Jewish people are known to be astute money managers.
So recently while in Israel, I did some digging to find out why this is true. I was interested and inspired to discover that one of the secrets lies with what they teach their children about money. It turns out that from a young age many children a taught a basic money principle using 5 jars, which develops a lifelong habit of managing money well.
The golden rule taught using 5 jars is simple…
- Put God first
- Be generous,
- Invest over the long-term
- Save up for short-term needs
- Only spend what is left over
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Parents have taught the timeless 5 Jars principle to their children from a young age. It has been passed down from generation to generation. By the time young children reach their teenage years, they already have a healthy understanding of how to manage money in a God-honoring way, which also helps to eliminate bad debt, live within one’s means, and build wealth.
Over the past few weeks, we have unpacked the 5 JAR PRINCIPLE…
- JAR ONE – TITHE JAR
- JAR TWO – BLESSING JAR
- JAR THREE – INVESTING JAR
- JAR FOUR – SAVINGS JAR
- JAR FIVE – SPENDING JAR
Each time the child receives money, they are required to distribute it among the five jars. If a child receives ₪10 Shekels (this is the Israeli Currency), the child is taught to put…
- ₪1 in the TITHE JAR,
- ₪1 in the BLESSING JAR,
- ₪2 in the INVESTING JAR,
- ₪1 in the SAVINGS JAR, and
- ₪5 in the last SPENDING JAR.
Today we are going to wrap up the series by taking a look at JAR 5, and we will then sum it all up.
But let me give you a quick recap…
JAR ONE – TITHE JAR
Whenever a child receives money, they are taught to place the first 10% in the Tithe Jar.
By the way, a tithe means one-tenth. Jewish children are taught that the first 10% doesn’t belong to them but to God.
“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.” (Leviticus 27:30)
Once a month, this jar is opened and taken to their place of worship where the money in Jar 1 is given to God.
The principle of giving the first 10% of your income to God helps to teach children not to be selfish but to put God first.
Children are also taught that giving to God opens doors of opportunity, where God will bless his children for giving their first and best back to Him.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Provers 3:9-10)
So, the first 10% goes into the TITHE JAR and this is given back to God each month.
JAR TWO – BLESSING JAR
Children are instructed to place 10% into the Blessing Jar.
These are funds set aside to help people in the community who are going through tough times or who are less fortunate.
Being a blessing in your community also helps you to become part of your community and build networks in the future. Your generosity fund will be a blessing to others and will help you be less selfish, teaching you to think of others too.
“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:24-25)
Jars one and two help children to love God and love people.
With the first 10% in the TITHE JAR and 10% set aside in the BLESSING JAR, you can start looking after your needs.
JAR THREE – INVESTING JAR
Children are encouraged to place 20% of the money they receive in the Investing Jar.
The aim of this Jar is to build up a Wealth Portfolio over the long term. The proceeds in this jar are to be invested to generate income and growth.
Children are encouraged to dream, plan, and make their own choices.
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
Children are encouraged to learn entrepreneurial skills and to think of ways to grow the 20% in their investment jar.
Whether the child invests their money in an investment or uses money in this jar to buy a packet of seeds to grow vegetables to sell to the community, the decision is to be left to the child. You will be amazed at the ideas children come up with!
The 20% in the investment jar must be put to work to earn more money. It is to be used to make a profit, grow the investment portfolio, and generate income.
Over time, through trials, errors, and successes, the child will come up with creative ideas to earn income. At the same time, the child will be building business experience, and may even find their niche in the world before they reach their adult life.
The process of coming up with a variety of income-generating opportunities will also help build problem-solving skills and develop a business mindset that looks for solutions to problems, that in turn can generate cash flow.
With the first 10% in the TITHE JAR, 10% set aside in the BLESSING JAR, and 20% of your money put to work to build your wealth portfolio in your INVESTING JAR, you can now consider building up savings.
JAR FOUR – SAVINGS JAR
When in trouble or a need arises, don’t raid your Tithe Jar – No, this belongs to God.
Don’t take the money out of your Blessing Jar – No, this is to bless others.
Don’t take the money out of your investment jar – These funds are to build your wealth and business.
No, when a need arises, you take these funds out of your Savings Jar!
Children are encouraged to put 10% of their earnings into the Savings Jar, with the purpose of building up funds that may be needed over the short-term, for needs or opportunities that may arise.
In an emergency, it is vital to have liquid cash available. Money set aside in the Savings Jar can be accessed at any time to cover an unforeseen event.
