There are several subjects which are near and dear to my heart. Financial planning is definitely one of them. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love an Excel spreadsheet!
Carl and I have been privileged to be able to mentor and teach others in this area. We are by no means perfect, but we try to be good stewards of what God has given to us. We give, because of what He has given to us.
I remember a couple of years ago, my son, Nathan, came to me and asked me to start to teach him how Carl and I managed our money. We talked about a lot of things such as saving, investments, etc., but before any of that I told him the same thing I have told so many others too. It is my number one rule.
Number 1 – Tithe
Give the first of your money back to God in a tithe. A tithe means 10%, and the Bible talks about a first fruits (Deuteronomy 26). Carl and I interpret that to mean 10% off the top which would be the first fruits. For those that are not tithing at all, I at least encourage them to start doing something and work their way up to that number. I have personal friends who truly stepped out in faith after we spoke with them about this, and God did some amazing things with their work situation and with random “gifts” they received. We have seen it too many times to ever doubt it. God definitely honors those who put Him first. It is all His anyway.
“‘You are under a curse–your whole nation–because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.'” Malachi 3:10
Number 2 – Make Money
Another way to have money is to actually make money. I have met so many people over the years who are barely making it, because they don’t make a high enough wage. They are too loyal to their employer or too afraid to go and look for another job making a higher wage. Get out there and see if someone else will hire you to do what you are already doing, but at a higher wage. If you are able bodied, sling some pizzas, be an Uber driver at night, buy and resell items on Ebay, get a second job, sell some things in your garage, etc. Encourage your kids to be entrepreneurs and to think outside the box too. Nathan saw a Louis Vuitton small purse at a second hand store we were shopping at for $20, and I encouraged him to get it if he thought he could resell it for more on Ebay. He sold it on Ebay for $150. There truly are plenty of ways to make extra money.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Luke 16:10, ESV
Number 3 – Save Money
As a consumer, I have the choice to buy something or not. If the item is a need, I at least have the option (most of the time) as to where I can purchase that item. I have the option to buy it at full price or not. When shopping online, I always open a separate tab and search for a coupon code. I love the GeoQpon app which can save you money on purchases you make around town. I would say that over 50% of the time, I am able to find a coupon for something I am buying. I also love the WalMart app where I can scan my receipt, and it gives me money back if it finds a better deal somewhere else. I save it up all year long and cash it out in December for Christmas time. I just bought all of my stocking stuffers and several gifts this week all for free. Cutting coupons, sale items at the store, using apps as well as reward cards are all ways to save. For example, I try to only get coffee on Tuesdays at my favorite place, because they give double stamps on my reward card on Tuesdays. Ten stamps or ten coffees bought equal a free coffee. So, I am able to get a free coffee after only 5 coffees bought instead of 10, because I get 2 stamps for every coffee I buy not just 1. Saving money is actually exciting to me! The more money I have left in my pocket after each purchase means the more money I have to save, invest, or buy things my family needs.
“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” Proverbs 21:20, NIV