• Like a bad penny, debt always turns up…

    unless we change how we interact with money, of course!

    The Bad Penny is dedicated to two pursuits: getting out of debt and staying out of debt! It recognizes that frugality and caring for our planet go hand in hand, and that our unsatiated need for stuff is hurting us in so many ways.

    Easier said than done!


    I am not a finance professional. I write about the world as I know it, and my advice may not be the best course of action for you! Please seek qualified advice for your particular situation.

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We Have an Offer on Our House!

We received our first offer on our house in NC today, and after much thought and negotiation, we accepted it.  I’m happy, and I’m not. 

Why not?  Well, the initial offer was for $175,000 on an asking price of $199,900.  By the time we finished negotiating, the agreed upon price had risen to $185,500.

Because of the market right now and the fact that our house in NC will need some fairly substantial routine maintenance in the next year or two (a new roof, new air conditioning unit) my husband and I felt like it was a fair amount to ask, but with one problem:  in order to pay off our mortgage on that house (which is actually a bridge loan of $180,000) and pay the realtors ($11,130 at 6% commission,) we really needed to get about $5,630 more than what we agreed upon. 

We were praying hard about it! 

Then I realized how narrow-minded we were being about this – we were only looking at the fact we would still owe $5630 on the house.  And that it was “more” debt.  But it wasn’t.  In reality, we were selling something that had become a liability – between the sinking market and our $953 a month payments (which start February 1st.)

We weren’t looking at it properly.  We should have looked at the bigger picture.  We are $317,344.57 in debt, including both mortgages.  After commission, we’ll have $174,370 to put towards our debts – actually, just this one, massive debt.  It  will be a major blow to the debt monster, bringing our total down to $142,974.57.

 Now, I’ll admit some of this number crunching is purely to make me feel better.  I still feel like we are adding to our debt by having to come up with this $5630, most likely by taking out a home equity loan on our current house or by charging it on a credit card.  I hate both options, although we are leaning toward the home equity loan for obvious reasons. 

We do have some money from a CD that just came due; about $3000.  We’ll have to pay for the mortgage for the first 12 days of February out of that, and then we were hoping to put the rest in our emergency fund.  While I still believe we will use it for our emergency fund, it’s always an option to use it to pay down the money we’ll be short when we go to closing.

I’d really like to hear other people’s opinions about this money. 

What would you do with the $3000 in this situation?  Emergency fund (which contains $100 right now)?  Pay down debt?  Bring it to closing? Something else?


2 Responses

  1. Hi there,
    God commands His children, Christians, to “owe no many anything” (Romans 13:8) and to no borrow (Deuteronomy 28:12). Throughout Scripture, God the Father, and Jesus Christ uses debt interchangeably with sin and unrighteousness. Also, throughout church history, all of the solid, Bible preachers admonished Saints for using debt. It was looked at as stealing, dishonest gain, pride, covetousnes…(My husband and I document this including lots of Scripture on familyfreedom.wordpress.com)

    So, the first thing to do in the above situation is to repent of the sin of debt. Once you truly are repentant and acknowledge that sin is debt, then it becomes clear what to do with not just this money but any future surplus. You pay off the debt. You sell things (cars, gadgets, clothing, books…) and put that surplus toward the debt. Are you sitting on items in your house right now that could be sold to cover the difference? Are you still eating out? Does your budget reflect your repentance of (turning away from) debt? If not, is there really an additional surplus?

    Now, God through His Word does teach us to save for a rainy day (an emergency fund): “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer” Proverbs 30:25. So, go ahead and put the money in an emergency fund, but make sure that it’s for 3 months worth of living expenses that is biblically based and frugal. Then, confess your debt as sin, and ask the Lord for grace and mercy to help you overcome this oppression while you strive to find ways right now to pay off your debt.

  2. I appreciate your comment, Daphne. I don’t know I agree that debt itself is sin. I believe, based on what I’ve read in the Word, that it is not debt itself, but the heart issue behind accumulating debt, that is the problem. We see in the Bible that over and over Christ addresses the issues from the perspective of the heart. Greed, envy, and even just being clueless to the truth cause debt, among many other things. These are the sins, not the debt. 🙂

    We are definitely working towards paying off our debts. Our goal (as I’ve mentioned in previous posts) is to be done with credit card debt by December 2009! We’re doing that by snowflaking as much as possible, selling items we no longer use and looking for extra ways to earn money! We are definitely dedicated to paying off this debt!

    I’m leaning toward your suggestion to put the money in our emergency fund. It certainly would help keep us from going further in debt in the future should an emergency arise!

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