Here's an item that came into our family discussion (and I'm still processing in my head). What not to do when in debt? I know the basics, don't use the credit cards, pay off debts, make an emergency fund, etc...
What I'm talking about is, do you have a birthday party? A baby shower? What about 6 days away to see relatives (which they pay part of you coming out) and receive a station wagon full of baby supplies for going there?
This all started because we had an emergency in January, which our church helped us out in. My wife misses her family very much and we try to see them once a year, even though they are a 16 hour drive away. My best friend from high school was getting married in February right near my in-laws and we were going to go in January, but the emergency came up. At the end of January, we looked at the budget, what it would cost us to go out of town in lost wages, made some sacrifices (eg: sold the big screen TV that was in our living room back to my father), and made the decision to go.
My wonderful wife (not being sarcastic with that) has also been planning a secret daddy baby shower, to celebrate me becoming a daddy in a couple of months. Our pastor called my wife today questioning about the baby shower and my wife got on the defense/offense and in the end the pastor said in so many words that we cannot have any members of the church there, otherwise the baby shower will have to abide by their regulations. He commented about it not being a wise use of our funds about the trip, about spending money on a party, using food stamps to pay for food for the party, and that the daddy doesn't need a baby shower. We have scheduled a face-to-face discussion about this on Wednesday night as well.
I hope no one takes this as a bashing of church, as I am a firm believer in Christ and that he put his church in the world to shine His Love for the world. I bring these up for discussion, do you stop buying soda to get out of debt?
How far is enough, how far is too far?