Stretching your finances
Over my years of ministry, including three pastorates, I have counseled many people on finances. Here are a few things I believe firmly and have advised:
Resolve to live within your means. If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it. If you can’t afford it and you don’t need it, don’t get it.
Keep track of all your expenditures and analyze them monthly. If you do this conscientiously, you will be amazed at where your money goes. Use this as a basis for your budget.
Incur debt only for a house or car. (Eventually save ahead and pay cash for your cars.)
Don’t buy on credit. Cut up your credit cards if you can’t pay them off each month.
Sacrifice to get out of debt. Give up what you must. You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses. People in debt should have modest lifestyles.
Drink water instead of expensive soft drinks or specialty coffees. You’ll save a lot by doing this (you should also shed pounds).
Forget designer labels and name brands. Teach your children to be content with less. (A “King’s kid” is happy with what the King gives him or her.) If your children want it and you can’t afford it, give them something better … like more of your time and attention.
Be a giver. A Christian is more concerned with blessing others than being blessed (Galatians 6:7-9). But don’t feel obligated to “exchange” gifts of equal value.
Measure your success by your riches in heaven (Luke 12:16-21).
One more thing you can do: Read the rest of this issue. It’s packed with helpful information for the Christian’s finances.
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