We are broke – no savings for emergencies or retirement. The average American’s debt is over 36,000. For a family of two that adds up to 73,000. – <cashmoneylife.com.> It seems that every one wants more of our paycheck: groceries, gas pump, government, clothes, utilities, insurance, doctors and on and on. How can we make it? Where can we save some big money? Who can really help me?
1. KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES: Three-fourths of Americans are in debt.
< money.usnews.com.> This means that many are broke, poor, living paycheck to paycheck, no real savings. Trying to keep up with the Jones is not working. Most of the Jones are broke! We are spending too much.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Prov 16.18 NAS).
True, some are earning too little but many need to be smarter than the Jones. Are many repeating mistakes of those who are broke? Who needs to make different decisions? Who needs to man up?
2. One young family has $118,000 in debt (student and car loans). They are getting out of this debt in just 4-5 years. They are living on one income, (appx $35,000) and using the other totally to pay off the loans. They have cut way back on housing and stuff they can live without. They grow some of their own food. –
3. SUCCESS PRINCIPLES: The book of Proverbs is a very practical book. It could be subtitled, “How To Be Successful In Life.” Proverbs has a lot to say about money. It has 31 chapters, one for every day of the month. Learn godly success principles. (Prov 8.21)
4. Big money problems do not happen overnight. We will not get out overnight. We need to commit to a long range plan. Ask God for wisdom to make good decisions.
5. GOT A FINANCIAL ADVISOR?: Ask God for a coach, a mentor, a friend to come along side and help with money issues. This is one reason to be in a caring, Bible teaching church. Ask God to give you a godly Christian friend or pastor that can counsel on a tight budget, cost cutting and finding bargains. This is what Christian friends are for. Ask them to take you shopping. Watch, learn. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
6. ARREST THE THIEVES – Addictive habits steal (expensive hobbies, tobacco, gambling, expensive drinking, drugs, porn). Many pay drug dealer’s bills while their family suffers? We start by praying about this DAILY!! Jesus, I need victory here. Help! Save, deliver me. Do not expect much change until an addict will move beyond smooth talk and admit his addiction, his helplessness.
7. “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.” (Prov 10.22 NAS). The Prodigal Son in Luke 15.11ff ran off to the far country. He wasted his inheritance in wild living. If we also down in the far country, running from God, He will not bless us. We are on our own. Rebels struggle and fail. God hides most blessings behind obedience.
8. THE PLAN: If you cannot pay for it, you cannot afford it. Ask God for self control and a strong “No.” Let your flesh know who is boss! Pray daily for Jesus to help you.
9. HIDDEN MONEY CHEST!: Cheaper housing and older cars can save tons of money. And they can increase humility. “be clothed with humility . . .” (1 Ptr 5.5).
10. You can dib-dab your money away or save it for the nice things in life. Saving up to buy things develops self control, discipline. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5.22-23).
11. “He who trusts in riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” (Prov 11.28 NAS). Godliness and financial blessing go together. (Prov 13.21).
12. “Buy used and save the difference” – Jim Bob Duggar, “19 Kids And Counting,” TLC reality series. (I love this Christian family show!)
13. Steve leases a new car. It puts him in debt. He loses the car when his job ends and he can’t make the payments. Harry drives a 17 year old car but it is paid for. It is a top quality model, dependable, economical and safe. Pride walks. Humility rides. Would you want Steve or Harry to advise you? (Prov 11.2).
14. Can you be trusted with another person’s money? Above all, Christians are to be honest. Avoid shortcuts. Pay your bills. Show up to explain when you cannot make a payment. Be honest. Your word and your character walk together. Bad tires, cheap watches and beating people out of money have consequences. God judges sin. (Prov 10.6;11.1).
15. LAZY PEOPLE CAN GO HUNGRY:“The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing.” (Prov 20.4 NAS) (Prov 13.4; 14.23). Lazy people will be begging. Hunger can bring a person to his senses (Lu 15.11-20).
16. Ask God to help you to enjoy the simple things in life. Avoid hobbies and habits that costs big money and time to maintain. Less is more. (Prov 12.11; 13.18; 15.16).
17. Not happy with your line of work? Ask God what to get in to. Find some one to let you help him for free. Would he teach, mentor, coach you? Over time you might get hired. Learn a new skill first. Then talk money.
18. FLESH LOVES FLESH: Is your flesh making the big decisions? Our flesh, our old heart will never do right – never love Jesus. That is why we need the new, supernatural heart with new, godly desires, godly motives! This is why saved people are able to make many good decisions. (Ezek 36.26; 2 Cor 5.17).
19. Get some one at church or a financial counselor to help you set up a household budget. (Prov 18.24; Tit 2.2-5).
20. Debt makes one a slave to the borrower. (Prov 22.7). Avoid debt like the plague.
21. One teacher commented that if one is not saved (forgiven of his sins) Jesus does not want his tithe and offerings money. Jesus has a free gift for him – salvation, removal of guilt, peace, eternal life. God’s favor and eternal life cannot be purchased with money. (Rom 3.24; 6.23; Eph 2.8-9). God wants one’s heart. Repenting and trusting Jesus comes first.
22. One can try to carry out a financial plan in his own strength. Improvement may come. An easier way is to bring Jesus in on the matter. Let Jesus give us His wisdom and power to succeed in money matters, in life. If we could do right without Jesus He would not have had to die on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sin, including addictions, foolish, money wasting choices and other sins. Start by confessing all your failures to Him. He cares about you! Ask Him to forgive your sins and save you today. Ask Jesus to help you make better decisions, day by day.