Can you really live at peace if your finances are out of control?
Can you really do the things that please God if you don’t get your finances under control?
Since I believe that those questions must be answered with “no,” I want to give you seven effective practices to get your finances under control.
First, determine to make getting your finances in order a priority in your life.
This is a necessity for anything that you want to change. If it’s not important enough to put at the top of your “to-do” list, it probably will not get done.
Second, determine where your money is going.
Keep a log of every expenditure no matter how small. You will be amazed at how much money you could be spending differently.
Third, once you have examined the log to find where your money is going, make a plan.
Most any plan will work as long as you work the plan. I would encourage you to gather advice from wise, trusted counselors in the spirit of Proverbs 15:22: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” I would add a proverb: “a wise man seeks counsel, but the fool charts his own course.” It’s wise to seek God’s leadership through His Word and through His chosen leaders.
Fourth, ask God how He wants you to spend His money.
Prayer really does work. We should seek God’s leadership in all things. Asking Him how to use the resources He has provided makes sense.
Fifth, having asked God for guidance, make a budget.
Get everybody on board and stick to the budget. A budget is simply a plan that is determined by your priorities.
Sixth, get rid of debt.
In recent years, several good counselors have begun to give excellent advice about getting out of debt and staying out of debt. Dave Ramsey would be a good counselor to begin with. One great rule of thumb for debt is this: “Do not go into debt for anything that does not appreciate in value.” You may have to work at this, but over time you should be able to get to the point where you pay cash for large purchases, even automobiles.
Isn’t it amazing how radical this thought process is? That’s why so few people have their finances in order. To live differently, you have to think differently.
Seventh, trust God and obey His Word.
He tells us to tithe (10 percent). How can we ask for God’s blessings if we don’t obey His commands? God’s plan is clear and to the point. He wants us to trust Him with our present and our future. How can we do so if we withhold from Him (Malachi 3:8)? He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings that we can’t even comprehend (Malachi 3:10). God wants to bless us. He is waiting for our obedience.
I have a friend who runs a business. Here’s what he says: “I don’t see how you can be successful in business if you don’t tithe.” He means that He desires God’s blessings for his business.
May God bless you as you get your finances under control.
What practices do you follow to control your finances?