The illusion of not being broke

I’ve never FELT so broke as I do now because we no longer rely on credit cards, even for emergencies. Rest assured, I’m quite sure that we’ve been this broke before (just maybe not with as many kids!). It just never felt like it, because credit cards were our after-the-cash-runs-out back-up plan.

photo credit: istockphoto/pcatalin

God is our provider, sustainer and emergency help.

Back around 2005, Ben and I attended a money seminar at Granger Community Church. They talked about relying on God, rather than figuring out your own way to “handle” emergencies. They said to trust God with your finances and watch Him provide in crazy, miraculous, mind-blowing ways. I admit, that seemed like it was bordering on irresponsible. Should you really put God to the test like that? Weren’t you supposed to do all you could and then expect God to make up the difference?

Let’s be honest here. If you’re using credit to handle emergencies, you’re not really handling emergencies. But it sure feels like it, at the time. With one swipe, you’ve got your new tires. With one swipe, your refrigerator is stocked again. With one swipe, there is gas in your tank. It feels handled. But it’s not.

I’m starting to see that the credit card life shielded me from being affected by rising gas prices or an astronomical electric bill in the middle of 100 degree summer.  Even though there might have been less disposable income, I still felt like I could “afford” those extras. Using credit cards, prevented me from having to feel the pain of giving up an outing or a trip or a book on Amazon.

I *get* it now.  I have seen God provide in unbelievable ways (I now have many of those “we were deciding whether to buy groceries or buy gas and then we got a check in the mail” stories!). He’s BEYOND faithful. And I get why relying on credit as your backup, does way more than increase your debt. It totally skews your perception of reality. I get now why cash is king.

When you deal in cash, you can’t help but “act your wage.”

What lessons have you learned from using only cash?

  • Oh how I have been here. I now deal in cash and rely on Faith rather than plastic. What a different feeling it truly is.