Financial wisdom from a woman of faith

Archive for the category “Debt”

Big Hat No Cattle

I had lived in Texas for all of 2 months when I first heard the phrase “Big Hat No Cattle.”  I was in a Church Board meeting and one of our Elders responded to the situation at hand with the simple phrase – it’s just big hat, not cattle.  Meaning that the situation wasn’t what it appeared to be.  I left that business meeting and went home to read the “Texas Lingo” book that my former co-workers in New Mexico had given me as a going away gift.  That phrase turned out to give the wisdom needed in that situation and has continued to be a pillar of great wisdom in my life.

Country singer Randy Newman’s 1999 song by the same name gives his detailed explanation of what it means to have Big Hat, No Cattle.  Read more here.  Lies lies lies…

So when you think about money, what does it mean to live financial with a Big Hat, No Cattle?  I’d say it means that you are living a life of debt.  You look like you have a lot, but it’s not really yours.  You owe it all to someone else.  Maybe it is looking like everything is ok, but you’re really struggling.  Living paycheck to paycheck.

Having a big hat is not a bad thing…but we want you to have the cattle to go with it!  The peace of financial freedom.  The joy of being debt free.  So take that next step. Stop putting off to tomorrow what you need to change today.  Start a financial study.  Hire a Financial coach.  Do what it takes cowboy/cowgirl! You got this!  Saddle up.  We’re here cheering for you!




Wisdom Wednesday//Co-signing//Proverbs 17:18

Proverbs 17:18 (NLT)

It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for a friend.


Interesting scripture!  But it’s clear that God’s financial wisdom includes a strong word against co-signing.

I’ve never seen this go well.  I’ve witnessed it go wrong every time.  The relationship gets strained even when the borrower still repays it.  It’s like the debtor is also indebted to the one that co-signed for them. This changes the relationship from friend/family to borrower/slave to lender.  And in the cases where the debt is defaulted on, the co-signor now has themselves a debt they didn’t owe.  That will destroy the relationship for sure.

Recommendation:  Pay cash.  Avoid loans requiring co-signors (these loans are typically high interest rate/high risk loans too).  Kindly say no to someone asking you to co-sign for them.  Remind them you rather stay friends/family 🙂  Exercise good judgement – follow Proverbs 17:18.

Any war stories out there that you want to tell me about co-signing??  Change the names to protect the innocent.




Being Debt Free isn’t about life without payments.  It’s about life WITH opportunity! – Rachel Cruze

I love this quote for so many reasons.  So many accept a life of monthly payments because they reason that it’s not a big deal, after all they can pay the payment each month.  They are not willing to get aggressive and focus everything they have on getting that debt paid off.  And so it goes….years of payments….until finally they wake up an realize they’ve been living this way so long that they’ve passed up so many opportunities.

What would you do if you were debt free???


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..

A quick jaunt through Wal-Mart had my girl shouting “Santa Hats” at every corner…on to the mall, where she “gently” touched the ornaments on EVERY tree we passed….all reminders that Christmas is about 8 weeks away!!

Chances are you find yourself in one of these camps:

Surprised – the statement about 8 weeks just freaked you out.

Carefree – you’re thinking 8 weeks is nothing, tell me when I have 1 week left.

Prepared – you are correcting my calculation to add the days and hours left.

My desire is that no matter which camp you are in, Christmas doesn’t mean debt for you this year.  The sweetness of the Christmas season is found in giving. An exchange of the greatest gift – God’s son for each of us to have eternal life.  May our giving not be exchanged for burden of debt.

Three easy steps to guilt free giving this Christmas:

Start now.

Set the budget.

Pay cash.



Gray Divorce

Statistics are changing….financial stress is hitting the gray headed…and divorce too.

25% of U.S. divorces are couples over age 50.  It’s becoming such an epidemic that they’ve given it a name.  Gray divorce.   

Since when did being gray mean you were more at risk for divorce??  What happened to the 7 year itch?  When did the statistics change leaving those married 20+ years more at risk than the newly wed for divorce???

Maybe this has a lot to do with the growing debt that the Average American is carrying.  Or the HUGE student loan debts that people are leaving college with….taking decades to get paid off.

Bottom line – money stress is still the #1 reasons for divorce – with a whopping 57% of the couples citing it as the the primary reason for their divorce.

It’s real. It can happen to you.  It’s never too late.  And it’s never too early.  If you find yourself struggling – you are not alone.  May you sense wisdom and direction right now about where to start.  Join a Financial Peace University class in your area.  Contact a financial coach.  Phone a friend.  But do something now.

Your marriage is a gift from God.  It is worth fighting for!


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