My hope for this series is that you would find financial freedom and glorify God with your money. So many things happen when we get our finances in order and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s the same thing for example when we get healthy and “get our bodies in order.”
There are so many benefits to this that you can’t even count them all up. It’s not just about a weight number, but so much more happens to us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when we take care of ourselves.
Why would we think it would be any different when we take care of our finances?
So by now you might be asking yourself how to get started. You might also be a little overwhelmed and just need a few simple steps to get going.
As I talked about savings, investments, and retirement, the first few steps here are the same that many other resources suggest. That’s because I believe they are crucial to build upon for your financial foundation, and then you can go from there. Here are the steps I would tell you to take to get started:
Step 1: Save $1,000 To Start An Emergency Fund
Get your savings going and at least get $1,000 in there. That way you can cover most emergencies without adding to your debt and with so many side hustle options out there nowadays, there’s no reason you can’t focus and get this done.
Step 2: Pay Off All Debt Excluding Mortgage
Slay the debt monster and keep him down. Get everything paid off and yes that includes cars and student loans. Get rid of the debt. Remember that God is a sufficient provider so we shouldn’t be in debt to begin with, and stop listening to the culture trying to tickle your ears and lead you away from obedience.
Step 3: Save 3-6 Months Of Expenses In Savings
You already got $1,000 in there by now and the debt is gone so you’ve developed some strong disciplines up to this point. Pray about what this looks like for you and calculate how much you need for expenses per year. Then pick the number and get it done.
Step 4: Work Towards Investing 15% As A Starting Point For Retirement
Get the free match from your employer if you have one, increase the percentage that is going in, turn the focus towards retirement in terms of getting the wheel moving at 15%, but consider that a starting point, not an end goal.
Step 5: Other Future Goals
This may include paying off a house, saving up for a down payment, saving for college, real estate, small business investments, and others. The door is wide open here on how you believe God is leading you, but don’t forget the importance of completing the other steps on this list.
Growing In Generosity
Going back to the beginning of this series, remember that all we have is His, all we earn is for Him and His purposes, and He’s going to want to know what we did with it when He returns.
It means that getting our finances in order is one of the most important things we should do spiritually after choosing to follow Jesus and committing our lives to Him.
We’ve got to keep this in mind throughout all of these steps of financial planning. As the years go by, it can be tempting to make financial planning more inward focused and about ourselves vs it being about God and His Glory.
Keep evaluating along the way to see if you’re growing in generosity or not with your time, talents, and treasure (resources and finances). If you find that you’re focusing more on yourself and your money and not God, stop right there and spend time with God. Keep reading the Bible and keep praying and making adjustments to your financial plan along the way to keep measures in there to check your generosity.
Money is not bad. Money is not evil. The love of money is what will get you into trouble. Money can be a great and powerful thing if used wisely.
Imagine what you can do for the Lord with a strong financial plan.
Imagine the freedoms that you can have being financially independent.
Imagine the various ways you can say “Yes” to opportunities on the spot when God puts them right in front of you because you’ve been planning for it along the way.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9
We are rich and have freedom because of Jesus. He has set us free from our past, present, and future sins. He has redeemed us and gives us the power by the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes. Let’s be wise with our finances and tangibly demonstrate the Gospel to the world through our generosity, because of Jesus, who was and is, generous towards us.
Call To Action
Consider doing at least one of the steps above and take at least 1% of your income and increase your generosity. The simple act of going 1% at a time has tremendous value and before you know it, you would’ve dedicated a good amount of your finances towards proper stewardship and generosity.
The Money Series
- Part 1: An Introduction and My Story
- Part 2: What Is Money?
- Part 3: Make A Budget
- Part 4: Tithes And Offerings
- Part 5: Paying Off Debt
- Part 6: Savings, Investments, And Retirement
- Part 7: Action Steps And Growing In Generosity