As many of you know, Bob and I are both British, but we live in Kenya, Africa. I am a Primary School teacher and Bob is a Pastor. For many years now, Bob and I have been on different pages re our finances. It was a huge burden for me to live with someone who is so generous with his cash when I know that he is in debt himself!
Back in July, Bob listened to The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It was a game changer. Finally, we are getting on the same page! We have even started budgeting together and are on a mission to pay the $15, 400 of debt that we have.
One of the things that really used to bother me, was that people would knock on our door and beg for money. Bob would give them $200 to pay for their child to go to school or help pay medical bills and so forth. Although I didn’t mind him giving money away, the part I did mind was that he was in debt himself. As my good friend, Jason Butler, once told me, Bob needs to look after his family first. Thankfully we have just turned a corner and here is the story…
A couple of months ago, George came knocking on the door asking for money. He needed money to send his daughter to school. So, Bob being the kind and generous man that he is, gave George $150 to enable his daughter to go to school. Bob asked George to bring the receipt from the school to show that he had paid.
Weeks passed and Bob kept asking George for the receipt. Finally, George came to the house with the receipt – for $100. It turns out that George was in so much debt that he owes $1, 460 to lots of different people, including neighbours and loan sharks. Remember, we live in Kenya where a months salary is not much more that $100 so $1,460 is a huge deal. He is currently living paycheck to paycheck. He is not sleeping and his wife is wondering when this will all be over.
Bob had a chat with George and said that he’s no longer going to give him any money, BUT, he can help him to make a plan and help him make good choices with his finances.
So, George came around the other day and brought with him a list of his debts. We were able to plan a budget together. Surprisingly, George had savings which totaled more than his debt and so we have encouraged him to take the savings, clear his debt and start afresh. In Kenya, there is something called a SACCO (Savings and credit cooperative society), however, depending where you are depend on how well they are run.
The village will know how much money you have in the SACCO and it’s a pride thing to have money in the saving account. The SACCO have told George that if he takes he’s money out, he will no longer be a member of the SACCO and will not be able to put money in again. We told George that this is fine, there’s a local bank in the village and he can save his money there! He doesn’t need the SACCO! We have also encouraged him to tell his wife and 20-year-old son to get jobs to help save an emergency fund. George was so appreciative and you could genuinely see the weight lift from his shoulders.
We also had a good conversation about loan sharks and why George should never use them again. We told him to spread the word that Pastor Bob will no longer be giving money but we will always be happy to help people make a plan to get out of debt and build wealth! George is due to meet us again in three weeks and we’ll see how he’s getting on!
If you would like to donate to help us become debt free, please do donate below.
Thanks and God bless,