All month leading up to our stewardship Sunday we have heard God’s perspective on money: how to get it, how not to get it, how to give it, how to save it, and how to spend it. We have learned that the topic of money is important to God, so it should be stewarded well.
When we think of our lives as though we are not the owner, it changes everything. It’s a criminal offense for, say, a mutual fund manager to use the money he’s managing to buy himself a nice house! Likewise, to use our money (and our lives!) as though WE are the owners is, to God, robbery, according to Malachi.
So when we use God’s money, we should be especially careful about how we use it. The men in the previous weeks have done a great job showing us God’s thoughts from His Word.
Today, we wrap up the 4-week series with fewer Bible verses (although these are biblical principles) but a few tips and tools of financial basics. The most basic categories of all are INCOMING and OUTGOING:
There are a few ways to get money coming in: taxes, stealing (is that the same?), welfare, and w_________. Do the last one.
A few months ago, I gave these tips to the Teens of Faith. Maybe boosting your income involves the following ideas:
- Work extra jobs
- Get more education: Online college, read books, listen to courses or podcasts, research new ideas online
- JOB IDEAS:
- Window cleaning – door to door or businesses. $30 startup costs.
- Baby sitting – Dave Ramsey’s daughter – resume, case studies, full report on why she would be the most dependable
- Curb painting
- Lawn mowing
- Advertise. Make signs and handouts. Pass them around your neighborhood – ask the old ladies in your street if you can do any weeding for them.
- And then give them tracts ☺
- Sell stuff on Ebay – junk around the house, garage sales, etc.
- Teach yourself graphic or web design – stick a sign in your yard.
- Pet cleanup services – making rounds every other day for $5/week (or $3/week for one day). Stack up clients and carry a bucket and shovel around. Offer discounts for multiple animals. Include cat litter changing, too. Search online for other services similar.
- Hang flyers on doors
- Washing cobwebs off houses
- Menu planning service
- Grocery delivery – if you live within walking distance of a store
- Garage sale/cleaning help – advertise yourself
- Crochet animals and sell them on etsy or ebay
To accomplish this section, you have to know what is happening with your money. A budget isn’t a bad thing—it’s a way to know what’s happening. It can be low tech (all cash), mid, or high tech (all online).
The tithe (10%) comes first, then you budget the rest. In the Scripture, the word giving is always in addition to the tithe (i.e. Stewardship commitment, missions, Easter offering, etc. For example, I know a pastor who tithes 10% and gives an additional 20% to missions.)
Know SHORT term and LONG term needs. Don’t let summer camp or Christmas surprise you (short term); and plan for new roofs, new AC units, new cars and retirement (long term).
My favorite section! USE the money God has given you! You’re allowed to use it on yourself and your family. ☺ My family uses both online spending (for bills) and the cash system for everything else: grocery, fast food, restaurants, gifts, amusement, Ryan (my favorite), and Jamie. When the cash runs out, we wait until next month!
Budget: Mint.com, EveryDollar app, Cash system – lazy man’s way! ☺
Books: Smart Money, Smart Kids; My Total Money Makeover; The Millionaire Next Door
W__________ to make good money. America is still the land of opportunity. There’s plenty of money to be made.
G__________ off the top. Then do your budget.
S__________ an emergency fund. Start with $1000 to bail you out of little things, then get out of debt.
E__________ debt. All of it as fast as you can. Don’t spend what you don’t have.
K__________ what you’re spending. Call it budgeting, tracking, or whatever-ing. Know that a weekly $7 Starbucks run costs $28/mo. or $350/year!
S__________ a bigger emergency fund (after debt is eliminated). If you lost your job and had $0 income, save enough money to live on for at least 3 months.
S__________ for big purchases. Cars, house upgrades, kids college, retirement.
P__________ for the future. Think about your goals and plan now how to get there: invest in mutual funds or pay off your house, for example.
G__________ generously from God’s blessings (2 Cor. 8-9).