How many times have you thought or said, “If only I had more money, I could.......”
- buy a new car,
- buy another house,
- buy a new TV or computer,
- send my child to a Christian school or college,
- payoff my bills or credit cards,
- payoff last year’s Christmas gifts,
- pay my taxes on time,
- get my car repaired.
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT YOUR FINANCES? . . . . .
If any of these sound like you, it is possible to change your financial situation by the way you handle money. Yes, it really is possible to pay for your gifts, taxes or car repairs with money you have saved. It may even be possible to purchase some of those extra things that you always wanted, because you can know exactly how much you need for your regular expenses. So what’s the secret you say? Well it’s no secret or even magic. In fact, it’s a very basic thing called a budget. The word budget is not a bad word and it won’t make you ill. A budget is just a simple plan to help you spend less then you earn, keep track of what you do spend, and plan ahead for the bills you know will come and also for those unexpected expenses.
A BUDGET . . . . .
So how does a budget really work? Actually, it’s very simple and here’s a basic example of how it works. Suppose you normally spend $500 for Christmas gifts. If you begin the week after Christmas and set aside $10 per week, by the time next Christmas comes, you will have all the money saved. Now, if you would do that for all of your expenses such as food, clothing, housing, car, recreation, medical, insurance, taxes, etc, you would be setting up a budget. OK, that sounds good, but what if your expenses exceed your income. Well, after all your expenses are listed, you will need to make some adjustments until they are less then your income. Perhaps you will need to reprioritize the things you want to accomplish, or even give up some things to reduce expenses. Many times we need to learn to be content with what God has already provided for us. In Philippians 4:11 we read, I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
SOME WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ARE . . . . .
1) Learn to live on a budget and reduce unnecessary costs.
2) Eating at fast food restaurants can cost an average family $25 or more. Eliminate one time a week and save up to $100 per month.
3) Reduce or eliminate cable TV and save $30 to $50 per month.
4) Reduce or eliminate cell phone minutes and save $25 to $50 per month.
5) Share magazines within your family - reduce the number of magazine subscriptions and save $20 - $50 per year.
6) Check your W4 deductions and don’t allow excessive taxes to be deducted from your paycheck. Don’t use the government as your savings account.
7) If you are paying Private Mortgage Insurance along with your mortgage, check the equity in your home. Perhaps you can eliminate paying the monthly PMI cost.
8) Use leftovers for work and school lunches. Pack your lunch and save $25 to $30 per week.
9) Consider refinancing your home or car at a lower interest rate and reduce your monthly payment amount.
10) Use a Medical Reimbursement Account or Health Savings Account for uncovered medical expenses and reduce the income tax deducted from your paycheck.
11) Consolidate your credit card debt at a lower rate and reduce your monthly payment amount.
12) Check your life insurance coverage and premiums to make sure you are paying the lowest cost for your insurance coverage.
13) Check your auto insurance coverage and premiums to make sure you are paying the lowest cost for your insurance coverage.
14) Make sure you are using Doctors, Dentists, and Eye Doctors covered by your insurance plan to take advantage of the lowest out of pocket costs. Don’t pay extra out of network insurance costs.
15) Consider shorter or less elaborate vacations to reduce cost.
16) If you get a newspaper, consider eliminating it and reading the news online if you have interent access to save approximately $150 per year.
17) Get to together with friends and watch a video instead or each renting a separate video or going to the movies.
18) Reduce elaborate gift giving or reduce the number of people you buy gifts for and save a lot of gift money.
19) Use private baby sitters or relatives instead of child care centers to reduce childcare costs.
WHOSE MONEY IS IT ANYWAY? . . . . .
Actually, the money that we think is ours is really God’s anyway. We are only the stewards, the managers, of His money. So why wouldn’t we want to do our very best and manage it wisely? The Bible says in Matthew 6:21, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also and Hebrews 13:5 says, Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." If we are obedient and have the right attitude towards God’s principles of ownership and stewardship regarding finances, He promises to supply our needs. However, that does not always mean we will get everything we want or desire. In fact, Philippians 4:19 says, And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
SHARING . . . . .
Another benefit to living on a budget is knowing exactly what you need and then being able to share from your surplus to help others in need. The Bible says in I John 3:17, If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? God has given us the best example of love and sharing in probably the most familiar verse in the Bible: John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The result of sharing is found in II Corinthians 8:14-15, At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. In other words, those who have too much (abundance) plus those who have too little (in need) equal just the right amount for both.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT MONEY? . . . . .
Actually the Bible has hundreds of verses relating to money. Click on the "Bible Says" tab to see some of the topics and verses referring to finances.
READY TO SETUP A BUDGET? . . . . .
If you want to stop worrying about never having enough money, click on the "Setup Budget" tab and follow the steps to creating your own budget.
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