MONEY. Even the mention of the word can cause a gut reaction. Maybe you feel anxiety at the mention of the word. Or you feel dread because growing up your parents’ fights were usually about money. Or maybe what you feel most is shame, because of mistakes you’ve made in managing your finances.
The truth is God wants us to feel freedom and peace when we talk about money. Can you imagine? For some of us, that feels impossible. But it’s true!
So how can we get to that place? A place where we don’t have feelings of anxiety, dread or shame when we think about money….
I believe it starts with 3 key principles of money management.
Key #1: Give 10%
So it’s pretty simple: if you earn $10, God gets $1; if you earn $100, God gets $10 and so on. Now, we don’t give so that God will accept us or love us. We know that Jesus took care of all that stuff at Calvary. Praise God! And we don’t give because God is desperate for our money. The Bible says everything on the earth belongs to Him, even “the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Psalm 50:10). We give because it does much-needed work in our hearts. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21). Giving changes our focus from inward to outward, it helps us see the needs of others and positions us to help meet those needs. Think about all the ways God has given to you…the list is never-ending!
Key #2: Save 10%
If we’re careful to set aside savings, when the car breaks down or the roof leaks we have the resources to get through it. But it’s easier said than done, am I right? While certain personalities are prone to save and not spend, other folks really struggle in the area of saving. The best way I’ve found to help create the discipline of saving is to call it “paying myself.” Think about it: all of our money goes to other places (insurance, utilities, groceries e.t.c), but when we save we actually get to pay ourselves and KEEP some of our money! I mean, we worked hard for it so we might as well keep some of it, right?
Key #3: Enjoy 80%
That’s right…you get to ENJOY the rest! Now, you’ll need to pay bills and take care of expenses of course. But when you’re managing things in a way that is God-honoring, you can actually enjoy what He’s given you and be at peace about it. Living beneath our means will require that we say, ‘NO’ to ourselves (and our kids!) quite a bit. This level of self-discipline can be very difficult! Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
So stay on track! Don’t get sidetracked by your neighbor’s new car, or the pics of your friends’ vacation on Instagram. Those things aren’t bad or wrong, but let’s be sure we’re taking care of giving and saving before we get to the enjoying.
Over time, if you handle each dollar with 10/10/80 rule, you’ll find increasing freedom and peace in relation to your finances. And who wouldn’t want more of that?!