Almost everyone who gets into financial trouble puts themselves there.
It may have been through making some bad decisions even though you knew better, or just through simple ignorance. That’s why it’s so important to get some wisdom on how to handle finances.
The way to combat ignorance is to gain knowledge. The Bible is full of simple instructions on how to manage money. It tells us what to avoid so that we don’t end up broke and in a financial mess. Let me share just a few traps that God says will suck the life right out of our pocketbooks.
- Not being generous. Proverbs 11:24-25 (NLT) says, “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
- Not having a spending plan. Proverbs 24:3-4 (TLB) says, “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.”
- Debt. Don’t get bogged down in credit card debt. Proverbs 22:7 (TLB) says, “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.”
Those are just a few of the pitfalls that we need to watch out for. If we’ll listen to God’s instruction, we can avoid making a lot of mistakes with our finances. He’ll not only keep us out of money traps, but He’ll also teach us how to profit!
If you’re facing some financial challenges, begin reading through the book of Proverbs. Write down the scriptures that talk about finances and increase. Ask yourself, “How can I implement these scriptures in my life?” Begin to do the Word and watch your situation turn around!
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“The plans of the diligent lead to profit…” (Proverbs 21:5 NIV).
Managing money is a big part of life. If you’re not trained to do it, it can make life really hard. Those who were taught money management skills by their parents will have an advantage in life.
Some people are naturally inclined to be “savers” rather than “spenders.” However, they may manage their money with an “Ebenezer Scrooge” grip, penny-pinching at every turn because they’re afraid of losing it.
Then there are others who are “spenders.” They spend their money as fast as they make it! They never think of saving because what is money for anyway? To spend!
No matter how much money you make, if you don’t know how to manage it in a healthy way, you’ll never have enough. If you’re a “spender,” you’ll come to the end of the month and think, I had a great paycheck this month, but where did it all go?
Or, if you’re an extreme “saver,” you’ll live a very frustrated life never spending anything, never enjoying the fruits of your labor because you’re afraid you’ll never have enough. You’re constantly thinking: What if the car breaks down? What if the water heater goes out? What if…?
God’s desire is that we manage our finances in such a way that we enjoy the fruit of our labors, but also have savings to pull from if we need it. That’s why we need a spending plan!
Creating a spending plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple. Check online for free resources and downloadable budget forms. Or, check out our book, Family Finances, which includes a budget worksheet. Find something that works for you. Get started today!
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When it comes to finances, the biggest nemesis for many people is their credit card.
Credit cards can be an asset if used correctly and with discipline, but for many they are what lead to financial downfall. Let’s look at some credit cards statistics from a few years ago that will give a better picture and may also be a wake-up call:
- The average family carries a balance of $4,000 in credit card debt on several cards from month to month.
- If you didn’t have your credit card payment of $400 a month, and you invested that money in a tax-deferred savings plan paying 11% interest instead, then in 30 years you could retire with $1.1 million in the bank. Credit card payments cost thousands of dollars in interest, keep many Americans from saving for their retirement and make bankruptcy look like a good alternative.
- According to one statistic from a few years ago, late feels totaled $7.7 billion.
- Another statistic from a few years ago stated that in one year alone, Americans paid out approximately $65 billion in interest.
The bottom line is that it’s God’s will for you to be a lender and not a borrower (Deuteronomy 15:6 NLT). He will bless us, but we need to do our part and develop wise money management skills.
Pray and ask God for wisdom regarding your finances. Also, take natural steps to get some godly financial counsel. A great tool is a book we offer called Family Finances. This book not only contains godly insights on money management, but also includes worksheets to help you to assess and manage your money habits. Let’s start developing healthy money habits today!
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In order to prosper and increase, we must do a financial checkup every so often.
That means we need to evaluate where we are and see if there are changes that need to be made in our spending. Making more money isn’t always the only answer to increase. Sometimes we need to stop and plug any holes that may be causing our finances to be leaking out.
Haggai 1:6 (NLT) puts it this way, “You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!”
Periodically, take time to go through your bills and your checking account and credit card statements to evaluate where your money is going. You may have a budget (spending plan) in place, but take time annually to inventory your accounts and see where things are going. Has your cable bill increased? Have any of your utility bills gone up? Has your car or home mortgage insurance increased in the past few years?
If so, maybe it’s time to check around for a different cable TV package that would be less expensive. If your utility bills have gone up significantly, are there home maintenance fixes that can be done to bring those costs down? Compare insurance premiums to make sure you’re getting the best deals and aren’t pay for things you don’t need.
Tuning up your finances may take some work, but once you start checking into some of these areas, you may find that it’s worth it. You may be able to save a significant amount by just making some adjustments to your cash outflow and shoring up any areas where funds may be trickling out. Take time to do some financial maintenance and plug the holes!
Proverbs 24:3-5 says, “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” Take time to do a financial tune-up!
