“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10
When Aaron and I first married, I was a pretty big spender. I had a very unhealthy relationship with money. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I always tithed, but I would then spend the rest on frivolous things and bills. Almost 3.5 years later, after a lot of growing, I have a much healthier relationship with money. It grows on trees and isn't something I need to worry about. I can't put more trust in money than God to meet my needs. I have to rely on the only thing that will never fail me- God. Today I'm going to share with you my guide on how to be a good steward of your finances.
Give it to God
The first thing you have to do with all the money that you get is give it to God. It's not yours, it is a blessing he has given you. You should always have this perspective on anything that you possess. When you think about money as God's first, your perspective on stewardship will change. A tangible way to give it to God is through tithing. Most people use 10% as their base for tithing and some give more than that. Tithing is a discipline that we should have in our walk with Christ. There are so many testimonies about how someone obediently tithe and was immensely blessed. Now I'm not telling you that so you will think, "If I tithe, I will be blessed." I am just letting you know a consequence of tithing. Moreover, you can give an offering. My husband and I usually give our tithes and offering in 1 lump sump a month since I am paid once a month. It's the first line on my budget, and usually the first thing we take out of the ATM.
Get out of debt
Debt is so easy to get into and so difficult to get out of. The bible talks about being lenders and not borrowers. So in your quest to become a better steward of your finances, you have to tackle debt. I like the debt snowball for paying off debt. If you want to look into it just search for financial peace or debt snowball and you will find a lot of information. Getting out of debt will take sacrifice. You will have to go without, take a second job, and maybe even sell unneeded items. Make a plan. Write out all of the debt you have like credit cards, student loans, car loans, mortgages, and create a plan to tackle each loan. Decide to be committed to the plan. Maybe you need to make an incentive poster or countdown. I recommend sharing with a friend if you are single so that in the tough moments you can converse with that friend. Make the sacrifice so that you can bless others.
Saving is a great way to be prepared for things that come up like new tires, job loss, or old age. Choose a percentage and save that each month. Decide circumstances in which you will touch the account and otherwise try not o spend the money. A good idea is to have a few savings accounts for different things like car maintenance, general savings, house down payment. Using this method and planning, you can pay cash for most of the big things like cars. Each year set a savings goal for your general savings and try your best to complete the goal.
Along with saving comes budgeting. Planning is one of the best ways to be a good steward of your money. When you budget you can make more efficient use of the money God gives you. It curbs frivolous spending but also helps you to have money where you need it. In my budget, I have my income amount, then I subtract tithes and savings. I use the remaining amount for budgeting bills, groceries, entertainment, etc. If you are married I highly encourage you to also allocate personal spending money for each person. A lot of unnecessary arguments could be curbed if each person had a reasonable amount of personal spending money. Budget together and hold each other accountable for staying on budget. This can also be a good idea for anyone who has close roommates as well.
Remember how I said that your money is really God's money. Well as such you should use it to invest in stocks. No, I'm just kidding. Well, I guess investing in stocks isn't such a bad idea...You should use it to invest in others. This is why budgeting and saving are so important. It allows you to be able to bless someone whenever the need arises. Maybe there is a family who has suffered a tragedy. Wouldn't it be nice to really give well? Investing means doing random acts of kindness to bless someone. From paying for someone's coffee at Starbucks to going out with a group of friend and offering to foot the bill, investing in others is what we are called to do. I suggest picking a ministry or 2 or 10 and contributing monthly to help encourage religious and humanitarian efforts around the worl
Becoming a good stewards of our money is so important. It is how we are blessed and how we bless others. I hope that you will evaluate your financial system and use these 5 areas to help you become a better steward. It took me a few years to have a healthy relationship with money. I know realize that I enjoy blessing others with my mine than clenching my fist around it. I would love to continue helping you as you become a better steward of your money. Read my recent post about how to become more disciplined.