Bio: Dr. Jason Cabler is the owner of Celebrating Financial Freedom, where he teaches people how to get out of debt and manage money better with a faithful focus. We caught up with Jason to hear his thoughts on how changing your views about money can have a positive impact on your personal finances.
Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you decide to start a personal finance blog?
I’m a practicing dentist and a personal finance blogger. Years ago, my wife Angie and I were terrible at communicating about money. The result was a lot of money fights. We had extremely different money styles and we needed to learn to do better or we knew our relationship would be in trouble. So we signed up for a personal finance course that totally changed our lives for the better. We learned how to communicate well and start pulling in the same direction financially. Eventually, we were able to get out of debt for good! The massive change we saw in our marriage and finances inspired me to start both my blog and my get out of debt course so I could help others change their lives the same way we did!
How can a person’s views or preconceived notions about money sometimes cause them to run up debt?
Too many people believe that debt is just a normal part of life. They believe that you can’t live a normal, comfortable life without debt being involved in some way. There’s the belief that you need credit cards in case of emergencies and car payments because vehicles are expensive.
But when you’re armed with the knowledge that it doesn’t have to be that way, you can live a debt-free lifestyle free from the slavery of car payments and credit card bills! For most people, living without debt seems impossible. But once you catch the vision and work to make it happen, it’s the best financial decision you can ever make!
What are some of the myths or lies about money or financial freedom that many people just accept and never question?
One problem is the myth that you need a good credit score to be financially successful. When it comes down to it, a credit score is only a measure of how well you use debt. The myth says that you can’t get a mortgage, rent a house, get a job, or buy a car without a credit score. The truth is, you can actually do all these things without a credit score.
Which would you rather do, impress the credit card companies with a great credit score, or be debt-free and not have to be in bondage to debt? It’s a simple choice that most people don’t think is possible to make!
How exactly does one’s personal finances relate to his or her faith or relationship with God?
Just like any other part of your life, how you use money is a reflection of your faith. If you’re stingy and hold on to your money, it says something about the state of your soul. If you’re a generous giver and use your money to make other’s lives better, that says something too!
Just as with anything else, God recognizes and rewards good behavior with money. The closer you adhere to godly money principles, the more you open up the ability of God to bless you in every aspect of your life – not just financial!
Of the “Ten Commandments for Making Money,” which one speaks to you the most?
I think the one that speaks a ton of truth to me is the one about extending your connectedness to many people. It’s so true that the more people you connect with and serve well, the more success you will have in money and business. You can’t help but grow and prosper when you involve lots of other people into the mix! Keeping to yourself doesn’t typically make a good recipe for success.
What’s the most unusual yet effective money making idea that you’ve heard of for people trying to earn some extra income?
I would have to say one of the more unusual ways I’ve written about would be public domain publishing. The fact that you can take older written works, add value to them, and sell them online for a profit is an interesting idea that not many people know about. There are people out there making a full-time living in public domain publishing and doing very well with it!
Do you have any suggestions or strategies for getting people to start saving money?
The two best things you can do right now to start saving are to do a monthly zero-based budget, and to have money automatically deducted from each paycheck to put into savings. The budgeting allows you to control your money and ensure that you have money to save. The automatic deposits help you be consistent about saving because they keep you from having to decide how much to save every month. This practice allows you save money without having to be disciplined about it. Once you set it, you can forget it – and the money goes straight to savings and investments every single month!
Name one step that people living paycheck to paycheck can take today to improve their finances.
The one best step that I always recommend first is to start doing a monthly zero-based budget. Most people live paycheck to paycheck because they don’t have a plan and they don’t know where all their money is going. When you have a budget to work from, you spend every dollar on paper before you spend it in the real world. At that point, you have total control over your money! You can tell it what to do and where to go instead of letting the money (or lack thereof) dictate how you live your life.