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Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

One of My Favorite Songs

An Inspiring Song


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From "Dining on a Dime"

I am trying to pay off my non-mortgage debt (very foolishly incurred, I will readily admit) as quickly as I can, and was perusing a book called Dining on a Dime. Most of it wasn't all that big a deal; you can find much the same advice in other well-known books on that theme, like The Compleat Tightwad Gazette. But this statement really arrested my attention:
We managed to pay off more than $20, 000 in debt over a period of five years on an average income of $22, 000. This book tells you how we got out of debt by saving on our grocery bills.
Wow, I thought, That's impressive. Her measures turned out, in some respects, to be draconian to a point that I would not attempt, for health reasons, to duplicate (in my opinion, much of her advice amounted to "replace protein almost entirely with starch"), but still--that's impressive. Then there was this little anecdote:
I was asked this question by a reader: "Where do I start to get out of debt?" After telling me of her huge credit card debt and how they eat out almost every night, the lady took a deep breath and said, "How do I save on laundry detergent and cleaning supplies?" Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. Even though saving money on cleaning supplies does help and should be done, that usually isn't where the biggest problem with the debt lies. This woman never once thought to ask me how to stop eating out so much. Most people don't want to face the real causes of their debt because their biggest problems are the things they like the most. Going out to eat is one of the top five causes of debt.
All I could say was, "Amen." Going out to eat, or picking up pizza, or convenience foods, is hugely expensive. It wasn't until I really started thinking about it that I began to understand just how much of our monthly income was going to replace planning and cooking and organization with take-out and/or convenience foods.

It's a bundle. And what's worse, most of that stuff is bad for you. Bad enough to blow money on overpriced food, but for it to turn around and tear up your health adds insult to injury.

But changing habits is difficult. For one thing, it requires admitting that you've been doing things wrong for a while. So, we're working on it.

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