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Joe shares how the Apostle Paul started out as a professional hit-man. He literally had Christians killed.
He was far from perfect yet God saw that He could use Paul for His glory. How tells how Paul was transformed from a murderer, to the greatest apostle and someone who wrote over half of the New Testament.
God isn’t looking for perfect people….THERE ARE NONE!
God’s Looking for people who will stand up.
He’s not looking for big people, He’s looking for people He can be big, in and thru. He’s not looking for strong people, He wants to be strong IN somebody He’s not looking for perfect people He’s looking for people He can be perfect, in and thru.
God created you and He knows what He’s placed in you. We need to humble ourselves and allow God to show Himself mighty in our lives. We can’t do anything on our own anyway. We need to just allow God to show off within our own lives.
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God never writes people off and neither should we.
Joe shares a funny story about his no-good drunken uncle. Joe was done with him…. But God never gave up! Never lose hope in what God can do!
God has faith in you and me. In fact, He has so much faith in us that he always sees the best in us, even when we don’t measure up. Never judge a book by its cover. God can use people that you would never imagine would amount to much because He never gives up.
Watch & Be Encouraged
The Take Away:
God has faith in you and me. In fact, He has so much faith in us that he always sees the best in us, even when we don’t measure up.
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Most everyone loves the anticipation of beginning a new year.
It’s always a great feeling to put the previous year behind, roll the date forward, and get a fresh start. It’s like we’ve been given a blank check for 365 brand new days, and all 8,760 hours are ours to spend however we choose. What goals should we reach for? What resolutions will we commit to? How will we spend all of this time?
Time management skills affect every area of our lives—our relationships, our finances, our family, as well as our physical and spiritual health and well-being. If we plan poorly or don’t plan at all, we’ll squander one of our greatest assets—time. As a result, we’ll experience deficiencies in areas of our lives.
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Proverbs 10:4 ESV).
If we are going to be wise stewards of our time, we need to be proactive in planning and budgeting our time in the same way we do our finances. Every person on the planet is given 24 hours every day to spend as they choose. If we are going to experience increase in our lives, we have to learn to spend those hours wisely every day.
Let’s train ourselves to be diligent with the time we’ve been given so that we can set and obtain goals, and live rich, satisfied lives!
Invest in a day planner to help you write things down and organize your daily tasks. Also, write down long term goals and set realistic deadlines for accomplishing them. Include a timeline, listing all the action steps necessary to complete each goal. Keep it simple.
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The key to happiness is not riches or wealth. The key to happiness is knowing that God is our source, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us, and knowing that He will always provide for us.
Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 (NIV) says, “Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is the gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.”
God is going to give us the power to get wealth, and He’s going to give us the ability to enjoy it. He’s going to give us the ability to be happy in our work. That’s His gift to us.
We should be so excited about what God is doing with us now and with what He’s going to do with us in the future, that we won’t think back on the “good old days.” The “good old days” are going to pale in comparison to the great day we’re having today and to the great day we’re going to have tomorrow. God is going to do great things for us!
God is our source, and He will give us the power to get wealth and enjoy it. We don’t have to be afraid of men, the boss at work, or what’s going on in the economy. We can be confident God is going to take care of us!
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God Has a great plan for your family. That plan will cost money and that means God must have a plan for your money.
This month we are taking a break from our Promises For Parents Blog Series for a Special September Family Finance Series. If we are not handling our finances in line with God’s plan then our whole life is out of joint. No matter how spiritual we may think we are, we will never experience the fullness of God’s blessing until we bring our money matters in line with the principles in His Word.
Watch Part 2 of Family Finances – Blessed Or Broke
Check our Blog next week for Day 3 of our series Family Finances!
Get the tools you need to make the best choices for your Family! The Family Finance Series includes Topics Like …
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Most Christians—people who know the Word and the Spirit of God—still somehow struggle with saving for the future.
However, having a storehouse, a savings account, is scriptural, and the Bible says it’s wisdom to save for the future.
Proverbs 6:6-9 (NIV) says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”
In other words, the ant, even though it doesn’t have a boss, a leader, or an education has enough sense to know that summer won’t last forever. Eventually, winter will come and the time to harvest will be over.
In the Old Testament, Joseph, at God’s direction, instituted a seven-year savings plan that kept the lives of countless people from being destroyed during a seven-year famine (Genesis chapter 41). Paul, who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, understood the concept of saving for the future (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 NLT).
How do we save for the future? We do it a little at a time. Proverbs 13:11 (NIV) says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
God says it’s wisdom to save for the future. He said He’ll bless us in our storehouse, but He can’t do it unless we have one.
Start saving today for your future. Set up a savings account and deposit as much as you’re able to. Take advantage of the 401K program that’s offered at your job and contribute to it regularly. Pray over your storehouses (savings accounts, investments, 401K plans) and believe for increase.