The Bible says in Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
How many of you believe this as universal truth that applies to everybody, everything, all the time? I believe it.
This is true with money or wealth. How people handle money, especially in small amounts, determines how people handle big money. I received this letter from one of my readers:
“Dear Jim, I have not been faithful in little things and have been quite compulsive in spending. I don’t buy big expensive items; I rather purchase small things without thought. And this, sad to say, has brought me into a huge issue on paying off debts. Small purchases like gourmet coffee, movie tickets, dinner with friends, a cute blouse and other small trinkets… these are the culprits. It’s just too easy to swipe my credit card, these are small items anyway. I soon found out my monthly bill reached P20,000 ($500)!
I need help. I know I’d soon fall into purchasing big items IF I don’t work on and prevent these small little purchases.”
Faithfulness in small things requires hard work… but be encouraged that it is not impossible work. I know how hard it is NOT to enjoy that gourmet coffee, watch that movie, have dinner with friends or get that cute blouse. How can you ignore those things? The primary step to faithful spending is to create a spending plan.
Let’s use P.L.A.N. as an acronym so we may remember these important steps:
1. Prepare a spending plan.
2. Learn from wise counsel and other’s experiences
3. Acknowledge God’s role in the plan. Pray and always seek His wisdom.
4. Never digress, deviate, get side-tracked from the plan
A spending plan is necessary to reach true financial freedom. As you begin to draft your plan, ask the Lord, pray that He gives you the wisdom. You need to recognize that it is God who will make the plan work. It is He who rewards you with success.
The Bible encourages us to plan in Proverbs 21:5 that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”
A budget is simply a plan – a plan for how to spend the money we have. As Christians, we recognize that everything we have is a gift from God. We are not the owners; we are simply the managers of what He has entrusted to us. Knowing this fact should give us a better perspective on how we handle money. A budget is a great way to make sure we are handling money in the best way.
When you create a spending plan, you can have the peace of mind in knowing that your bills can be paid, you have funds available for emergencies, and you know what you can spend for the things you need and want.
As an initial guide, let’s now make a basic spending plan. A spending plan is, again, a list of things we need to spend on. We’ll discuss it more in the future, for now, here’s a simple spending plan:
1. Tithe 10% of your monthly income. The Bible says so!
2. Save 10% of your monthly income. Put it in the bank, don’t touch it!
3. Prepare for emergencies… save an additional 5% for emergencies… put it in the bank, don’t touch it!
4. Now work on the next 75% and divide it according to priority, for example:
a. List down all your food, shelter and clothing expenses in a month
b. Next, list down expenses such as transportation (gas, fare)
c. Next, list down education, health needs
5. STICK TO THE PLAN