Focus on the Family

Breaking Free From Debt

from Focus on the Family

In the late 1990s, a short-lived television game show called Debt entertained audiences with a simple premise: Get out of debt.

Beginning with a negative dollar amount, ranging from $-50 to $-250, contestants answered questions in typical game-show fashion. If they answered correctly, the host reduced their debt based on the value of that question. The winner advanced to the bonus round, where they faced a final decision: Stop playing, erase all debt and keep the amount won in the first two rounds, or "Bet Your Debt"—a single-question, double-or-nothing gamble.

Guess which option most contestants selected?

Many families have been locked in a similar game of "Bet Your Debt" for years. Maybe they've used credit cards to indulge their desires, neglected to save for emergencies or purchased a way-too-expensive dream home. The consequences of compulsive or impulsive spending? Financial dire straits.

Is your family feeling the strain and stress of too much debt? If so, it is never too late to choose "Get Out of Debt" instead of "Bet Your Debt." Crown Financial Ministries offers the following advice and suggestions to help you stop playing games with your finances.