As a family, do you often find it tough to make ends meet financially? Has the shaky economy, with its uncertain job situations, hit a bit close to home? Or, do you make plenty of money, but have a nasty little habit of spending much more than you make, thus racking up the ole’ credit card debt? Well, you are not alone!
Meet my friends Curt and Marybeth Whalen.
I met Marybeth ten years ago at a Hearts at Home Conference where we were both speakers. We instantly hit it off and became fast friends, although we live many states apart. In fact, one day about seven years into our friendship, I realized that, even though I counted Marybeth as one of my life-long “keeper” friends whom I could talk to for HOURS and not run out of topics, we had really only seen each other in person twice!!! Now, since I am on the Proverbs 31 Speaker team with her, I get to see her at least once a year. Yeah!!!! And I’ve come to enjoy harassing her hubby Curt, whom I affectionately call “Earl”. :-) (Looooong story)
Not too long ago, the Whalens found themselves in a heap of financial trouble. As the parents of a large family, getting out of debt seemed an overwhelming task. But God helped them to dig out and now they, in turn, are teaching others how to do the same. They join us this week to talk about learning, as a married couple, to live financially free.
Marybeth and Curt are the parents of six children, ranging in age from teen to toddler. They live outside Charlotte, NC. Curt is in sales and Marybeth is a writer and speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries. They are the authors of Learning To Live Financially Free: Hard-Earned Wisdom For Saving Your Marriage And Your Money. They also have a financial blog you can visit at www.marybethandcurt.blogspot.com.
Now for our interview:
Not too long ago, you found yourselves in some financial trouble. What happened?
We were $95,000 in debt and expecting our sixth child. We knew something had to change or we were going under. That mountain of debt was a giant in our lives—but we know the Giant Slayer and trusted Him as we ventured forward, seeking the principles in His word as our guide.
What made you decide to dig out of this debt and how did you set about doing so?
We became united in our hatred of debt and our efforts to do whatever it took to get out. In the past, we always lacked that unity of purpose. We had to work on our communication and our heart attitudes about money. Then, we started by taking aim at ridding ourselves of our smallest debt. It was just a small children’s store credit card with a balance of $300, but crossing it off the list was a victory… and we needed a victory at that point. We then rolled that payment into the next debt, and so on and so on. It took us about 4 ½ years, but we did get out of debt, except for our house.
What was it that made you want to write this book ?
To share our experience with other couples—not from a lofty place of what they “should” be doing, but from a place of being in the trenches with them, experiencing what countless other families today are experiencing, yet being able to offer hope to them that if we could do it, they could too.
What do you hope your readers will take away from experiencing this honest and practical resource?
We want to equip them with the tools to change their attitudes about money, the encouragement that living debt free is possible (even with six kids on one income and with $95,000 of debt to climb out of!), and the joy that comes with being financially free, especially in the area of being able to give.
Are there any verses that are especially meaningful to you on this subject?
One verse we always clung to when we were going through tough times was Proverbs 37:25, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.” This verse was something we claimed when things looked bleak or hopeless, reminding God of His promise to us and our children. He would never forsake us and our children would not go hungry. Sometimes we just need that most basic of assurances.
You’ll be offering a giveaway to our readers this week. What is it?
We would love to offer a signed copy of our book to one of your readers!
Thanks so much for visiting with us here today, Marybeth and Curt and for encouraging us as we strive to live financially free.
Now for the give away:
If you’d like to be entered into the drawing to win a copy of this life-changing book, leave us a comment here. Let us know your greatest financial challenge or most helpful money-saving tip. The winner will be announced mid-week.
Sweet Penny-Pinching Blessings,