During uncertain economic times, there are certain things you and I can do to protect our family, our finances and our future.
(1) Put God FIRST. It seems like a no-brainer, but many still attempt to live their life and handle their finances “their way” instead of “God’s way.” Jesus said, “SEEK FIRST His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these THINGS will be given to you as well.” God has promised His PROVISION and His PROTECTION if we put Him first (Malachi 3:10-12, Proverbs 3:9-10). Tithing (giving 10% of your income back to God) is how you “get under the spout where all of God’s blessings come out.”
(2) Have an emergency fund. If you don’t have one, you need one. Most financial planners advise having a financial reserve of at least six months of your total annual income. This will take discipline and time to achieve, but will be invaluable to you in case you lose your job, experience a major illness, your air conditioning goes out or your car stops running. It’s wise to expect unexpected expenses and to plan for unplanned emergencies because they will come. (See Proverbs 6:6-11.)
(3) Put something in savings every week. Even if you’re only able to put $5 in savings, do it. Skip Starbuck’s, a large drink, candy or snack food you usually have and put that money in savings. At least two positive things will happen: (1) You’ll cut back on unnecessary calories which will help you get in better shape and (2) You’ll start to accumulate an amazing amount of money in savings and earn interest on it. Psalm 13:11 says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
(4) Look for creative ways to save. You can reduce your utility bills by making some simple choices. For example, letting the water run while you brush your teeth will waste four gallons of water. Washing your car in the driveway can waste 116 gallons of water. By turning your thermostat up just two degrees, turning off lights when you leave the room, taking shorter showers, etc., you will see significant savings. You can save money by not going out to eat as much. Take a sack lunch to work or split an entrée when you do go out. You’ll save on cash and calories. Proverbs 13:18 says, “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.” Discipline yourself to be a saver, not a waster.
(5) Keep trusting God. In unstable times we have a ROCK we can depend on – God (Psalm 71:3). Don’t forget that. God’s not going to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). King David said, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25). We have the promise of Scripture, “My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Even in the darkest of days, we can know our best days are yet ahead. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!”
© 2018. Barry L. Cameron