Nothing can bring strain to a newly married couple like debt. Do what you can to reduce debt together and enjoy the freedom you were meant to experience.
If you want to experience financial peace, spend as much as is reasonable and eliminate debt as quickly as possible. You do not have to copy the world’s pattern. Just because you have a certain appetite for things doesn’t mean you have to feed it. The greatest obstacle to contentment is comparison. We live in a world that encourages us to accumulate debt and seeks to secure our happiness by committing to pay more for it later.
Many newlyweds do have significant debt. Whether car payments, student loans, or credit card bills, they can stack up and feel suffocating. As you pool your resources, budget monthly, prioritize giving, and refrain from future debts, you must quickly coordinate a plan to eliminate debt.
- Pay what is due (Rom. 13:7-8).
- Don’t be unrighteous and neglect to pay back what you owe (Ps. 37:21).
- Pay it off if you have the money now (Prov. 3:27-28).
The financial decisions you make today will make you tomorrow.
If you don’t address your debt now, you may not be prepared for specific opportunities when they come. In our first year of marriage, I was introduced to the debt snowball principles. When I first encountered it, we had one student loan, one car payment, a house payment, and an impending hospital bill for our first child. Reading the concept came at just the right time.
In short, the process takes all your existing debts and starts you paying the minimum immediately. As you budget, look for any overage you can use and relentlessly attack the lowest debt. Throw all the extra available money there. As you pay that first debt off, apply all you were paying on the first one and stack it on top of the minimum payment to the second one. The “snowball” grows as it heads down the hill, and you can pay things off quickly.
You will realize that making the hard calls right now will free you up later. By eliminating all debt except our house payment early on in our marriage, we were free to make the decisions concerning our convictions concerning employment when our first child came, our timing concerning a desire for adoption, and the ability to make wise decisions when the unexpected comes (and it will come).