Here’s some Canadian debt statistics from www.cbc.ca:
- Canadian household debt swells to $1.3 trillion in 2009.
- Candians are increasingly relying on credit cards and credit lines to finance day-to-day expenditures.
- Personal bankruptcies are near record highs.
- In 2003, for the first time ever, the average Canadian household owed more than its annual take-home pay.
- We carry 90 million credit cards(2009).
- Credit counseling agencies say they’re busier than ever.
- Students are often graduating with accumulated debt of $25,000 or more.
- Consumer debt levels are rising much faster than incomes and have been for years. Savings rates are at record lows.
If you are in debt, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you are in good company. Do you ever wonder what it will feel like to be debt free? One of the major reasons Canadians are not financially free is because of our debt burden.
Financial freedom – what does that mean to you? As a Christian, I think financial freedom has less to do with being able to afford to do or buy anything we want, and more to do with what God wants for us. Consider this definition: true financial freedom means to be able to do what God wants you to do, when God wants you to do it, where God wants you to do it – without regard to finances.
This freedom may mean staying exactly where you are – in your job and in your home. You may be right where God wants you and the way your handle your finances reflects faithful stewardship. But what if God wanted something else for you? What if that meant a promotion and move to a new city? Would you be in the financial position to afford a move? Many people aren’t.
And what if God wanted you to retire from your secular employment early and focus on volunteering your time for ministry? Would your financial situation allow you to do that? What if God was prompting you to provide more financial support to your church, to missions? Are you financially able to be obedient to His call?
Financial freedom also encompasses freedom from the burden debt; freedom from financial stress; freedom from marital conflict over money and time; and freedom from working too much. God doesn’t want us to live with these burdens. This was not his intent. Because money is the main competitor to God in our lives, once we become faithful stewards with respect to money, other areas of our lives will change as well. It will be easier to be better stewards of our time, our talents, our health – all the things that God has entrusted to us.
Becoming financially healthy is not easy. You need to make some tough decisions and choices. You need to have a clear picture of exactly where you are financially and where you want to be. That means you need to create a budget and track your spending. It means you need to have a plan to pay off your debt, curb your spending and be more intentional about saving.
Through our Generous Steward Ministry we are able to offer help to those who desire to move towards financial freedom. Here is a list of some of the seminars and workshops we can offer that can be of great benefit to you:
- Borrowing Basics – 2 hour workshop
- Budgeting 101 – 2 hour workshop
- Managing Finances in a Turbulent Economy – 2 hour workshop
- The Basics of Gift Planning – 2 hour workshop
- Leadership Workshop – 2 hour workshop
- Journey To Financial Freedom – 1 day seminar
- Discovering God’s Way – 1 day seminar or 8 week study
- The Treasure Principle – 1 day seminar or 6 week study
Sometimes it is helpful to have someone to guide you on an ongoing basis. Through our partnership with Advisors With Purpose, we can put you in touch with a Christian financial professional who can provide you with biblically based on-one-one confidential counseling.