Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Made Some Mistakes

Recently, I posted about my consultation with debt management planners. I panicked after that post to discover, after arriving home, that I had left a printout of my debt details on the printer at work. My staff had every detail of my personal finances!

I was so ashamed. My staff knew what I spend my money on, my income, my debt! They knew that I was spending $160 in therapy each month. They knew that I owe my parents $7,000. They knew that I owe $38,000 and that I don’t have savings. Gulp! Blush.

Then I thought about how many times I have said how freeing it is to be known. What do I have to hide if I really believe that I am so alike the people I know? Isn’t honest connection what we all crave and need? Can I be okay with people knowing me exactly as I am?

Giving up who knows what about me (at least in this area), I am going ahead with posting this today.

I have $38,000 in debt. I can logically justify it with details that I would repeat in the same circumstances.

But in December, a friend asked me if I would be living differently now and feel differently now were I not in debt. I answered that money doesn’t bother my either with or without. I thought it was true. Upon closer examination, I was wrong.

If I were debt free at this time, I would be helping others more freely and have a lifestyle more closely integrated with what I believe. I would not be necessarily tied to place and job. Money is a problem, a distraction from my values of living an alive life.

So I decided to take an approach from my faith that God will provide. In a very primitive, even fundamental way, I told God that if I received an unexpected $1,000 that I would give it away to a good cause as an action of faith that my own debt would be gone by November 30th, 2007. Crazy? Maybe. But it felt good to be proactive.

Then I cashed in my life insurance (to pay off one of my credit cards--which I did) and it came in at a $1,000 more than I had expected. Tax free!

I am giving that money to a person who was homeless but has now been employed full-time for over a year. He has been scraping by bit by bit for so long and I had been coaching him in maintaining a personal budget. That $1,000 will go much further with him than with me.

Will it also mean that I will unexpectedly be able to pay off my own debt by November? I think so, though I can't imagine how.

Check back in on November 30, 2007 to learn of the results.

No comments: