The past two weeks we have been talking about money. Why? Because money touches all of us. And God has a lot to say about the topic of money and our heart in light of it. On the post this week, I just wanted to give some practical advice and help in this area.
These are things that my wife Alex and I have found helpful, and you might as well:
1. Develop a Vision Statement for Your Money:
“Without vision people cast off restraint”
This proverb rings so true in the area of money. It's why it is important to develop vision for the way you steward the money God has given you. Maybe you have vision to one day give over 75% of your income away or to save up $1,000,000. Whatever your dream and hope is, if you don’t have vision for it you won’t get there.
2. Create a Budget:
Whether you are in college or an empty nester, one of the most valuable things you can do in the area of financial stewardship is make a budget. The idea here is to tell your money where to go. Whenever you receive your paycheck, whether irregular, varying amounts or a set amount, take 10-30 minutes to plan.
Here are some great resources for making a budget….
3. Start an Emergency Fund:
One of the biggest hindrances to stick to your budget are unplanned expenses. Car repairs, a broken phone, and emergency medical expense are all things that can happen at any time that we may not have prepared for, and they can destroy our budget. Having $1000 in a savings account that you don’t touch except for emergencies does two things. 1) It gives you peace of mind. If something happens, you have money placed to the side that you can access. 2) It allows you to stick with your budget in the event of an unplanned expense.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, start putting a reasonable amount from each paycheck into a savings account.
4. List Your Debts:
One helpful thing is to make a list of all debts owed; simply write them out on paper. From small to large, list them out. I’m even talking about the $50 you owe your friend. It is far easier to dig your head in the sand like an ostrich and pretend like those debts aren’t there. But it’s far more life giving to list them out and make a plan to pay them off. Proverbs 22:7 says:
“The borrower is slave to the lender."
It’s the real deal. Ask anyone who is debt free. There is something powerful that happens when you get set free from the lender. Once you list out your debts, come up with a plan to pay them off as soon as possible.
I hope that these small items have been helpful for you. If you're feeling lost, consider joining our Financial Equipping Course starting in October, where we’ll dive deeper into managing finances wisely. If you are doing really well in the area of finances, disciple others on how to handle money.
Let us be a church who is debt free and outrageously generous!
About the Author: Jason serves as the connections pastor at Antioch Ann Arbor. Jason loves helping people discover who God is and who they are in Christ. He is usually next to one of his four prettiest girls on the face of the earth (his wife or three daughters.)