Getting down to business: How do I manage my money
Wouldn’t it be nice to successfully manage our money and never worry about finances and debt again? We may not have a magic formula, but the Bible teaches us about money management that leads to financial freedom.This starts with an understanding that God is the source of our ability to make money. He tells us in Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV) to “… remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” .
God has blessed us with wealth, and the Bible has some simple principles and practical steps that we can use to better manage money. I have summarised them in the following steps:
1. Get the facts
We have to understand the situation before we can successfully change our habits and situations. Write down in detail –
•How much do I own?
•How much do I owe?
•How much do I make?
•How much do I spend?
2. Get out of debt
Make every effort to get out of all unsecured and unessential debt, such as credit cards and loans for everyday expenses. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:7 (GNT), “Borrow money and you are the lender’s slave.” So let’s not allow debt to make us slaves. We live in a culture of impulse buying where there is a push to get more and more. But the Bible cautions us, “Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be satisfied with what you have.” Hebrews 13:5 (MSG). Let’s be satisfied with what we have and live debt-free lives.
3. Get prioritised
Tithe – we show our devotion and increase our faith when we make a habit of giving back to God 10 per cent of our income. The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 14:23 (LB), “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first.” And God encourages us: “…Test me in this…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10 (NIV).
Our second 10 per cent should go towards building up savings. If you are not able to save because of debt, use this 10 per cent to pay off the smallest debt you have. Next, we take another 10 per cent of our income and invest it. We let our money make us money. The final 70 per cent of our earnings is what we will live on. By learning to live on this 70 per cent or less, we will become stress-free and debt-free.
4. Get automated
If we are going to get out of debt, we are going to need to automate certain payments and transactions. As the surprises of life and temptations come along, we may not have the willpower to stick to our budgets. With automatic payments every month, we are more likely to remain faithful and not overspend.
5. Get Started
Don’t become a member of the procrastinators’ club. They have good intentions but just can’t make some decisions. “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it, and He will.” Psalm 37:5 (NIV).
Don’t wait until payday, start now. Let’s get the facts about where we are financially and get out of debt by prioritising our income and automating our payments. Regardless of what our financial situation is right now, we can decide to immediately put into practice these principles and steps in small ways. When we live according to the Word and will of God, we will see the faithfulness of God, who supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory.