Did you know that only about a third of Americans keep a budget? Only a third of Americans have long-term financial goals like saving for retirement. The average American spends less than 5 scheduled hours a year talking about finances. More than half of American households currently live paycheck to paycheck. About a third of people have less than $500 in emergency savings. About half of all Americans are concerned, anxious and fearful about their current financial state.

But only 1 in 5 people facing financial hardship fall below the poverty line. As a country, Americans hold over $1 trillion in credit card debt. 3 out of 4 Americans say they are burdened by debt. Two-thirds of Americans report consumer debt with an average of $34,055 per person. Let’s just say, it’s normal to be in debt.

If you’re tired of being normal, try this. Get out of debt, have an emergency fund, save for retirement. Sounds simple right? I mean, just get rid of that debt… no big deal… Of COURSE IT IS A BIG DEAL!

My name is Kim Wagner. I haven’t always been good at finances and to tell you the truth, there are days when I still miss my goals (it’s pumpkin spice season after all). But that’s what I love about finances. You see, on a diet when you mess up you feel like you have to start all over and that sounds intimidating and impossible. But with a budget when you miss your goals, you have a quick emergency meeting, get back on track and move forward. You choose to stop messing up, you put boundaries in place to help you. But even with all of that, it can seem intimidating and impossible. It’s a mountain and it can feel like all you have is bare feet and summer clothes to get you to the top. Plus, it doesn’t look like anyone else even notices the mountain.

It’s why I started talking about finances with everyone who is interested. It’s why I started teaching Financial Peace University at my church.  In those classes, I realized that while everyone might be on a different page in their current financial journey, we’ve all struggled with the same thing: money. We’ve struggled with balancing the budget, overspending on credit cards, making that mortgage payment, find the money for both food and electricity. We’ve had extreme amounts of debt. We’ve had more money than we know what to do and still nothing left at the end of the month. We know what it’s like to worry about what we will do for retirement and the kid’s college fund. In that room, everyone understood the fear and confusion. From that first day of class, it became my dream to bring the feeling in that room out into the world. To create a space where people can learn and share what they know freely and have the opportunity to learn from others. 

We’re learning every day and the more we learn, the more we have to share. That’s what Seasons of Abiding is all about. Learning, sharing and encouraging. It’s about more than getting out of debt, it’s about being set up to succeed. It’s simple steps that take you from “normal” and put you into this weird world where everything seems upside down and backward, but it works. It works because it’s based on biblical principles. The Bible says “the borrower is a slave to the lender,” so we get rid of those credit cards, we pay off the car as fast as we can, we pay back those student loans. Then with you back in control of your income, you can see a way into retirement, into paying for your child’s or grandchild’s Christian education and college, you can give back to the community that has given so much to you.

The truth is every day there are new things to learn, and while you could learn those things on your own, why not join us and we can learn them together? Because failing when you have a support system doesn’t feel as bad, and knowing you have the tools to pick yourself back up, means that it’s a bump in the road, instead of a roadblock. 

A dream with no plan is just a dream. Here’s the plan; are you ready? You are not alone. It is a mountain, but before you reach the top we promise you’ll have your boots, and coat, a pack, everything you need. You aren’t alone; all you have to do is start. If you need help, reach out to us, we are here for you.  

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