Col 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
One of the biggest steps in creating financial stability is to learn to work hard. I don’t mean physically working hard, but as the Bible says whatever you do, do it will all of your heart. While hard work alone is no guarantee of financial stability lack or of a good work ethic will almost certainly lead to instability.
Prov 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
If you are in debt you are serving someone else. While the Bible does not specifically prohibit debt, it does warn against it in many ways. We can not live long spending more than we make, we are not congress.
Prov 6:6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
The ant prepares for tough times. We must know that emergencies come up, bad things happen and we need to be able to prepare for them. If we are not spending less than we make we will never be able to prepare for our own emergencies let alone help others with theirs.
Deut 15:10 – Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
There are so many passages of scripture that call us to give generously that I can’t go into them all here. But we are not called to a specific amount or percent but to give generously, cheerfully, and as you have decided in your heart. If you are reading this then you are incredibly blessed and while the world wants to talk a lot about privilege the Bible does talk about grace and reminds us that as we have been freely given to we should freely give. We should be a people marked by generosity because it is a proof of our faith. (2 Cor 8)
Depending on where you are from, stewardship either means taking care of the earth or the campaign you run to build a new church building. Stewardship is the management of resources that do not belong to you. Financial managers, people who have power of attorney, even employees are all tasked with managing things that they don’t own.
Christians understand, we are bought with a price and we are not our own. (1 Cor 6:19-220) Christ purchased us with is own blood and he has blessed us with the ability to gain wealth. Wealth that is not our own, but his and we should use it to honor him.
There are few places we completely miss it on the call to stewardship:
Stewardship is a call to all of us, to be wise with our money and sacrifice “more” so others do not have to do without. Apart from all the political excuses, it is a shame that we have large expensive buildings and homes while people go hungry.
Ben Hardy again challenges us to change our routine so we can change our outcomes. I am also downloading his checklist of most effective techniques to see how effective they are. Anyone up to the challence with me?
Being a good steward of your time means finding ways to do things better. This article by Benjamin P. Hardy has some great information on getting the most out of your time.
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The three marriages most of will face, hopefully, they will be with the same people. Here they are with survival tips…
For the majority, this is what we think about as a traditional marriage. It is the first of our three marriages. We are young, single, perhaps no kids and we find the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. If you are married you know that first year of marriage can be rough. If you aren’t married yet, have not doubt, adjusting to your new life as one can be rough.
This will be your first marriage. Determine how you will decide on the little things that shape the way your family will operate for the coming years.
Kids; Nothing will throw off your marriage like kids. The two of you are no longer the only members of your family. I still believe you should be the center, but it will look differently than it did in your “First marriage”. I say that your relationship should be the center because if you aren’t intentional about maintaining your relationship with your spouse your may not make it to the last of your three marriages.
Of course I know that some people have marriage one and two at the same time and God bless you, I have no idea how you make it work. I have asked for a friend, who has a great marriage like this, to write something on that but haven’t heard back from him yet.
I have seen many strong marriages completely fall apart when the kids leave the house. Parents suddenly look at one another and realize they are more than parents. This may be the toughest of the three marriages because of the many transitions happening at once. Of course, I am speaking to this only from an outside perspective. My wife and I are in our second marriage and have years before we hit this phase.
What other obstacles or tips do you have for these various marriages?
Many of us get carried away with the “Christmas spirit” and spend more than we intended to. Maybe this is even done with the best intentions, we love the people we are buying for and we want to bless them but there are smart ways to do it and not so smart ways.
Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful if we plan ahead what steps have you taken or do you want to take in order to be prepared for Christmas next year.
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It is that time of year. People start thinking about Christmas shopping about this time. If you haven’t been keeping a Christmas fund already you may be thinking “How will I handle this?” How do we let the whole year go by without making plans to keep Christmas under control.
Remember the true point of Christmas. It is a celebration of our Lord Jesus not our Lord Materialism. Create traditions with your children that will point your children toward the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We always do a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas eve, for example. We have always based our gift giving on the idea that God has given his greatest gift to us and so we give gifts as a reminder of that Gospel truth. What type of ideas do you have to keep it simple and focused on Christ?
For Christians Christmas shouldn’t be about materialism. The average American expects to spend $882 dollars on Christmas this year according to the American Research Group. All too often our culture pushes us toward worshiping at the retail altar. If you train your children early to appreciate the little things you are off to a good start. There is no reason to try to buy your children’s affections once a year.
If you are like me you freeze up when it comes to actually buying the gifts. We have the money, we planned for it but what does my wife actually want? I have taken to keeping a running list of anything my wife mentions or anything I think she may like throughout the year. This way I don’t have to worry too much when it comes to thinking for ideas.
What ideas do you have on keeping Christmas real? Put it in the comments..
My Wife and I are calling for a No Spend Month for August. Why? We let a few things get away from us. We had used our credit card in an attempt to build up some reward points and in the process over spent. We had carried a balance for a few months and decided to bite the bullet and pay it off. Fortunately for us we have the money to pay it off in another account, I just like having money in the bank.
So, in order to replace the money from that account we have decided to do our “No Spend Month.” What does that mean? We normally have budget allowances for categories like eating out, clothes, Christmas, and other but for this month all of that money is going to pay back our the money we used to pay off that Credit card.
Last night was the first time we were challenged. The girls are out of town and normally that means we go out to eat and treat ourselves. Last night we didn’t allow ourselves to do it. We went to the park and played Pokemon Go. We went home and my wife shopped and gotten us nicer meals for home than usual, but they came out of our grocery budget, which isn’t part of our “No Spend August” (Hey, you gotta eat)
We looked for ideas to do that didn’t cost us any extra money. Play a game, binge a show on Netflix, swim in our pool (no kids makes is peaceful). We even helped one another make plans to be successful in our respective goals.
Even if you didn’t overspend there are some benefits to doing your own No Spend Month.
Don’t know how you could do it. Try these articles and give your ideas in the comments below.
I have recently gotten an email from Fidelity introducing a concept they call the 50-15-5 rule. You live on 50% of your income invest 15% in retirement and 5% in short term emergency savings. Of course, that is only 70%. The remainder can be used on what you like, according to Fidelity, paying off debt, or investing more.
This is a great idea if you have the disposable income. Many people don’t have that kind of luxury. It did help me see I am not putting enough away for retirement. Lifestyle creep has worked its way into my life and my budget. Extra money I have been earning over the years is eating into my budget and not being used intentionally.
If you have trouble keeping to a budget this may be an easier way to go. You put away your savings mark off 50% of your income and spend it to live. The other 30% you can use for discretionary items, like giving. It would be easier than doing a zero based budget or some other method if you are aren’t a numbers persons.
I have been examining different budget methods. I am a numbers geek, but not everyone is. There are many other methods out there to use to control your spending. If one of them works for you then use it. Just be intentional about stewarding your money.
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