Wednesday, May 22

A Strong Financial Future – First things First

Financial fitness, like physical fitness, is mostly about good habits. You are establishing habits and getting into a routine at an early age.

Just as there are laws governing physics and motion, and these never change, there are laws (or principles) governing relationships, health and money for example also.

Here are 6 principles if you put in place you will be building a strong financial future:

1.  God is my source (law of supply)

Your source is God not your income, your security is God not your savings.

Remember the lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful. Deuteronomy 8:18

He’s more than a provider in times of need. Everything you have is from Him:

For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.  Romans 11:36

What you own is really on loan.  This is foundational to the principle we call stewardship.  

2.  Honour God First (law of honour)

*  Whatever you want God to bless in your life put Him first in.  Rick Warren

Putting first things first is critical to success in this area.  For example we understand that we must earn before we spend; pay our critical expenses (inc. debts) before our leisure expenses.

In financial terms honouring God is the principle of tithing (putting God first in money) :

  Purpose : 

Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the lord your God chooses for his name to be honoured. Deuteronomy 14:23 

Purpose of the tithe?  To honour God.

  Place : it says bring it to your place of worship – your local Church

  Promise :   

Honour the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; (‘all’ = income, bonuses, gifts, etc) 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, & your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9,10 

  Date : 

On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. 1 Corinthians 16:2

Put aside, i.e. work it out – its not emotional or pressured giving – it’s planned giving.  When? As soon as it comes in.

3.  Save money faithfully (law of investing)

Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you. Ecclesiastes 11:1

When I invest my money it works for me and not me for my money. Money is a terrible master but a great servantmake it work for you and not you for it.

The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. Proverbs 21:20

Spend whats left after saving, don’t save whats left after spending. Warren Buffett

But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead. Ecclesiastes 11:2 

Don’t put all your eggs in 1 basket.  Put money aside for the unexpected, invest for your children’s future, pay off your mortgage quicker, a pension investment might still be a good idea and so on.

 Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. Proverbs 13:11

Most people who win the lottery are broke again within 5 years.  Quick money does nothing for the development of someone’s ability to routinely grow their financial strength. Money saved little by little consistently grows.

Joseph in his years of blessing put money aside – which then provided for him and a nation in the difficult years.

4.  Keep good records (law of accounting)

Without good records you drift into debt. I spend  without restraint when I don’t know what’s in my account!

When Lizby and I got married we would use a note book and write down all our expenses, it was the simplest (probably the only way in those days) to keep records.  Now with banking apps, online banking and spreadsheets it is a lot easier to know the condition of your financial world.

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; 24 for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. Proverbs 27:23-24 

“I don’t know where it all goes” – then you are not keeping good records.

I need to know what I own, what I earn, what I owe, and where it goes.  Money disappears easy when we don’t keep a track of it.

5.  Plan my spending (Law of budgeting)

*  Most people do not plan to fail, they fail to plan

Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. Proverbs 24:27 

People do stupid things and then say “Lord bless me!”

If you were the manager of ‘You Inc.” would you fire you for bad budget management?

Impulse or emotional buying gets you into trouble if not planned.

  • Spend what you have not what you don’t have (live on less than you earn)

“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” Will Smith

  • As one of the priorities in your budget set up a repayment plan if you are in debt

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. Romans 13:8 

Pay off your mortgage as quickly as you can – over 30 years you could be paying for the equivalent of two houses in the interest you pay.

  • Plan the future – make a will, don’t leave your inheritance or your children to chance.

6.  Enjoy what I have (law of contentment)

If you’re only going to be content when you have a little more, you will never be content.

God has also given riches and wealth to every man, and He has allowed him to enjoy them, take his reward, and rejoice in his labor. This is a gift of God,  20 for he does not often consider the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with the joy of his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:19,20 

Paul said I have learnt to be content in all circumstances.  Happiness is determined by your response to what you have, not what you have.

By adjusting just one of these to be stronger you will make a difference to your financial future.