Bills, Bills, Bills. I am not referring to a room full of men named William, but rather to the mountains of debt most Americans find themselves drowning under these days. The statistics are staggering as to how much the weight of debt rests on the shoulders of the average family to include college loans, credit cards, car loans, department store credit cards, and mortgage debt. Is living with the burden of debt really how God desires us to operate? Is there a way out and a method to take a hacksaw to the shackles of debt most all of us find ourselves chained to? Cherie Lowe in her very helpful book Slaying the Debt Dragon shares that piles of debt is not God’s methodology for handling money and yes there is a way out from under the crushing burden of debt.
Paying off $127,000 of debt in four years. Sound like a pipedream? It seemed that way to Cherie Lowe and her husband Brian. Much like most people these days, they thought that incurring debt and making payments into eternity was just the way life was supposed to be lived. After coming to grips with the giant hole they had dug themselves into, they decided to make a change in their approach to money that would forever change their lives. After buckling down and after four years of hard work and major adjustments in their lifestyle, that $127,000 dragon of a debt was slain, never to return.
Now many might look at the story Cherie Lowe shares in this book and think to themselves, “I do not have nearly that much debt and thus I can handle things just fine.” To some degree that was the approach, my wife and I had for many years. We by no means have $127,000 of debt; however, we do have a number of “ankle-biter” bills we have accumulated that just seem to never go away. We decided last year it was time for a change and we set forth on our own debt slaying journey, much like the Lowes did and have shared in this excellent book.
The concepts regarding how to tackle debt that are noted by Cherie Lowe are very reminiscent of what one would find in books by Dave Ramsey or Larry Burkett. In fact, Cherie Lowe pays homage and rightly so to both of those men for their financial insight and assistance in helping Cherie and her husband pay off their debt in a purposeful and timely manner. What is different between the books by Dave Ramsey and Larry Burkett and the information shared in Slaying the Debt Dragon is Cherie Lowe outlines a number of family oriented principles for finance.
For instance, she notes the importance of involving your children in the debt slaying process so they have a better understanding of why the family is ceasing going out to eat every night or why that new electronic device or toy purchase will have to wait until the budget allows for such an expenditure. Cherie Lowe rightly notes, “Your belt tightening will provide your children with many real-life lessons that can help them avoid your financial missteps and blunders.” She outlines a number of ways children can be involved in the family budget such as meal planning, grocery shopping, and finding ways to stay vacation that are fun while not breaking the budget or incurring additional debt for the thrill of the moment.
I also appreciated the fact Cherie Lowe shared that getting out of debt is not all about piling up money for a rainy day. While ridding yourself of the dragon (or whatever name you call the debt you will rid yourself of) does allow for more financial breathing room and flexibility to enjoy life, getting out from under this burden also allows believers to do that which God desires of His people to be doing, namely assisting the less fortunate and those in need. Far too, many people are so encumbered by debt they have no ability to be giving.
Throughout this helpful book, Cherie Lowe shares the stories of fellow debt slayers including why those families decided to embark on their debt destroying journey, what surprised them about paying off their debt, the challenges they faced, how they celebrated when the debt was paid off, any encouragement and advice they have for the reader, and how paying off their debt impacted their marriage. I was truly amazed at the amount of debt that had been paid off and it gave me encouragement and an extra push and sense of urgency for my own family to complete our debt removal journey, something we anticipate taking place late summer of this year. Maybe we will call into Dave Ramsey’s show and declare “We are debt free”!
I highly recommend and encourage everyone to read this book. Whether your debt is small or seemingly insurmountable, you need to start on your debt slaying journey today. Why wait or put it off? By reading this book, you will find yourself challenged, motivated, and encouraged. The paradigm shift in your life that will take place as you embark on your journey may be painful at times and people may think you are crazy, but as Cherie Lowe has so wonderfully outlined in this book, it is well worth the effort.
This book is available for purchase from Tyndale by clicking here.
I received this book for free from Tyndale for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Michael lives in Belleville, IL, a suburb of St. Louis, MO with his wife Erica, adopted daughter Alissa, two cats Molly and Sweetie Pie and horse Beckham. After spending eight years in the United States Navy as a Yeoman, he has been employed for the past ten years by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) where he oversees advanced educational programs. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion (Biblical Studies) from Liberty University and is currently closing in on completing a Master of Arts in Religion (Biblical Studies) from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an avid reader and blogger.