Part 3 of a six part series.
ISeries: Financial Fitness for Uncertain Times
In part 2 of this series, we encouraged you to take a financial physical - to evaluate where you are financially and to determine to get financially healthy. This will help to cope with troubling times both physically and financially. Now we will get started on our fitness routine.
The key to financial success, is so very simple – but also so very difficult to practice. ‘Spend less then you earn over a long period of time.’ On the road to physical fitness, dieticians will tell us to take small baby steps at first. The key is to make these small steps into a habit, then take larger steps and your new routine will become a lifestyle. On the road to financial health, Solomon wisely said, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” (Proverbs 13:11)
Spending less than you earn decreases the likelihood of debt; makes saving money for future needs possible and decreases the possibility of future financial problems.
“I just don’t know where it all goes! The month is not finished and we’re short already.” This seems to be a common phenomenon, affecting people with all sizes of income. No matter much money we earn, there always seems to be more month than money! Someone quipped, “I hear people say that ‘money talks,’ but all mine seems to say is ‘Goodbye!’ This reflects the Biblical picture of wealth, which we can all subscribe to! “In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:5)
Where does it go!
Making ends meet is a daily problem for us all. A friend said, “How can I make ends meet when they keep moving the ends?” To do this we need to setup a spending plan, in prayer with God who is the owner of our money, planning our finances so that each month we are spending less than is coming in. This requires discipline, the ability to say no to purchasing items we have not budgeted for, to stick to our plan, in the midst of all the temptations. Many people associate the word ‘budget’ with restricting, hard work and discipline. However, the fruits of making a budget and sticking to it will provide great rewards.
For Christians, a spending plan is a spiritual tool which reminds us whose money we are managing. God uses money as a tool, a test and a testimony. A tool to use to accomplish Gods purposes, a test of our faithfulness as a steward and a testimony to Gods faithfulness in providing and guiding.
A spending plan paints an accurate picture of our finances: we know how much is coming in and how much is going out. This may seem obvious, but millions spend more than they earn each month. It helps us make informed choices about our spending: we are able to make the difficult trade-offs in our choices which are harder to make in the heat of the moment.
A spending plan establishes priorities: by making us focus on our priority payments, those items which carry a penalty for non-payment (e.g. income tax, debt) and those items which really do matter to us, such as giving, saving for our car (repairs), an anniversary or a holiday.
It makes money go further: because good planning resists casual spending and anticipates problems while there is time to address them or make adjustments.
A spending plan helps us reach our life goals, puts us back in control of our finances and helps us on the road to finding financial health.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
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This is part 3 of a Series: Financial Fitness for Uncertain Times
1. Get ready to change
2. Take a physical
3. Get financially fit
4. Loose fat
5. Build muscle
6. Build endurance