There are five basic lessons/principles that are applicable to being prudent with the money we've been entrusted to manage. No matter how much you have, your status in life, or who you view yourself to be. Starting with the premise, that GOD own's it all, we will do well to manage the money earned in light of that. One might say, "I earned it through hard work and my own ability. It didn't just fall from heaven." Is that right? Deuteronomy 8: 18, states "You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant with your fathers, as it is this day." That's the basic truth and fact of any financial prosperity. If he gives you the power, strength, ability to get/create/earn money, then it stands to reason that he is the source. We can't breathe, move, or think without him giving us the air, strength, or brain to do so. Accordingly, we arrive at the point of agreement, that it—the money—is HIS.
Let's Examine and Apply
Don't get booged down with the little stuff. For example, it's good to discuss and write-out your annual budget but not at the expense of ignoring your investment portfolio. Both are necessary but you need to keep an eye on your investments, insurances, wills, etc.
Today counts more than tomorrow. So, don't put off saving now! Today! Thinking that you will have time tomorrow or you don't have enough to save. No matter how little you have or how much you have, you have to remember, it all is not intended for consumption on you today. With the mind-set that there's a brighter day ahead, you have to prepare for it. Chances are, it's going to take more than you will have for that day, so, start saving NOW.
Prepare for the inevitable. Whether it be taxes—personal income taxes or real estate taxes—car registrations, vehicle repairs, etc. You have to factor in the unexpected—job loss, roof repair, etc—as well as the expected. Proverbs 22:3 states, "The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty" Life happens. We don't know what life has in store for us just around the bend in the road of life's journey but we do see what's going on all around us: whether to us or someone else or someplace else, things are happening and not in a vacuum. The fact that you have been allowed to witness any given event, is an indication that it's something you need. Perhaps you don't need it now, but you will need it later: so, prepare for the inevitable. It's going to happen.
Avoid doing too much too fast. An example of this would be trying to catch up on saving or contributing to your retirement account as a result of a windfall or starting back to work or a new job that has a significant increase. I know you want to catch-up on the aforementioned now that you have a little more sense about your dollars, but make sure you have your bases covered before you go on to bigger things: then take that surplus and save or invest it.
Don't fool yourself on what you're spending. Although the context of the scripture is referring to correctly spreading the gospel, 1Corinthians 4:2 is applicable when it comes to our financial resources for it states, "Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." This goes directly to the heart of good financial management. A BUDGET. If you don't have one, none of the aforementioned are worth the effort. You can't manage what you don't know you have. So, I recommend writing down what you spend every day for 30-90 days. If you're serious about teaching your dollars some sense, you will be able to identify where your fluff is and where there are opportunities to re-direct those dollars that will give you a better return. You will be surprised how much a little can become a lot.
Be sure to be on the look-out for more "Teaching Our $'s Some Sense" advice by joining us on The Marlene Cox Show every fourth week. Feel free to call in with your questions pertaining to the topics of discussion on finances. You can also find us on Facebook (????) and join the conversation. Thanks for your prayerful and financial support that helps keep the "Teaching Our $'s Some Sense" segment on The Marlene Cox Show on the air. And if you'd like to help, just click the Donate tab on the page.
You can receive more useful advice on how to manage your finances from Min. Michael Cox by tuning into The Marlene Cox Show on WBGR Entertainment on Facebook Live. Every Friday at 12:30 PM (ET), Michael Cox will host a segment titled "Teaching Our $'s Some Sense"
Min. Michael Cox, is also the author of the soon to be released book and finance study guide "Teaching Our $'s Some Sense" which will teach principles and lessons all good stewards should practice. The lessons in the book is based on some of the Bible's 2300 verses on the topic.