|Dealing With Debt|
In our high-tech world it's easy to swipe a credit card and lose track of the tally. But some families are learning new ways of spending within their budgets, with help from a place you might not normally think about for financial advice. Kim Riemland reports.
(Locator: Plano, Texas)
Mom and child play Monopoly: "You have to pay me 4 dollars. I don't have 4. Sure you do, what's 3 + 2?"
Kendra Trautman wants her three children to know how to handle money.
Game continues: "Maybe I better not buy it because I don't have much money."
Kendra and husband Jeff, both CPAs, took a ten-week financial planning course at their church, Custer Road United Methodist in Plano, Texas. The class has made a huge difference in the way the family spends and saves money.
Jeff Trautman / Member, Custer Road United Methodist Church: "You go out to buy a gift and you say 'I'm only going to spend 20 dollars' but then while you're there you say 'It's running late, let's eat lunch at the mall.' Before you know it you've spent extra money that you wouldn't normally spend."
The Trautmans once found themselves trying to "keep up with the Joneses" only to find that neighbors in their affluent suburb were struggling too.
The Rev. Rick Enns / Pastor, Custer Road United Methodist Church: "We have a lot of people that have high salaries, but they spend more each year than what they make. We see a lot of credit-card debt here. And people are just, you know that, 'I want it now' attitude."
Toni McIntyre and her husband cut their loan and credit-card debt by 60,000 dollars.
Toni McIntyre / Member, Custer Road United Methodist Church: "We tried for 10 years by ourselves to get our debt under control and we could not do it."
Now Mr. McIntyre makes fewer trips to his favorite electronics store. He sold his pickup to save the 500-dollar-a-month payment and drives his wife's eight-year-old car instead.
Tony McIntyre / Member, Custer Road United Methodist Church: "It's nice to have that truck, but it's nicer not having a car payment."
There's still room for an occasional luxury like a G-P-S.
McIntyre says he's directionally-challenged but says the financial course helped him find the right path.
Custer Road United Methodist Church has offered financial Bible studies for three years. The courses stay full-and some families even go through the program more than once, and say they learn something new each time.
The Trautmans, the young CPAs with three children, found the financial peace course so beneficial they now volunteer and teach the class to others.