There are three primary components to any effective financial stewardship process. Good money managers learn how to spend money wisely, as well as save and give it effectively. Money is a tool and like any tool and resource, learning how to handle it makes all the difference in the impact we can positively make with it.
Spending Plan: Most have heard the expression, money burning a hole in my pocket and perhaps have even felt this emotion. It’s when we have some money and our desire to spend it is like an itch we just have to scratch. This is impulse buying and a very real and powerful emotion, which is why a budget is so beneficial (Luke 12:15). It helps us develop self discipline with our finances. This is our spending plan and when we calculate just how much we need for expenses and even budget dollars for entertainment costs, we are better prepared to stay out of the pot holes impulse buying can create.
Savings Plan: Many people statistically fail to have any type of effective savings plan. Mostly because they fail to have an effective spending plan, which leaves them with little to no ability to save. Therefore, it’s vital we get our spending habits under control and establish an equally powerful savings plan. This includes putting money aside for emergencies. The typical rule of thumb is to have about 6 months of living expenses set aside for emergency costs. We must also look at saving for our goals and dreams. For example, college education, retirement, weddings and/or other large expenses. Retirement income will be of vital importance and is something no one should neglect, yet many do. Therefore, if we have access to a retirement plan at work, or an IRA, we begin putting money aside we can’t easily access without potential penalties. This helps us develop good habits we will be thankful for in our “golden” years (Provers 13:11).
Giving Plan: Of course if there’s little to no money to save, there most likely is little to money to give. However, this is an extremely important part to any financial plan for many reasons. Giving helps us fight against the natural tendencies of greed. It also enables us to help others, and keep our lives from the consequences of being self-absorbed. Scrooge is the best example of this of course. Yet those with generous spirits are less likely to fall into this trap. Studies have also proven that generous people tend to be healthier and have less stress. So, we want to make a budge to give, that way, we are empowered to be more generous and even proactive in looking for opportunities to give. Thus, everyone wins (Proverbs 11:24-25).
Application: “Money Like Honey” – Proverbs 25:16
Money and honey have a lot in common. As the Bible states, too much honey will make you sick, but just the right amount adds flavor and enjoyment. Likewise, money when out of balance has sickening results. However, when used responsibly and effectively it can enhance most environments. It can add to good causes, support missions, propel goals and dreams and help add value to others. However, this is only when it is in the hands of Godly stewards. Otherwise it can quickly become a false god that enslaves, injures and destroys. Therefore, let us seek and strive to be the good stewards that seek to use God’s resources for God’s purposes