Being a good steward means managing something that has been entrusted in your care. We know that everything we have belongs to The Lord. Therefore, all the money in your bank account is His. So how are you going to manage His money? It doesn’t matter how much money you have, it matters what you do with it. This is the foundation of sound money management.
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.
Jesus shared the parable of the master that gave three servants talents to manage. One servant had five talents and returned an additional five. The second had two talents and returned an additional two. The third had only one talent but hid it in the ground and returned the same talent back to his master. This would be the equivalent of hiding your money under a mattress. Money cannot grow if it’s hidden.
The second servant only had 2 talents but was able to gain a profit. I’m always impressed with people that do not have a lot of money from a worldly standard but are living their best life. Good money management will not only help you live better but it will give you peace of mind.
Create A Budget
I have always been pretty good with money management. When I was first started out in my early 20s, I made $250 a week. Budgeting was very necessary if I was going to survive. Every single penny was accounted for with a very strict spending plan every week.
Not much has changed, I still write down all my expenses for each check and put some money away for a rainy day. The rainy day came when I lost my job two months ago. My unemployment checks were not coming in anytime soon, so I had to tap into my stash. Thank God I had it because I had no income coming in.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing
~ Psalm 23:1~
Save Your Pennies
Back in the day I used to collect all my spare change and put it in a bucket. When the bucket was full I would go to the supermarket and dump the coins in the CoinStar machine. The cash would be deposited in my savings. Who uses cash anymore?
Dishonest money dwindles away,
but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
Now there is an app called Acorns where you can invest your spare change automatically every time you shop. You can also save a set amount every month to invest, in addition to the spare change. On top of that, certain vendors like Walmart, Macy’s, Old Navy, etc. will invest a percentage of your purchase back into your account. I love, love, love this app. Within 3 months, I accumulated $700.00.
Invest To Grow Your Money
My hero in the world of investing is Warren Buffett. He is a billionaire that lives BELOW his means. In other words, his lifestyle does not reflect his bank account. Part of his strategy is to invest for the long-term and invest in industries he understands.
For example, if you are a fashionista, invest in a company like PVH; their brands include Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. You will understand the market trends easier than investing in pharmaceuticals. This very simple strategy has proven beneficial for me over the years.
One tool I used for many years was a website called Sharebuilder; now it’s part of E*Trade. The great thing about this, you can buy partial shares of stocks. So if you want to buy Apple but you can’t afford $360 per share, you can buy a portion of the share as low as $30 per month. As you continue to accumulate a portion of the shares, your money is growing with the interest. Eventually you will own multiple shares of Apple!
Another site that has followed the same concept is Robinhood. If you are new to investing they have so many tools that will enable you to gain basic knowledge. Investing is so interesting to me because you can see how events around the world affect money. My suggestion is when the market goes down buy, buy, buy. It’s like buying clearance at Macys. You will get great deals on high price stocks. Once the market goes back up and it will, you will see the numbers grow. Especially with compound interest, which is interest earned on money that was previously earned as interest.
It’s worth noting the younger you are the greater risk you can take. The older you are the more conservative you should be with your investments. Instead of stocks, look into EFTs or Mutual Funds that invest in multiple companies in one. Essentially it’s someone else managing your stock portfolio.
If your job offers a 401K or 403B, jump on it as soon as it’s available to you. Most employers will match up to 5% of your contribution. Don’t lose out on that free money. Your contribution is before taxes, you will not miss 5% of your pre-taxed dollars on your paycheck.
Credit Score Savviness
Your credit goes hand in hand with money management. Check your credit report often; this three digit number will determine your financial power. My husband always talks about credit savviness.
When you get a letter from collections stating that you can pay a portion of the bill do not fall for it. I know it’s tempting but there is always a catch. If you pay in full you have more leverage to request the account get deleted off your report. If you pay a portion, that account will remain on your report for 7 years and be noted as paid or settled. This is still a negative reflection and can affect your interest rate. Remember this is about being savvy to get ahead. Here is a link to an article on Experian that explains this concept further. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-do-i-get-a-paid-collection-off-my-credit-report/
Give God Your First Fruits
The most important factor in money management as a believer is giving back to God what is His. When I first came to the Lord, I owned my own company. After four years of working 23 hours a day, I went back to work for someone else. Only to be laid off after six months, due to the 2008 recession. I collected unemployment and I must confess that I was not tithing at the time. Every penny was so precious to me until one day I heard a sermon that rocked my core.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver
~2 Corinthians 9:7~
Can I be real with you? There is nothing cheerful about giving from a little itsy bitsy unemployment check but obedience is better than sacrifice. And then came the challenge that remains with me to this day….
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
I remember sitting there like ok I’m going to test you and the following week I started with $20/week. Over time I increased it, what happened next was God just showing Himself off. When I went back to work I received a higher paying job. Every job thereafter has been for more money. We have not lacked for anything.
Prepare, Plan, Set Goal
When I was let go this time around the circumstances were much more discouraging than 2008. This time I’m one of 40 million and it’s been like eight weeks since I received unemployment. I’ve never been without an income since I was a teenager but I know, that I know, that I know, the storehouse is full. My God has assured me that I will lack for nothing and I believe Him.
Prepare, plan and set goals for your money management. You will be able to sleep better at night during a time of crisis like this. Joseph stored grain for seven years to prepare for seven years of famine. These seasons are inevitable. It’s how we prepare that will determine how we come out of it.
Only when the tide goes out do you discover who is swimming naked.