget in place and you have limited the use of credit cards and debt, you can now save and invest. If you can only save $20.00 per pay check, I urge you to save it. Save in a bank where it’s hard to go and get the money out. That way you will not have easy access to getting to it when you’re tempted to spend. Seek out trusted financial advisors who can help you set up an investment account, such as a Roth IRA or Mutual Fund.
5. Use coupons and cut spending. Many people enjoy purchasing items, whether it’s a big ticket item or your general food purchases, clothing or other necessities. I suggest doing your homework before making a purchase. Coupons are great! Price matching and bargaining are excellent ways to save. You can have quality items without paying full price.
6. Be a giver. As a Christian, my priority is always to make sure that I honor God with the first fruit of my substance. I believe in tithing as my first line of defense and also I believe it reveals the heart of who you are and whose you are. Remember, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
It does not matter where you are in the area of your finances. We all can use a reminder that there is always another level that we can get to, so that we can enjoy the fruit of our labor and leave an inheritance for our children and “break the cycle” of living beneath the privileges of where God wants us to be. You can do it! So that you can live your best life!!
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