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Three Tools You’ll Need to Climb Out of Debt

In 2003 my wife and I were $32,000 in debt. I was a youth minister; she was a middle school teacher—we weren’t exactly raking it in. In one year, without buying a book or attending a seminar, we eradicated every penny of our debt. Here are the three tools we used to climb our way out of the pit of debt in which we found ourselves:

Tool 1: Imagination—we envisioned what our life could be like if we were debt free. This led to our why. We wanted for one of us to be able to stay home and not work so we could start a family. Envision your financial future. Find your why.

Tool 2: Plan—we were given a plan to work. Every penny we earned, found, or were given was part of this plan. Though we didn’t have this form at the time, I’ve since found this Debt Snowball form helpful.

Tool 3: Time—we knew we couldn’t live lean forever and enjoy ourselves. We set a time-bound goal. We determined that in one year we would be debt free. With God’s help, and a whole lot of effort, we accomplished our goal.

Find a certified financial planner that you trust and get going. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Tommy Brown

Tommy Brown is a writer, speaker, and develops strategies that support financial development. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Winston-Salem, NC along with their children Seri and Seth. He served in leadership at two churches as an ordained minister from 2001-2014, leading congregations into financial wellbeing and a holistic approach to integrating faith and finances. Tommy has a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry and Masters degrees in Divinity and Management. His entrepreneurial endeavors over the years have extended into real estate development and church consulting on stewardship matters. Now, Thomas works alongside an award-winning team of storytellers at Wake Forest University, performing strategic planning and project development for initiatives that fund the university¹s $1,000,000,000 capital campaign. Thomas was instrumental in forming Wake Forest University's financial wellbeing initiative. He has a heart for seeing churches, students, and people of faith form connections between faith and finances.

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