How To Handle Your Money
by Mary Hunt
In the fall of 1982 my world came crashing down. I had no idea how much debt we had, but I knew it was a lot. There were even accounts and debts that my husband didn’t know about. And that day, I found myself flat on the floor on my face. I’ve never felt so alone and afraid in my life. I had no more options, nowhere to turn, and no idea what to do. I was completely out of hope. That day was my turning point. Lying there on the floor, I knew that my only option was to look up, and that’s when I had an amazing encounter with the God of the universe. For the first time I saw the ugliness of my greed, and what it had done to my life was almost more than I could bear. I wept in remorse for what I’d done. It wasn’t my rotten luck, my husband’s underpaying career, or any of the things I blamed that landed me in this pathetic place. It was me. I’d been demanding, self-serving, manipulative, and deceitful. I was in the worst jam imaginable, and I had taken my family with me. I had no idea what to do, except to call out to God and ask him to forgive me. I asked for another chance and an opportunity to pay back the debt and change my ways.
As I got up off the floor that day, the fog didn’t lift to reveal a pile of money that would fix everything. But I knew I’d been forgiven, and in that promise I found new hope that my life could be better.
Within a few weeks, through what I can see now as an amazing set of circumstances, I went to work as a part-time industrial property manager. Odd because I didn’t seek that job, it came looking for me via a phone call out of the blue. A gentleman whom I’d met years before sought me out, offering me a job on terms that I could choose, to work in his family’s real estate development company. For the next two years Harold and I reversed roles as I became the breadwinner and he a stay-at-home dad.
As I began receiving regular paychecks, I realized how ignorant I was about what to do with the money. Admitting that I didn’t know it all was somehow refreshing. My heart had become tenderized, and that diluted my arrogance and pride, making me willing and eager to learn.
Compared to our bills and outstanding debts, a single paycheck was like a raindrop in the ocean. I mean, what’s $400 when you’re staring at one month’s stack of past-due bills that added up to more than $4,000? It was beyond overwhelming.
That’s when I sat down and made a list. Little did I know that those first few written decisions for how we would appropriate any amount of money that came into our household would develop into the 7 Rules.
Over the years, as Harold and I walked through the dark night of debt and into the bright light of solvency and then on to founding Debt-Proof Living, I’ve reworked, refined, expanded, and consolidated the rules to the 7 rules.
I am so grateful for how God has taken the broken pieces of my life and woven them into a tapestry of beauty that reflects his grace and mercy. It is a daily testament to the way that God can take even our worst mistakes and turn them into something of value.
If your current financial situation has you all tied up in knots and stressed out of your mind, get ready for some relief. Things are not likely to change overnight, but perhaps for the first time you will know what to do to get the change started.
Wouldn’t it be nice to find out that there are simple rules of the road that can cut through all of the confusion, mystery, and misery and enable us to get our financial lives on track? I have great news… there are.
Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.