Just this last week, it happened. As my family was pulling into a restaurant to have a nice Christmas break lunch, I heard a terrible grinding noise. I HATE CAR REPAIRS! I tried to shut it out of my mind, and after we had our lunch I took the car down to my local shop to see what was the matter. It wasn’t pretty. The whole ordeal ended up costing us around $700 in total repairs. It was a Budget Busting Moment.
Are you holding on to your money, or is your money holding on to you?
Handling money is a big responsibility, and how you handle money can make or break your character. The reason it is such a critical issue is because for most of us, money is a part of our every day life. We interact with it more than almost any other one single thing. But there is a way to handle it that brings glory to God, and there is contentment when we realize our money is really not our money, it belongs to God. So how should we manage it? The dreadful B word! BUDGET – TELL YOUR MONEY WHAT TO DO!
The Building Blocks of a Budget…
1. Give First – No matter how much you make, everyone can give something. Some people want to argue about how much to give and when to give, but the essential building block of having a financial life that exudes maturity is to give first. If you never give, what you are saying is “I am selfish”. So many people in our community are generous with their time, energy and yes, MONEY. If you want to have a Fresh Start in Your Finances, GIVE – SOMETHING – NOW. It doesn’t matter to whom or where, just let God transform your heart and become a giver. When you give, you reveal something about yourself. “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21.
Here is one reason you need to be a giver…
- One Fall day right before thanksgiving in 1982, I was seven years old and I remember a family from our church showing up with boxes. At first I didn’t know what they were for, but when I looked inside the boxes there was food. It was much needed food for our family of 5 at the time. It was because of people in our church who GAVE that our family was able to eat on Thanksgiving. When you GIVE, you are proving you believe in Jesus to provide for your needs, and the needs of people in your community.
Question: What is holding you back from giving?
2. Save – Did you know that the United States has one of the lowest savings rate of any developed country? This is a sad state of affairs for our country, but as Christ followers we can be counter cultural and set an example of SAVING rather than example of DEBT. “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20. Most of the time, the reason we don’t save is because we are so busy paying interest on credit card debt. Before you save, pay OFF your credit card debt.
Question: Do you have a get out of debt plan?
3. Essential Spending – You know what goes into this piece, but never has it been easier to pay bills! In our essential spending block is the gas bill, the mortgage, the water bill, insurance and it is entirely automated. I write maybe two checks a month and at the beginning of the month, on one spreadsheet I have listed where ALL of my essential spending is going. 1 Timothy 6 says, “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
Question: How content are you?
4. Non-Essential Spending – There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with enjoying money after you have taken care of the above three items. As a matter of fact, God actually encourages it! There were entire weeks in Hebrew culture set aside on the calendar for feasting and partying! Unfortunately, many of us have upside down budgets. We impulsively get what we want first, and if there is anything left over, we might give.
Question: What is a way you can enjoy what you have more?
It’s time for a FRESH START IN YOUR LIFE! Happy Budgeting!
217church meets 9:30 & 11 am at AMC 24 in Hamilton, NJ
- January 6 – Fresh Start in Your Finances
- January 13 – Fresh Start in Your Health
- January 20 – Fresh Start in Your Faith