So this month I've been working very hard. My job is salaried at 40 hours per week, but we're non-exempt, which means that anything over 40 hours we're able to get paid overtime for. This is highly beneficial for someone like me who has no social life and a lot of debt. I've been putting in around 40-50 hours of overtime per month, and riding that wave all the way to the bank.
Today I did something that I've been working towards for a while. I paid off my credit card. I'm not accustomed to relying on a credit card and I really try not to use it at all. When I was between jobs and moving across the southeastern United States, I used it for gas and food, student loans, and new work clothes. At the time it wasn't a big deal because I had a steady paycheck just weeks away, and my credit card was interest free until May. One thing led to another, throw in a plane ticket and a new watch, and it was almost maxed out in May (which is originally when I wanted to have it paid off by.) Thankfully, I was able to work a lot of overtime and I paid the whole thing off in just three months, all while accruing just $25 in interest. (Not bad... trust me.)
Now, I've got a good handle on my debt snowball, and I'm ready to watch that thing go. Have you heard of the debt snowball? It's from Dave Ramsay... he's super legit. I read his books last summer and was really inspired to get my financial life in order. (Obviously that took a while.. I wasn't fundraising as much as I should have been..) His motto is this: Live like no one else now, so that later, you can live like no one else. He means to be frugal now and live below your means so that in the future, you really can live like no one else. I think it's a revolutionary idea for this day and age. In a world of instant gratification and charge cards, he "preaches" a life of moderation, hard work, and humility. If you can't afford something with the cash in your pocket, don't buy it. Easy as pie!
Now that I've got my foot half way in the door of my financial career, I can see where some of Dave's principals don't make sense for me. For example: paying off a house with a 3% interest rate on your loan doesn't make sense because there are many investment products that earn a much higher return. (Why pay someone 100 dollars now when I can wait 20 years and pay them 130, if I know that all along I can earn 10 dollars per year on my hundred bucks?)
I like the idea of living like no one else. Isn't that what Christians are called to do? How many people do you know who have died for the Gospel of Jesus, or even been persecuted for His sake? If we're going to be His we have to be prepared for persecution and the Cross. We have to be ready to live like no one else.
St. Matthew, pray for us!