I didn't finish all I wanted to say yesterday. I know that may shock some of you since we went a little longer than normal. I didn't get the chance to bring up my financial expert. I had planned on letting her finish my message on purposeful finances by laying out her simple plan for financial security. So...I thought I'd take a second to give you her plan here. She's given me permission. Ready? Take notes now. I don't want you to miss any of the details.
The first 10% goes to God. No matter how big or how small you think it is, he gets the first part (Malachi 3:10). NO questions asked. Simplest way to do this is to take your paycheck, multiply that amount by .10, write the check and give with joy. If you don't give then you can't be like Christ. He was a giver from the very beginning and He's still giving today.
Second, before you try to do anything else, take the next 20% (multiply your check amount by .2) and put it into your savings. You need 3 to 6 months of your paycheck put away for emergencies. Once you have reached that amount, find a safe and secure place to store the rest away (mutual funds, retirement, college funds, money markets, etc.)
Third (are you ready for this?) learn to live off of the other 70%. If you can't make ends meet, quit saying you don't make enough and start asking how can I learn to live without some of the luxuries. Newer cars, bigger homes, nicer clothes, eating out all the time are all fine if you can afford them. If you can't, the other stuff works just as well. Buy used cars, downsize your home, cut your utilities, pack your lunch and find the way to Goodwill.
Last year in America, we saved a whopping -2.2% (that's right, that's a negative in front of that number). We are setting ourselves up for disaster. Anyone who knows basic math can tell you how to balance your budget (don't ask Congress for help on this one, but that's another story altogether). You don't spend what you don't have. And this is a truth that my financial expert hammers on hard.
By the way, this "expert" is my daughter, Abigail. Abby is 10 years old. For 10 years, Abby and Harrison (for 14) have been taught these Biblical principles about how to manage their money. They are simple enough for my young daughter to get but hard enough to live by that my son quite often struggles with this. But it's so important for you to get this. There is freedom when you and I learn that debt and uncontrollable spending mean bondage and fear. Neither is God's plan for your life.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 NIV
In fact, Proverbs 22 is some good reading related to life and finances. Check it out.