Two weeks ago we posted Catherine Pate’s piece on investing money in friends. Here is the companion piece to her article.
When Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove spoke on the subject of “making friends with money” I was intrigued and inspired. I couldn’t wait for the day when I would have enough disposable income that I would be able to use it for this purpose. I never imagined that rather than helping others, I would be the one to receive the help.
Which is funny because I don’t remember a time when I haven’t been in debt, debt sometimes related to poor choices but largely connected to education. My husband and I fondly refer to our student loans as, “our first mortgage.”
So I was both surprised and deeply humbled when Jamie and Catherine invited us to dinner and then offered to help us take a significant bite out of that debt by giving us a sizable interest free loan, with minimal terms.
Has it made a difference in our lives? You bet. After first eliminating the remaining portion of the debt we are now able to see the amount we owe decrease regularly. In addition to the money we borrowed for school it has also been necessary to pay off the interest on that loan which sometimes made it seem like we’d always be in debt. Now I see a light at the end of what once seemed like a never-ending tunnel, which significantly reduces the stress I feel when I think about our household finances.
It’s also inspiring us to think creatively about what we will do with all the “extra” money we will have once our loan is repaid. We are currently living without spending that loan payment each month and we don’t want to simply increase our standard of living when it’s paid. We’d like to use it to make more friends.
This experiment in alternative economics has also led me to ask a lot of questions.
One of the most striking features to me is not that we received this money or that we are now inspired to think differently about money, but the simple fact that in order for this to happen we had to be willing to talk about money and more specifically, we had to talk about our money with others.
Which is something I plan to do a lot more in the future, and I hope that it inspires others to do the same.
Rachel Twigg Boyce is a spiritual director and the pastor of House Blend Ministries, an intentional community in West Broadway. When she is not working she can often be found drinking coffee, walking her dog, or doing both at the same time.