Debt stifling family and whole country

We have a major debt problem in this country. Now you may think I am going to rant about government spending and tax increases and while I could, that is not the point of this letter. What I am talking about is much closer to home than Washington, D.C. or even St. Paul. I am talking about personal consumer debt.

According to Business Insider, as of 2010 the total consumer debt in the United States was nearly $2.4 trillion! That was an average of $7,800 per person. How can we point a finger at our government for their spending when we can’t even control our own? It is time for us to stop pointing fingers and hold ourselves accountable for our financial issues. We need to start balancing our own budgets and digging ourselves out debt. Once we have accomplished this, then we can start to look to our leaders and tell them to do the same.

My wife and I started this process last summer when we took a class called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. This class helped us to realize that we control our finances; our finances don’t control us. This isn’t a typical get-out-of-debt-fast program, as there are no quick fixes. This is a slow and steady process that encourages behavioral changes that can be sustained.

This class has changed our lives for the better and it can change yours, too. The average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 in the first 90 days alone.

This nine-week class starts Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Central Lutheran Church here in Elk River. If you are interested in changing your life, check out for more information or to sign up for a class near you. — Justin Kranz, Elk River