Managing your finances as an individual
Are you in debt? If your money just seems to drain away or you are tired of being stuck in a rut with your finances, then this is for you. God wants you to come to a place where you don't just have enough for yourself but where you are overflowing so you can be a blessing to others around you and to His Kingdom. He wants you to be a Kingdom financier.
In the process of blessing you, God is interested in building your character so you are able to handle what He will entrust to you. How do you handle money - are you a good steward of the seed He has given?
What is money management? It is the efficient and effective use of money to achieve desired aims either in the short term or the long term.
Why manage money?
Several things compete for the same resources. Since majority of resources are quantified in monetary units, it is imperative to give attention to money management as it is the pivot around which all human activities revolve - a vital ingredient like blood.
In essence money management seeks to achieve efficiency in the use of this vital ingredient.
Main goal: The cardinal point in money management is saving.
To come to a place of overflow, you first need to plug the holes in your bucket then pour more water in - Reduce expenditure and increase income.
Most average individuals have less control over how much they can earn because their fate is determined by the environment or by another individual. While individual income is to some extent static, expenditure on the other hand is variable and subject to control.
AVOIDABLE AND UNAVOIDABLE EXPENDITURES
Identify cost drivers and categorise them into avoidable and unavoidable costs. Appraise each individual item and arrange them in their order of importance. Necessities are determined by a person's station in life. What is an avoidable cost to one individual may be an unavoidable cost to another. Improvements in the reductions of these and related costs without compromising quality living can enhance savings.
PROPER MAINTENANCE OF FIXTURES AND FITTINGS
The lifespan of assets is proportional to the culture of usage. Shorter lifespan means spending more on your assets which could have been avoided with good maintenance. Take care of what you have.
PAY BILLS AS THEY FALL DUE
Credibility and reputation are not gained overnight. However, your won reputation can be eroded in a moment by just a single act of irresponsibility. You do not need to be wealthy to build credibility in the eyes of your creditors.
THE PRINCIPLE OF EXPONENTIAL GROWTH
The widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17 gave up all she had to live on for only a day to the prophet and reaped the benefit of living comfortably for three and half years in a land ravaged with famine. The difficult decision of sacrifice is the key to overcoming the present financial difficulties.
BEING ABREAST WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
This enables you to take advantage of the prevailing economic circumstances likes offers given by high street stores or interest free credit given by banks and other financial institutions.
You cannot succeed alone. Depending on the circumstances, identify those individuals or groups of individual that can act as a spring board in achieving your dreams. While others were scared by Saul who became Paul, Barnabas brought him into the lime light. On the contrary when Jonas enters the sailors boat their boat began to sink until they got rid of him. As individuals making financial decisions, you need to identify your 'Barnabases' and your 'Jonases'. Avoid the ‘Jonases’. As Christians selfish tendencies are rather destructive weapons to our detriment. Our successes should be linked to the successes of others.
THE BENEFITS OF BUDGETING
To determine in advance when shortfalls could occur and to take corrective measures to mitigate the impact it would have had on your overall plan and also to know when there will be surplus in order to make investment decisions.
Conventional budgeting is feedback based, depending on past performances. Without record keeping you may be impaired in your decision making since you cannot effectively analyse your spending trend to determine the variances which are crucial in determining the way forward.
The 10/10/80 Rule - Tithe 10%, Save 10% and ask God for wisdom for what to do with the rest of the 80%. Give to the church that feeds you spiritually. Remember that God is the one who gave you the money in the first place.
So get a out a pen, some paper, a calculator and download a free money app whilst prayerfully considering the areas you can cut back and save as well as identifying other sources of income. What are your financial goals over the next year, 5 years and 10 years?
Break out of debt and mediocre financial living. There is abundant grace for you and your finances - watch your finances increase as you adopt these Kingdom principles, grow in character and prepare to be amazed as you handle the finances that God wants to pour out on you.