1. Stop living within your means
Hear me out, living within your means is great, if you want to spend the rest of your life living paycheck to paycheck. The reality is that life happens and if you live paycheck to paycheck chances are when life happens it causes you to panic. I am not sure about you but I don’t enjoy when I have to choose between a new set of tires and food for the week. Living under your means will allow you to create margins in your finances and margins = money. It isn’t always easy to not spend money, but it’s necessary to living in financial freedom.
2. Get honest with yourself
It has been said, “honesty is the best policy”. That statement is so true in the area of your finances. We all need to have a honest look at where we are financially and where we want to be. Getting honest will cause you to say no to some things now so that you can say yes to greater things down the road. This will most likely mean that you cannot buy a new pair of shoes every paycheck or have a shopping spree, but you will be mastering your money instead of it mastering you.
3. Begin tithing
I know what you are thinking, ” the pastor wants to talk about money”. Your right I do, in fact so did Jesus. He thought that money was such a stronghold in the lives of people that He spoke on it often saying things like “where your treasure is, there your heart is also”. The point is if we take scripture at its word saying “every good gift is from God” then I would say God gave you 100% of the money you have. Tithing (10%) is simply giving back to God what is rightfully His! I believe that God wants to bless your finances but if you don’t loosen your death grip, how will you be able to receive the blessings of God? It is extremely hard to catch a blessing with a closed fist.
4. Start a savings account
Remember earlier when we talked about living under your means, and getting honest with your finances? When you do those things you end up with extra money. Rather than blowing that money, start a savings account with your bank. This will allow you to establish an “oh crap fund”. Life still happens, and when it does, with a savings account, you have the ability to not become overwhelmed by them. You never plan for bad things to happen, but you are saving to overcome them if they do.
5. Create a budget (we have spreadsheets for you)
Lastly, create a budget and stick to it. a budget is a strategic plan on how you are going to spend your finances. Creating a budget allows you to know how to operate. This is a rough sketch of our budget:
- Tithe- 10%
- Housing (mortgage/rent)- 30%
- Expenses (utilities/groceries/gas)-30%
- Date night- 10%
- Not alloted (margin)- 10%
It gives us an outline of how we spend the money that comes in and allows us to plan for financial sucess!
My prayer for all who read this is that 2015 would be an incredible year of financial success for you!