Hello everyone! I've had the thought of doing this post for quite awhile now and recently a friend of mine and I were discussing it so it brought it back to mind. And what better time then at the beginning of the year for something like this?! I just want to go over the importance of being a good steward with what the Lord has given us and share with you all how I keep track of my own monies, as well as a few goals I want to improve on this coming year.
God's providence is
his almighty and ever present power, 1
whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds
heaven and earth and all creatures, 2
and so governs them that
leaf and blade,
rain and drought,
fruitful and barren years,
food and drink,
health and sickness,
riches and poverty, 3
indeed, all things,
come to us not by chance 4
but by his fatherly han- See more at: http://www.heidelberg-catechism.com/en/lords-days/10.html#sthash.KHEDMqyQ.dpuf
God forbids not only outright theft and robbery 1
but also such wicked schemes and devices as
false weights and measures,
and usury; 2
we must not defraud our neighbour in any way,
whether by force or by show of right. 3
In addition God forbids all greed 4
and all abuse or squandering of his gifts- See more at: http://www.heidelberg-catechism.com/en/lords-days/42.html#sthash.RtLfpGn6.dpuf
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9,10
Point made, when we are blessed by God we should not take those blessings (of work & money) lightly by spending that blessing on things that we just want in order to be greedy. Maybe there has never been an age that people did not go to desperate lengths to just get what they wanted to no matter the cost. But its certainly evident in our world today and this does not disclude we young people by any means! In fact, perhaps the percentage is even raised in this regard! We want the cute clothes, the newest phone, whatever happens to be "in" at the time just so that we'll be seen as "cool" or "popular" in some settings.
While owning something nice is not the issue, the problem is that, 1) These "things" have no eternal value (For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 1 Tim. 2:7) meaning we'll get quickly wrapped up in things that just don't matter in the end if we're not careful. 2) Later in life when we begin to have more of our own bills, start to fulfill dreams that happen to cost a little green, we'll so regret the much we spent on things that only lasted for a very short season, only to be quickly replaced by the latest model, and 3) This is how idolatry begins to grow in our hearts; we want things and we're unsure if God will give them to us, so we begin to put our trust in other "gods". This is a huge, huge issue in our walk with God. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10) Also, this then goes hand in hand with breaking the first commandment; Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)
So, what do I do to keep my own earnings on track (as much as humanly possible) with all I have said?
- I thrift (obviously!) and wait for deals/coupons to come along to help me be able to save more of my hard earned cash when wanting/needing to buy a certain item.
- I record all that comes in/where it came from, and all that goes out/where it goes. (Shown in photo above.) I don't always state precisely what I spent it on because most times I'll just take a bit of spending money with me when we go into town to buy whatever is on my "list". So writing down each item I'll be purchasing would be a bit extreme to me. But if I, say, put together an online order, buy a larger item (which is rare), or buy new like a yardage of fabric, that will go down in my little book to help me regulate how much I'm spending and on what.
- I try to think of how much time working the item(s) I'm contemplating would have taken me in order to purchase. This is something I just started thinking about one day and it's served me quite well on those times when you're just not sure about spending a certain amount on something.
- I give to organizations and help people financially when I feel so moved to. This is not to just give myself a pat on the back in front of y'all, but to help you realize that doing such things would not be possible if I did not put into action the previous points. Giving to poor and needy is spoken of highly in the Bible (in both the Torah and the early church) and you know we all have been in the place of need ourselves a time or two. So its only fitting that we petition that cause along. A little kindness at the right timing can do wonders on peoples' souls.
- I'd like to cut back on buying things that I just "happen to like" when I don't really need them. You girls I'm sure can relate in this area clothes wise, and though I'm far from a fanatic spender, I've seen myself dwindle a bit in this area over the last couple months and know I can do better.
- I want to open a checking account. Up until now (apart from having a savings account back when I was quite a bit younger for a while) I've always kept my savings out of the bank, and though this could be good (i.e. being able to really have to control your spending seeing as how its so easily available; training yourself) and bad (i.e. fire, stolen, etc) in a few different respects, I feel up for the new challenge. Plus spending online will be much less fuss if I can cut out paying back the middle man (aka, Mom) each time I place an order.
- Remember the tip I gave about thinking how long a certain item you would have had to work for will cost you? Well I have been slipping in that area also and want to get back into the habit of doing so. I can remember quite a few times recently that I wouldn't quite let myself ask it in dumb fear I'd answer no and have to leave the item, and just went ahead and bought the whatever anyway. Maybe this alone will help me with goal #1 I've already made.
I hope this post was encouraging and helped prick you to make changes in this area of your life where they need to be! There's so much more that could be added to this, so feel free to share your thoughts with us!
What tip has helped you to spend wiser?
Do you have any financial goals for 2016?
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
Many blessings to you,
the elder sister & writer