What can I do to fix my finances?
The other day, I noticed that my right back tire looked flat. I went to the garage and had it pumped up, but unfortunately the next morning it was flat again. I decided to take my car to the tire fitment center, and they managed to find the problem. There was a nail in my tire! After removing the nail and plugging the hole in my tire, it was in good working order. No more leaks!
This got me thinking about how many seem to have leaks in their money management system. Sometimes it is debt repayments that erode our cash flow. Sometimes it is unexpected expenses or a bill we forgot about that seems to steal our money. Sometimes it’s just poor money management, having messed up financial priorities.
Just like with my leaking tire experience, sometimes a simple fix can plug the gaps and get us back on the journey to financial wellness.
If you don’t take good care of your finances today, you will face devastating consequences down the road. On the flip side, if you do take good care of your finances today, you will set yourself up for a brighter tomorrow.
“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” (Benjamin Franklin)
I thought it would therefore be a good idea to look at a few practical steps you can take to FIX YOUR FINANCES…
1. Put God First with your Money
Give God your best.
Putting God first with your money should form the backbone of your approach to managing your money.
I am not wanting to get legalistic, but honoring God with your finances is important. When you give to God, he protects and provides, so put Him at the top of your budget.
Honour God, not just with your lips, but with your money and He will take care of you.
Malachi 3: 8-18 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – your whole nation – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. ”Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.”
Proverbs 3: 9-10 “Honour the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.”
Matthew 6:33 Jesus said … “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
2. Squash your Debt
Do your best to limit your exposure to debt.
Get determined to not get into debt.
Avoid the debt trap. Rather save up money to pay cash for the item.
It is important to get into the habit of saving instead of a habit of debt.
Don’t be a slave to debt.
Proverbs 14:15 “The wise are cautious and avoid danger, fools plunge ahead.”
Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.”
Romans 13:8 “Owe nothing to anyone—except love.”
3. It is Important to Budget
Keep a track of your income and where it comes from.
Keep a track of your spending and investigate where you are spending your money.
Plug the spending leaks.
Make sure that you spend less than you earn.
Matthew 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
4. You need a Plan
Dare to dream! Aim high! Set up a plan to meet your goals and achieve your dreams over the short, medium, and long term.
You do not need to do it alone. Let God be your financial partner. He wants to walk the journey with you.
Proverbs 21:5 “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty”.
Psalm 37:4 “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”
5. Get into the Habit of Building Wealth
Commit to building a wealth portfolio by allocating funds to…
- Savings – where you have cash flow reserves available for your short-term needs and emergencies.
- Investments – where you can build up growth investments over time to fund your retirement and future dreams and objectives.
When you make building a Wealth Portfolio a priority, and let it form part of your regular budget, you won’t even miss the amount you put aside each month. And you will be surprised how quickly your wealth portfolio grows.
You might think you don’t have ‘spare’ cash to save – but go back to your budget and make saving and investing a priority. Maybe you need to cut back on some other expenses in order to free up surplus cash so that you can start saving. Build your savings into your budget.
If you are looking to start saving and investing, I would suggest that you get some advice. A financial advisor should be able to help you construct a plan so that you build up your investments and achieve your goals and dreams.
Proverbs 13:11 “He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
While still at school, legendary investor Warren Buffett used to deliver newspapers to make money. Whether it was winter or sunny, Warren Buffet sacrificed his sleep, got up early, and would put in a good few hours of work before heading to school. At the age of 14, he had saved up enough money to buy a 40-acre farm. Today he is the 4th wealthiest person in the world.
You are not too young to start building for your future. A little determination mixed with hard work, a dream, and an action plan can lead to you accomplishing things beyond your wildest imagination!
Proverbs 21:20 “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”
Don’t just talk about your financial problems. Get disciplined and put in the work to fix your finances, and you will succeed.
Proverbs 14:23 “ Hard work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty”
7. Don’t Forget about God
There is more to life than the here and now. There is more to life than money and material possessions. Don’t get so fixated on your money matters that you forget about God. Live to please him. Get your life right with God.
Matthew 8:26 “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
And remember, God is interested in you. He has a good plan for you. He doesn’t want you to go through life alone. He wants to do life with you.
Psalm 23:6 “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
Philippians 4:19 “ And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”
So, in Summary…
- Put God first
- Squash your debt
- Build a Wealth Portfolio
- Invite God to lead you
Father, I need your help with my money matters. Please help me plug the leaks and give me the wisdom to manage my money well and make wise choices. Please help me to be generous and also set funds aside in savings. I ask you to open up the floodgates of heaven and to pour your blessing out on me. I ask for your abundant favor to be evident in my life. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
I challenge you to plug your leaks and to work on fixing your finances. With God’s help, and with the right priorities, you can turn your money matters around.
God bless you.