Look at the ants…
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)
Just like a car has a reserve tank, where the light goes on if you are running low on fuel, and where you can still drive to the nearest fill-up station, children are trained to build up a savings reserve for emergencies, when unforeseen storms hit.
The sacrifice of saving helps children build up a nest egg that can be used to avoid unnecessary debt later in life when they grow up, as they have learned to make provisions in their money management for those unexpected events that do arise.
The Savings Jar also ensures that there is money available for opportunities that may pop up, where the child has money available to do things then usually would not be able to do.
With the first 10% in the TITHE JAR, 10% going into the BLESSING JAR, 20% of your money put to work to build your wealth portfolio in your INVESTING JAR, and 10% set aside in your SAVINGS JAR, you can now spend what is left over.
So let us look at today’s jar…
JAR FIVE – SPENDING JAR
Children are encouraged to spend the remaining 50% of the money they receive on whatever they wish.
Because they have taken a disciplined approach to their money management, they are free to spend what is left over.
“Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19)
Life is a gift. Make the most of it. We need to live with purpose and passion.
Spending money on living expenses is important. It should be a joy to spend money on the nice things in life too, but not at the expense of giving to God, being a blessing to others, or at the expense of building up your savings and investments!
So happy spending! Enjoy the gift that God has given you!
Let us sum it all up…
Manage Your Money Right!
The truth is that many manage their money the wrong way around.
Most spend first and will only save and invest if there is anything left over.
Unfortunately, most cannot save because there is always some cash flow thief, making it hard to save, let alone give to God.
The 5 JAR PRINCIPLE helps people to put God first and be generous, thereby helping one form a habit of loving God and loving people.
The 5 JAR PRINCIPLE also encourages people to save and invest, and build a business, thereby securing income, building a wealth portfolio, and having cash flow available for short-term needs and opportunities.
The 5 JAR PRINCIPLE also helps one to take a disciplined approach to money management, which helps to eliminate debt and encourages people to live with their means.
A Word to the Skeptical…
Before we wrap up, let me add an important note. I have spoken to some who see the 5 JAR METHOD as a nice way to train children on money management, but who remain skeptical as to how this can work in the real world.
Some say it’s a great concept, but that it’s not possible or sustainable for the average family to apply to their money management. Others say, “Impossible! How can I possibly live on 50% of my income?”
I disagree. Let me tell you why.
- When you put God first and are a blessing to others, God blesses you in return.
- When you set funds aside into savings, you have money available when the storms of life hit. This helps one to stay out of debt. Worldwide statistics show that many have too much debt, and it is this added burden to increases one’s living expenses. Eliminate the debt and pay it forward, and you will be improving your cash flow. After all, it is the credit cards and loan repayments that are the biggest cashflow stealers in many people’s budgets!
- The funds you invest to build your wealth portfolio and business venture should also pay dividends, generating multiple streams of income that will bring more money in to cover and sustain your living expenses, while helping you to be a greater blessing to others, and building your investment jar over time.
So, in my opinion, it is possible to apply the 5 Jar Method to your money management.
It may take you some time to get this right, as you need to re-prioritise your spending, settle your debt, and get rid of cash flow stealers in your budget. You can apply the 5 Jar Method and work towards making this your lifestyle.
The 5 Jar Method works! It can set you on course towards financial freedom.
“But remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you the power to gain wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Why not teach your children the 5 JAR PRINCIPLE to your money management? Why don’t you consider using it yourself?
By setting up a deliberate plan to train your children, you will be making one of the best investment decisions you can ever make for your children. It will set them up for a fruitful future.
Many have no money management plan.
Those who just mindlessly spend their income are often cash-strapped and financially stressed out with little savings. They also find it nearly impossible to be generous and give to God.
I encourage you to manage your money well. Consider the 5 JAR principle. Teach this to your children, and when they are old you will set them up to prosper.
- Build up savings for unforeseen short-term emergencies
- Set funds available for opportunities that may arise
- Learn to eliminate debt
- Make good money decisions
- Live within your means
If you stick to the 5 JAR principle, you will learn to honor God and be a blessing to others with your generosity.
You will develop a business mindset and valuable entrepreneurial skills that will help you to build a wealth portfolio over the long term,
You will also build a wealth portfolio over the long term.
You will have savings available for unforeseen short-term emergencies, and funds available for opportunities that may arise.
You will also eliminate debt, make good money decisions, and you will learn to live within your means.
Start implementing the 5 JAR PRINCIPLE today. What are you waiting for?
“The blessing of the Lord, it makes one rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)
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