Monday, May 24, 2010

Why Seek Financial Peace?

I recently finished Dave Ramsey's class, Financial Peace University at my church. I have mixed feelings about Mr. Ramsey, but the last one was really good, and I did learn some things from the whole series. The final class focused on living like no one else (getting out of debt, investing 15% of your income into retirement accounts, paying off your home early) so that later you can give like no one else.

This made me think about why I want to be out of debt. Besides the obvious of having more freedom with my money and being able to have security, it encouraged me to think bigger. If I have all my debts paid off, including (eventually) a house, what would I be able to do? Of course I'd like to travel and have fun, but in the long run, what do I want to do that matters?

I want to adopt and take in foster kids someday. This is a high priority in my life, and one that costs money. When I think of my future family, I know I want it to involve kids that need a home.

I want to give generously to charities. I have a few charities that I support here and there, but I'd like to be able to donate larger amounts to make a difference in charities doing great things both here and internationally. I could also see myself helping to run a non-profit someday, if I am able to stop working someday.

I want to be able to take care of family and friends. I want to be able to help my mom out if need be. To help my family and friends with their needs, and to be able to make a difference in their lives.

That's what this is all about. On days when I really want to go clothes shopping, or think it's not that big of a deal to be in debt, I want to think of what debt can keep me from in the future. I need to remember what I can do if I am financially responsible. At the end of my life, I can be proud of those accomplishments-much more so than I would be of a pair of shoes.