Many dream of attaining financial freedom, but few ever get close.
Without a clear vision and an intentional plan, your wishes will only remain a pipe dream.
But, if you will relook at your priorities and goals, and if you are prepared to implement a simple wealth-building strategy, you can set yourself up for a brighter future.
Today I want to look at 10 Steps to Help You Build Toward Financial Freedom God’s Way
1. You need a Plan:
You need to know what you want to achieve and you need a plan that will help you to reach your goals.
Dare to dream—Aim high.
Determine your goals and aspirations – Where are you now? Where do you want to end up? By when do you want to achieve your goal?
Create a plan to get from where you are to when you want to be. Also make sure that you stick to the plan, monitor your progress with your advisor from time to time, and make sure you adapt your plan to meet your future changing needs.
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
2. Get Advice:
Once you know what your objectives are, you need to get some advice on…
- How much you will need to invest over that term
- How best to structure your investment
- Where to invest your money
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”(Proverbs 19:20)
3. Ask God for Guidance and Wisdom:
Consult God about your dreams and plans. He wants the best for you. Search his word for wisdom.
Invite God to be your investment partner.
“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Commit your plans to God.
“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)
Seek God and let God guide you.
“The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’” (Psalm 32:8)
4. Differentiate between Saving and Investing:
You need to build up savings for your short-term cash flow needs while you need to build up your growth investments over the long term.
Your savings need to be low-risk and accessible, while your growth investments can be high-risk as you will be investing over the long term to generate growth.
Savings and investments are both vital components of building a Wealth Portfolio.
Your SAVINGS will allow you to build up a RESERVE FUND to ensure that you have cash available for emergencies and/or opportunities that may arise from time to time. Consider your car. It has a reserve tank to ensure that you have backup petrol should you run low on fuel. In the same way, you need to build a reserve.
“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)
Your INVESTMENTS should be set aside with the aim of GENERATING EXPLOSIVE GROWTH over the longer term. Growth investments may be volatile in the short term, but the higher risk should give you the ability to achieve real inflation-beating growth over time. If all your funds are invested in low-risk short-term funds, you will end up stunting your growth opportunity and may even see your capital erode against inflation.
“He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” (Proverbs 13:11)
A healthy balance between SAVINGS and INVESTMENTS is therefore a vital cog in building a Wealth Portfolio.
5. Diversify your Money:
Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. Rather spread your investments.
Diversifying your investment portfolio reduces risks.
By diversifying your investments you can also save towards specific goals over the short, medium, and longer term.
Diversify your investment across geographical regions (local and offshore), between asset classes (cash, bonds, equity & property), and across investment managers and investment vehicles to ensure a good spread. It is vital to get advice on how best to construct your Wealth Portfolio.
“Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.” (Ecclesiastes 11:2)
6. Shrink your Debt:
Debt is bondage. It causes stress and erodes your cash flow.
You need to shrink your liabilities and grow your assets.
If you are in debt, get determined to deal with it and break the debt cycle. Maybe you can sell some assets to settle your debt? Can you review your budget and cut some wasteful expenses that can be used to pay off your debt burden in a shorter period of time?
Every Rand you need to pay towards a debt repayment is a Rand less that can go into your Wealth Portfolio, so think twice before you spend your hard-earned money on “things” and think three times before getting deeper into debt.
Make a decision today to attack your debt!
“The borrower is a slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)
7. Save before you Spend:
You need to save and invest before you spend money.
Jim Rohn shared an interesting view:
He asked the question, “What the major difference is between rich and poor people?“
His observation was that it all boiled down to the order they used their money. From his perspective, he said that rich people usually save before they spend, while poor people usually spend before they save. In a nutshell, he said that…
- POOR people generally SPEND FIRST and save what is left over. (The problem here is that there is never anything left over, so nothing ever ends up in savings)
- On the other hand, RICH people generally SAVE and INVEST as a PRIORITY and then spend what is left over. (This way wealth is built up over time and the leftover funds are the only part that ever gets spent)
“The wise man saves for the future but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” (Proverbs 21:20)
Give God your best. Give Him your first fruits. Putting God first should form the backbone of your approach to managing your money.
“Honor 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.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)
Don’t be tight-fisted. Be a giver.
Jesus said, “… Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:37-38)
“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:24-25)
Build up eternal rewards.
Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
9. Follow Through:
Make saving and investing a life-long habit.
Be disciplined. Be diligent.
Talk is cheap. You need to implement your plan. Set up a strategy that makes it easy for you to follow through on your goals.
“Hard work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty” (Proverbs 10:23)
Get into the habit of saving and investing part of your income each month.
Make sure that the amount you are looking to save is affordable.
Once you are committed to saving you won’t even miss the amount you put aside each month. And, you will be surprised how quickly your savings grow.
You might think you don’t have ‘spare’ cash to save, but you can cut back on your unnecessary expenses and free up surplus cash from within your budget that you can invest. It might be difficult at first, but it is doable. Build saving into your budget.
Can you possibly automate your system by setting up a regular debit order to ensure you build up your savings and investments without order to it? Automate the plan by setting up a regular debit order.
10. Stick to Your Long-Term Plan but Walk day-by-day with God:
Live with purpose and passion. Have long-term goals. Dare to dream. Aim high. Attempt great things with God.
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. ” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Live for today. Live one day at a time.
Jesus said, “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
Seek first the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
Keep your eyes on Jesus.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
May God give you wisdom and bless your wealth-building plans.
Proverbs 10:22 … “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.”
God bless you.
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