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INVESTIGATE YOUR FINANCES

Welcome to our Financial Matters weekly notes.

A QUESTION TO CONSIDER:

Do you know where your hard earned money is going?

When last did you do a thorough investigation of your finances?

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PRACTICAL WEALTH PRINCIPLE:

When I was young I remember playing games like “cops and robbers”. My friends and I would pretend we were trying to track down the “baddies”. Our imagination would run wild and we would use our homemade spy gadgets to look for clues so that we could track drown our imagined enemies, and have them thrown into jail, so that we could be the heroes and help save the world.

This got me thinking…

Many have an enemy that is stealing their hard owed money, leaving them cash strapped and feeling robbed.

Could you possibly examine your finances and spy out the problem areas? Maybe you can examine your finances and gather evidence on the culprits. This will help you arrest the “baddies” that are stealing your hard earned money. If you do this, I am sure that you will be able to turn your financial affairs around for the good.

With this in mind, I want to encourage you to INVESTIGATE YOUR FINANCES, and try work out where your hard earned money is going.

Most people know more or less what they earn. They also know what the big cost items in their budget are.

But, most people honestly have very little idea as to what they are spending on food, or entertainment, or debt, or what their total expenditure is every month, or where their hard earned money is even ending up.

It is time to spy out your cash flow stealers!

If you took a “guestimate” you would probably inflate what you have in savings, and you would probably underestimate how much debt you have, and what it costs you to repay that debt each month.

Most people pay out a fair share of their earnings on debt repayments, resulting in less disposable income. This in turn reduces the amount the average person is able to save, with only a small trickle of income actually ending up in savings. This prevents most people from building up a wealth portfolio.

“… the borrower is SLAVE to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

The sad fact is that most people are clueless as to what their total spending per month is. Many are living cash strapped.

So let me ask you again… Do you know where your hard earned money is going?

Many are battling to just keep it together. Many are in survival mode. The other day I asked an old friend, “How are you doing?” His answer was: “We are well… We are surviving.” 

Since when is good to be just barely surviving? We seriously need to form some good habits with our money and turn things around.

Does it feel like you are putting your money in pockets full of holes?

Take a look at this passage in the Bible…

In Haggai 1:5-6 God says: “Consider how things are going! Look at what’s happening to you! You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! They are putting their hard earned money in a pocket full of holes.”

Now this verse was actually written to a group of people who were so busy trying to live it up, they were so consumed with building their own lives that they had neglected God. Not only were their relationships with God in ruin, but their whole lives including their finances were seriously messed up. They were in a state of decay.  

In Haggai 1:7, God then asked his people, “Consider how things are going for you!”

It was only when they got back to basics and put God first, and repented, that their lives and their money woes started to come right.

Debt leads to stress, a lack of savings, and ends up affecting joy levels too. This vicious circle leads to poverty and blocks people from ever being able to attain any kind of financial freedom.

Many are living above their means. Debt is a major problem and causes bondage and pain.

It is time to investigate your finances and hopefully root out the cash flow stealers.

Today, you can turn things around. I would suggest that you put God first. Make Him the center of your world. He is interested in you and wants to do life with you.

“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

It is not money that is the problem. It is the love of money that causes the problem. Put God first.

Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So don’t worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:33-34)

You can start with managing your money wisely. Put some good habits in place. Be disciplined with your money. Stop spending money you cannot afford to spend. Say no to debt!

If you do not know where your hard earned money is going, you need to do a thorough investigation of your money flow, and you need to seriously consider setting up a budget.

A budget will help you manage your money better. Without a budget you will just drift aimlessly and be will be left in trouble, but a simple budget will help improve your cash flow.

Having a BUDGET is all about planning and managing your finances. If you do not know where your hard earned money is going, or if you are in a continual financial pickle, why not set up a BUDGET.

So, set up a budget. It really is simple. Let me help you…

WHAT IS A BUDGET?

  • Quite simply, a budget is an itemized summary of likely income and expenses over a given period.
  • It is a tool that helps you prioritize your spending and manage your money.
  • There are only two ways to have a positive balance when budgeting – increase your income, or limit your expenses.
  • By planning and monitoring your budget, you will be able to prioritize what is most important, as well as being able to identify where you are wasting money.

HOW TO CREATE A BUDGET?

Budgeting is all about the IN’s & OUTS – your INCOME & EXPENSES

  • The easiest way to budget is to put a workable plan in place.
  • Try to establish what happens to your money.                                                                                                                              

1.) Draw up a spreadsheet of all your income to establish how much you earn.

