A Few Financial Priorities

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10

Money is such a difficult, sensitive topic to talk about. We don't have enough, we wish we had more, we don't know how to use what we have or we just spend without a plan.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5

So how do you handle your finances in a way that would be pleasing to the Lord? How can you be a good steward of all He has blessed you with?

* Old before new. We bought new living room furniture in the spring, and that made me want to get new furniture for the sunroom. Before I paid off the living room. But then I would have wanted the new bedroom furniture, too. Before I paid off the living room or the sunroom. This spiral of not paying for the old before you get more new is how debt snowballs. Be patient, buy one thing at a time and be content with what you have at this very moment.

* Cut out the small stuff. This is my downfall because I love little things. But a dollar here and a few cents there add up very quickly. Even a cup of coffee at the local shop every day can eat away at your financial goal. For a brief time - try a week or a month - cut out anything that's not essential and see how much you can really save.

* Be prepared. Putting money into savings may not be a priority for you right now, but it should be. Again, a little bit adds up, and you never know what God has planned around the next corner. When I dropped my computer and it went all wacky, I was able to use my savings to get a new one instead of budgeting, waiting for the next payday and bills to be paid. Now if it had truly been an emergency, not just a computer problem, we would have been even more grateful for some money set aside.

* Is this a need or a want? If you're serious about setting some financial priorities, this may be a difficult question to ask yourself. Before you buy anything, from a pack of gum to a new house, you have to ask yourself if this is a need or a want. I don't need new clothes, a vacation or more scrapbooking supplies. What I do need is to pay off bills, put food in the kitchen and have the cars serviced. After the needs are taken care of, the money is available for savings, taking care of some fixing up around the house and other projects that will soon need attention. I'd much rather have a new roof on the barn than a full closet or time on the beach.

* Take time to save up. Debt has been a serious issue in the American home for ages. If you're in debt, it's time to get out - it's a great goal in being a good steward of God's money. If you're not in debt, that's wonderful - now stay that way! Take the time to save up for your next major purchase and pay in cash. This will keep you from going into debt in the first place. And during the time you're saving, you may realize you really don't need or want that item after all, saving you from buyer's remorse.

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