Luke 14:28-30: Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Don't you sit down and estimate the cost, to see if you have enough capital to complete it? If you don't, then when you have laid the foundation but can't finish, all the onlookers start making fun of you and say, 'This is the man who began to build, but couldn't finish!' (CJB)
This is not what happens today. “The world” encourages us to go into debt so you can have everything you want “right now” … never mind that you’ll be working to pay off this debt for years to come, never really getting ahead because the interest rates on some credit cards are outrageous.
Scripture tells us that the borrower is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7), yet most Americans continue to borrow, thus remaining in debt up to their eyeballs.
Financial guru Dave Ramsey says: “According to a Pew Charitable Trusts report, 47% of Baby Boomers have mortgage debt, 41% have credit card debt, 13% have school loans, and 36% have car payments. It takes a lot of will, discipline, courage and help to slay the debt monster. But it can be done. Imagine how much you could put toward retirement if you just didn’t have a stinking car payment! This is how the wealthy really build their wealth.”
Ramsey’s advice is straightforward and common sense: Cut up any and all credit cards today so you cannot be tempted into using them again, and simply start paying cash for everything. If you don’t have enough cash, wait until you’ve saved it.
This makes perfect sense because, no matter how much we tell ourselves we’ll pay the whole amount off at the end of the month, we never really do because we DON’T HAVE THE MONEY! Many fail to take their whole budget into consideration when making purchases, and they fail to plan for any emergencies (hospitalizations, ER visits, car accidents, transmission goes out on your car, etc.); and, consequently, end up using that handy-dandy credit card because they think they have to have things right NOW!
Well, if you have a roof over your head, food to eat along with all the “creature comforts” we humans expect, and transportation to get you where you need to go, why can’t you WAIT to buy that new cellphone or tablet or motorcycle? All that, that kind of thinking does is to lull you into a false sense of security and entitlement to buy whatever you want right now.
"Keeping up with the Joneses" is really a lame and prideful thing to do. It keeps you enslaved to, and constantly thinking about that almighty dollar - which really amounts to self-absorption and idolatry. If this is what you're doing, don't bother praying to YHWH to get you out of the jam you got yourself into. YOU need to learn some self-control and start making some changes in your life, because gluttony of any type is a sin....
The bottom line is: America’s debt problems would begin to vanish if only people would start recognizing the difference between NEEDS and WANTS. The “wants” can wait until you can pay cash!