Are you Biblically using your finances? Most of us live outside of our means and do not follow what the Bible tells us to do with our finances. So where do we start when it comes to spending our money? I am sure that most of you have heard of Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey has a 7 step program to get you out of debt. Many people that I know have taken his financial peace university to help manage their money better.
Here are Dave's baby steps:
- Save $1,000.00
- Pay off debt
- 3-6 month fund
- Pay off house
Where do Dave's baby steps fall in line with Biblically using your finances?
If you look at the Bible, tithing is mentioned in the Old Testament numerous times. If you take a look at Genesis 28:20-22 this set of verses talks about Jacob's giving.
Genesis 28:20-22 NASB Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21 and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
Why is it important to give?
Since Christians are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament, tithing 10% is up in the air. The New Testament refers to tithing in the Old Testament but does not specifically direct Christians to give 10%. Jesus does mention tithing in his criticism of the Pharisees. More so Jesus made it clear that we are supposed to support the poor and use our finances to further God's Kingdom. As mentioned in 2 Corinthians, God loves a cheerful giver. I don't think a lot of Churches now days are doing justice to the verses in 2 Corinthians.
When you set the bar of giving at 10%, you are not creating an environment for a cheerful giver. Some people can give 10% and some cannot. I believe that using your finances in a way that honors God, is what is expected from us.
Using our finances after giving.
Regardless of how much you give, I still think that it is important to give first. Giving money first puts your faith in God. If you have your budget set in place, you should have a good idea of how much income is available for giving. If you give and fall short on your budget, this will help you tighten up other areas of your finances.
After giving, saving money should be a top priority. I understand that it is not easy to save when you are living paycheck to paycheck. The only way that you will get out of living paycheck to paycheck is by changing your lifestyle. Everyone has things that they can cut. I understand that cutting some of these things is less than ideal. If you want financial freedom, then cutting spending and putting a little bit of money away each month will make that a reality.
Where do your remaining funds land?
It is ultimately up to you to set a budget for your household. Your mortgage and rent will more than likely top your list. Food will be another category at the top of your list as well. How you spend your money on food, clothing and other “necessity” items will dictate how much money you will have left over for savings at the end of the month.
Budgeting is an on going process. It is important to review your budgeting practices with your spouse to make sure that your money is being spent appropriately. If you haven't looked into Dave Ramsey, it is a good place to start. His system and ideas may not work for everyone, but I am sure that you can learn something though.