Money Matters Part 2
PART TWO, we will learn some other winning principles of money management.
In Part 01, we learned that in order to be ‘Future Ready,’ one needs to know how to manage their time and money. Regarding money, it is important to remember God and put Him first.
In Part 02, we will look at a few practical principles in order to achieve the worthwhile goal of financial freedom.
1. Remember the poor: In this fallen world, we will not be able to eliminate poverty (Jesus says the poor you will have always - Matthew 26:11) but we can make life a little bit better to those who we can help. Giving to the poor is a loan to the LORD and God will repay (Proverbs 19:17). God will protect you in times of trouble (Psalm 41:1) when you give to the poor. Furthermore, it is wise to be generous even before your assets grow. As someone aptly put it, ‘Your giving is not a debt you owe but a seed you sow.’
2. Budget: This is a simple and necessary practice. Failure to budget will result in needless and difficult debt. Simple budgeting means to add up all your income streams (wages, stock dividends, government payments), then calculate your expenditure, and do your best to live by this. If expenditure is greater than income, then prepare for some trimming of your expenses (you would be amazed how much money is wasted, but you’ll never know it until you budget). In budgeting your expenses, include holidays, entertainment, saving, gifts, and a bit of money for unexpected. Add it up over the year and then divide by the number of weeks. Do you best to keep to the budget. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from someone who is knowledgeable on this subject. A website worth looking at regarding budgeting is found at
3. Storehouse: In Deuteronomy 28:8 (NKJV) ‘The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.’ The ‘storehouse’ is where you set up a savings account for your family, add to it regularly, and don’t touch it except for emergencies. Somehow, the discipline of saving attracts the blessing of God and wonderful blessings ensue. This simple principle is laid out in the book The Storehouse Principle: A Revolutionary God Idea for Creating Extraordinary Financial Stability by Al Jandl and Van Couch, Word and Spirit Resources, Tulsa, 2004. Highly-recommended. The ‘Storehouse Principle’ is to practice saving. Financial freedom comes through financial discipline. Save money for emergencies, unexpected expenses, and investment. This is one of the reasons for such great financial success in East Asia. It is estimated that people put up to 20% of their income in savings. Contrast that to the average westerner, who saves very little, maxes out the credit cards, and lives from pay cheque to pay cheque. Even the nation of China understands this principle: it is estimated that it has saved 4 trillion (yes, trillion) dollars in the bank. This has helped it when its stock market did a downturn. Make saving a regularly and consistent practice. Without the discipline of savings, it is impossible to achieve financial freedom.
4. Investment: Once you have save a bit of money, don’t let it rot at 1/2 a percent interest - invest it. Normal means are by stocks, bonds, or property. Ask advice of an experienced investor. Don’t be afraid to seek a mentor on this topic, someone who has succeeded in this area, rather than an ‘arm-chair expert’ who knows the theory but has little to show for his or her advice.
5. Be a Value-Shopper: Don’t pay full price for anything! Shop around for bargains, ask for discounts, use coupons (if available). The old maxim holds true: a penny saved is a penny earned. Also, before you leave the store, do what millionaires often do: check the receipt to make sure you have not been overcharged.
6. Debt reduction: First, only go into debt for something that is worthwhile and will increase in value (e.g. a home, business, or property). That said, make sure the debt you incur is affordable. If you can’t sleep at night because of the amount of your prospective loan, then don’t do it. We strongly recommend that you borrow for a home on one income, even if you are a two-income family. Circumstances change and if one person loses their income, you will not be under stress. At the same time, do everything in your power to reduce debt. Paying a bit extra on your mortgage can shave off thousands in repayments over the years. If available, get a mortgage offset account that treats your mortgage as a transaction account, all your money goes in and out of it. You will see your mortgage melt before your eyes. If you are seriously in debt and don't know what to do, then seek help. Christians Against Poverty help provide debt counselling for people who are struggling financially, including insolvency and bankruptcy. Their contact:
7. Multiple streams of income: Believe it or not, many professionals have other streams of income besides their normal job, though they have a good wage package. For some, the motivation may be greed, but for others, it is simply a necessity to make ends meet or to enlarge the family’s opportunities. Hobbies can turn into dollars; also, money can be made by blogging, the internet, or simple ‘petty capitalism,’ including outdoor markets. My family in England love to go to ‘car boot sales,’ where they buy items at a bargain and sell it on eBay for multiple times more. As Mary Kay Ash, founder of the cosmetic empire ‘Mary Kay Cosmetics,’ once quipped: innovate or evaporate.
Dave Ramsey, author of the best-selling book, Total Money Makeover, says that millionaires are intentional, save, invest, and are generous (before they get the millions). It takes time, 10, 15, 20 years , but consistency is the key. You don’t have to become a millionaire, however, to enjoy financial freedom.
Financial freedom is a worthwhile goal. It will liberate you from financial worry. Once conquered, you can focus on the rest of life. Never forget: consistency and perseverance is the key to freedom, financial and otherwise.