I followed these seven “baby steps” to financial freedom:

1.       Save $1000 to start an emergency fund

2.       Pay off all debt (except mortgage)

3.       Save 3-6 months living expenses

4.       Contribute 15% of income to 401K/Roth IRA

5.       College Funding

6.       Pay off mortgage early

7.       Build Wealth

I cashed in a whole life insurance policy because I learned, through the classes, that this was not the best way to “save.” A part time job, tax refunds and temporarily stopping my 401K contributions allowed me to make big moves toward becoming debt free.  Completing a monthly “zero balance” budget highlighted areas in spending that could be reduced or eliminated.  I was able to save the initial $1,000 for my Emergency Fund and pay off nearly $22K in debt within eighteen months.  I admit, it was difficult to work  an extra job, give up eating out, forego vacation travel and eliminate buying clothes and other things, but the end result was well worth it.

Through it all, I never stopped giving God a tenth of my income (tithing). I wanted to be debt free, but I believe that God is the source of my income and deserves the “first fruits” of all that I’ve been given. My calculations told me that it would take four to five years of aggressive budgeting to become debt free, but because I was faithful to Him, God opened the door to a series of unexpected financial blessings which, combined with the things that I was already doing, reduced that timeline to a year and a half!

God used Financial Peace University to open my eyes to better stewardship of the abundant financial blessings he provides.  I was ashamed and regretted the previous years of financial waste but am now determined to live by the biblical and financial principles that I’ve learned through this life giving class.

I’m so convinced it works, that I’m facilitating FPU twice a year. If you feel God calling you to financial freedom, contact our Community Life Pastor for information on our schedule of classes.

 Questions? Contact Tawni Garcia at (925) 560-6215 | tgarcia@comediscovervcc.org