VERSES | JUL 27, 2022

“Must Knows” About Money

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Rob West & Jim Henry

If you don’t think you’re smart enough to handle money wisely, consider Proverbs 18:15, “The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”

To be a good steward of God’s resources, you must know a few things about money and it starts with simply wanting to be one. Everything else you can learn from the Bible’s 2300-plus verses on money and possessions.

One of the truly splendid things about the Bible’s teachings is that they apply to everybody, all the time. Even nonbelievers who follow these principles often enjoy their blessings, without even knowing they’re found in Scripture.

The first thing you must know is, “Don’t get bogged down in the little stuff.” A penny saved may be a penny earned, but a thousand dollars saved is a whole lot more.

Clipping coupons to save on groceries is great, but the point is not to let your quest to pinch pennies blind you to the bigger picture. If you set up your 401k 10 years ago and haven’t looked at it since, it’s time to rebalance your portfolio. Not doing that could cost you thousands.

Also, did you know that most people don’t shop around for their mortgage? The majority take the first offer they’re given. Getting multiple offers and then choosing the best could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the term of the loan.

Proverbs 27:23 teaches, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.” Don’t ignore the big stuff.

You must also know that, “Today counts more than tomorrow.” Procrastinators think that somehow saving or investing will be easier in the future, meaning they’ll have more money then and they put off doing it today.

The decision to delay your investing is based on a false assumption, that you’ll have more money available in the years ahead. That usually doesn’t happen. Whatever challenges prevent you from investing now will probably get bigger in the future. For example, when someone gets a raise, they simply commit that extra money to another immediate desire, such as a new car.

Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

Another reason today counts more than tomorrow is that money invested today has the benefit of time, and it takes time to realize the benefits of compound earnings. If you don’t invest today, your present is robbing your future.

The next thing you need to know to be a good steward is, “Prepare for the inevitable.” In other words, have an emergency fund. It’s for truly unexpected things, like a job loss or a medical condition, not for paying your taxes or renewing your vehicle registration. You should budget for those things outside of your emergency fund.

Proverbs 22:3 tells us, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

Another must know is, “Avoid doing too much too fast.” For example, sometimes people who got a late start investing feel they have to play “catch up.” They might make risky investments, hoping for a bigger, faster gain, but successful investing requires patience.

Proverbs 21:5 says, “Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.”

Our last must know is, “Don’t fool yourself about your spending.” You can’t get ahead unless you live on less than you earn, and you can’t do that unless you know where your money is going each month.

Many people are shocked to discover how quickly “little things” add up to a big number. So it’s vital to track your spending. If you’re working up a budget, start by tracking all of your spending for at least a month. Two or three months would be better.

The free MoneyWise app will do that for you and give you three different ways to prepare a budget. One will be just right for you. Get it wherever you get your apps; just look for “MoneyWise, biblical finance.”

Only when you get an accurate picture of where your money’s going can you make wise decisions about where to cut, so you can get to a place where you’re living on less than your income.

1 Corinthians 4:2 teaches, “It is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” and that starts with being honest with yourself about spending.

These “must knows” only scratch the surface for being a faithful steward of God’s resources. Your Bible has hundreds more.

You can also listen to the related podcast on this topic.

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