2.) Draw up an expenses spreadsheet. Before you can manage your money, you have to know how you’re spending it. You may have to get your bank statements out to check where you spend your money. Your bank statements do not lie! It is important to get into a routine of recording your expenditure on a regular basis.

  • Make sure that you spend less than you earn.
  • Put God first in your budget.
  • Do not forget to build savings and investments into your budget!
  • Make it a habit to stick to your budget. In the long run you will see the fruit if you follow through.

There are many items you need to include in your budget, such as…

  • God (God is often neglected. Put God first and you will not be disappointed!)
  • Savings for short term needs (Build up a reserve fund)
  • Investing for long term goals (Don’t forget to build up your Wealth Portfolio. This will lead towards a brighter future)
  • Assurance (Make sure that your loved ones are protected)
  • Insurance (Protect your assets)
  • Household Expenses (rent, rates, electricity, etc.)
  • Food and clothing
  • Transport (car repayments, petrol, etc.)
  • Communications (telephone, internet, etc.)
  • Schooling
  • Entertainment
  • Incidentals (coffee, magazines, etc.)

Once a budget is set, it is important that you stick to the plan to avoid any potential cash flow crisis.

So in a nutshell, a budget will help you to see what is coming IN and what is going OUT. It will help you prioritise what is important and assist you in managing your money in a disciplined way. A budget will also help you stick to the plan.

Once your budget is set up, you can drill down and start to make some financial choices to change your future.

Why not…

  • Investigate your money management.
  • Examine you cash flow.
  • Review your expenses.
  • Try to eliminate wasting money.
  • Keep a tight control on your money.
  • Avoid bad debt.
  • Live within your means.
  • Put God first in your budget.
  • DO NOT forget to also build savings into your budget – this will set you up for a brighter tomorrow!

There are only two ways to building a positive cash flow into your budget…

  1. Earn more
  2. Spend less

Proverbs 21:5 “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty”

If you set up a simple money managing budget, you will know where your hard earned money is going.

And, if you apply the simple principle of “saving before you spend” and “spending less and saving more” you will build towards a brighter future!

And if you put God first with your money, you will be blessed.

So, investigate where your hard earned money is going.

Set up your budget!

Count the cost!

Put God first!

Save before your spend!

I hope that you will investigate your finances and examine your cash flow so that you can track down and arrest the cash flow “baddies” that have been stealing your money. May your investigation into your money matters not only help you plug the holes in your budget, but also help you to figure out where your hard earned money is going. This will help you to build towards a stress free financial future that is bright and blessed!  

INTERESTING FACT:

What is your net worth?

This is simply calculation: ASSETS (WHAT YOU OWN) – LIABILITIES (WHAY YOU OWE) = NET WORTH

Your net worth is your report card on how you have managed your money.

I would suggest that you review your net worth every quarter. It will encourage you to shrink your liabilities and grow your assets.

POWER QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“Lack of financial planning is the root of all empty wallets” ― Mac Duke The Strategist

Review your plans. Set up a strategy and stick to it.

WHAT DOES GOD HAVE TO SAY:

Put God first in your budget:

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first part of everything you produce.Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)

Save before your spend:

“The wise man saves for the future but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” (Proverbs 21:10)

Count the cost before you spend money:

Jesus said “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost …” (Matthew 14:28)

Commit your money management to God:

“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:4)

Be disciplined with your budget and stick to your plan:

“Hard work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty”  (Proverbs 10:23)    

selective focus photo of person holding book. Let god investigate your finances.

LET’S PRAY:

Father, today I put my life in your hands and I thank you that you are my God, my place of safety, my protector and my provider. Lord, I ask you to help me manage my money well and make wise financial decisions. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you want to start or restart your walk with God, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.

CONCLUSION:

Investigate your finances. You can know where your hard earned money is going. You can managed your money instead of letting it manage you!

With God at your side, nothing is impossible, and no situation is so far gone. There is hope. There is a way out! You can manage your money well.

God bless you.

If you found this blog post helpful and encouraging, please leave a like and drop us a comment. Join us by subscribing! We would greatly appreciate your input and support!

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Clinton… Thanks for this very insightful article. I managed to start tracking those “” baddies”, even with a budget, those day to day expenses were quite shocking and surprising!
    But, at least now I know to be more careful, in order for me to be financially stable.
    Regards.
    Audrey

    1. Glad to hear that the message helped and that you are taking action towards a better financial future! I pray for God’s blessing on you Audrey.

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