This book was exactly what I needed. At the beginning, Streater tells you her story: how she was living above her means and using credit cards to help whenever needed. How a sermon on a CD opened her eyes to the way she was living. She, along with her husband, began taking steps to become debt-free and are now there. But it was a long process, and through it she became an associate pastor of financial stewardship for a large church.
The book emphasizes 7 "counterfeit convictions", alongside "timeless truths". The counterfeit convictions are the things we tell ourselves about why we're in debt (i.e., "It is my Christian duty to be at the beck and call of everyone who wants me to help them out of a jam."). The timeless truths showcase how we should be living (i.e., "You have to take care of yourself first if you're going to be in a position to help anyone else."). The book was packed with stories of how other people got into debt and how their reasoning was wrong. At the end of the book was a great little budgeting lesson. Streater broke the budgets into three groups: Level 1 (people with debt who can't afford to tithe 10%, save 10%, and use the 80% for living expenses - which is the formula Streater says is best.), Level 2 (people not in too much debt and can live out the 10-10-80 plan), and Level 3 (the most fun level - no debt at all!) Streater also mentions writing out a Level 3 plan, even if you're at Level 1, to give you something to look forward to. She emphasizes that you have to constantly go back to your budget and rework it to account for pay raises, bonuses, and other expenses.
After reading this book, I am now even more focused on getting out of debt, saving money, and beginning to tithe 10% again. I need to know exactly where each dollar of my paycheck is going and stop lolly-gagging around with my money.
I also want to reference two quotes from this book that really stood out to me:
"In Luke 16:10, Jesus said, "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in least is unjust also in much." In other words, if you can't budget, plan, save, and give on $35,000 a year, you won't be able to do it on $350,000 a year either." (p. 118)"
"...[W]e didn't talk much during dinner, which was Mexican food capped by chocolate sundaes for the kids. The kids were just picking up their spoons to dive in to the gooey goodness when Addision, five, demanded, "Hey, shouldn't this sundae have a cherry on top? Where is the cherry?"...I wonder how often God watches me and has the same reaction I had to Addison. I wonder if He ever thinks, Hey woman! Look around you. So, things aren't perfect. How about expressing a little gratitude for the sundae? Not everyone has a sundae, you know."
If you want a faith-based answer to why you are in debt and how you can be free from it, I would recommend picking up this book. I'm so glad I picked this book because now I'm even more excited to work on my budget.
Have you ever read a book about money? Did you get anything out of it?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am diclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".