3. Take care of your family first.
Before we can afford to give financially outside of our tithing we need to have stability in place for our family. Stability would be to be out of debt (besides your home), have 3 months of expenses funded in a money market account, have a 20 year term life insurance policy that covers 10 years of your income and construct a will. Once these steps have been taken you are in position to build momentum but also prepared to leave your family in a comfortable financial situation if you get hit by a bus. You can get a half a million dollar policy for less than the amount you pay in Starbucks each month. Put your family first. “But if any do not take care of their relatives, especially the members of their own family, they have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8
4. Take care of your future
If we can find contentment in our lifestyles since our budget should have funds allocated for vacations, entertainment, miscellaneous and restaurants. Then we can also balance out the fun things in our budget with the line items that need to be funded to take care of our future. Yes retirement. You’ve read 132,639 times to put funds away towards retirement but you just can’t let go of that 10-15% of your paycheck that you are currently using for today and instead use that % of your paycheck for tomorrow. You’re either missing out on free money that your employer will match in your 401k/403b or if your employer doesn’t match you’re missing out on the opportunity of your money accruing tax-free in a Roth IRA.
Outside of retirement we must put funds away each year towards the kids college. Look into an Education Savings Account or a 529 today that will give you the freedom to not pay taxes on the growth and use the funds to cash flow the kids college. This doesn’t mean the kids have an over the top social life and go to class occasionally (I had that problem the first two years). I believe it means they have the opportunity to pay for classes without going into debt while working 10-20 hours a week to pay for other things the kids have on their budget. Imagine the financial freedom your son or daughter will have by avoiding student loans and ready to build wealth straight from graduation!
Remember our greatest wealth building tool is our income. What are you choosing to use your income for?
“Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.” Proverbs 21:20
1. Be a Steward. We don’t own anything, we just manage it for Him.
When my father or mother asked me to watch the house for the weekend and I threw a party without their permission (I felt like I owned the house); that’s not being a good Steward (but we had some great memories ; ). And when I do the opposite of that and actually be a good Steward and manage what’s theres appropriately, it’s not ironic that I was trusted with bigger things. I believe God looks at us in a similar way. He gives us 100% of what we have and now he wants to see how we manage it for Him. “Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones. 11 If, then, you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, how can you be trusted with true wealth?” Luke 16:10-11
2. Tithe (10%) to your local church.
Again, he gives us 100% of what we have. All He wants from us is to give 10% back to Him. Remember if we have the mindset it’s ALL His anyways and we don’t “grip” the 100% of what we have so tight , then our hearts will be more soft and we’ll enjoy giving back just the 10% He wants from us. “Bring the full amount of your tithes (10%) to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things.” Malachi 3:10. Wow!!! God tells us to test Him regarding tithing! Then He tells us He will pour out an extremely plentiful amount of good things if we bring the full amount! (10%)
This is the first two steps in building a legacy. See you all back here later in the week.
As long as we made it through elementary math we know that it doesn’t make mathematical sense to tithe. If you have made an effort to viciously get out of debt then how can you give away %10? Or you have made an effort to build wealth to save for a major purchase then how can you get to your goal quickly if you’re giving away %10? But I’ve come to realization that where are treasures go, you will find your heart too. I have justified not giving a tithe for many years in my life for many reasons but found a way to justify why I had to go to the big SEC football game next saturday that took $150 dollars in fuel just to get there and back. Or I didn’t think twice about opening up a bar tab Saturday night for hours and on Sunday morning refuse to give my tithe. We can make the argument that it doesn’t make mathematical sense to tithe but we don’t use that same argument towards other things we purchase because those things we purchase is our hearts desire. Before purchasing whatever “those” things may be, let’s be sure we have set a side a tithe so we can be compliant with managing HIS money. Don’t be surprised when HE trust/blesses you with more once you have proven to Him you can manage less. If you are a man or woman of the Christian faith it clearly tells us in Deuteronomy 14:22 to “Set aside a tithe-a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.”
It might not make mathematical sense but it makes sense to the one who created everything, including math.
We are being led by legislators that will continue to vote on increasing our current debt ceiling greater than $16.4 trillion which will result in another action that will take money from your paycheck, again. Even though our great country is being led by debt advocates we have to make sure our personal/family financial status is focused on Cost Flooring instead of Debt Ceiling. Meaning, we must find areas in our lifestyle where we can still enjoy our day-to-day life but incorporate lowering the cost flooring (instead of raising our personal debt ceiling). This allows us to allocate our funds for long-term goals, short-term goals, build wealth and give. So, get out of debt and stay out of debt.
Of course it’s tempting to take out ANOTHER mortgage and get something we want today (raising debt ceiling) but continue to build your wealth and pay cash for your goals and enjoy watching your growth.
We all have watched the circle of life or at some point we will. As Grandparents go and kids come into the world we must remind ourselves how thankful we are to be in the current situation we are in. Yes there are things we would love to take back yesterday and yesteryear as well as memories we would love to do again the exact same way. Regardless, lets not let anything we’ve done in the past be a burden in our tomorrow. Instead enjoy tomorrow where we have a choice to re-surface an old relationship that is on bad terms or just trying to be the best co-worker we can be.
We get one shot at this game of life. Just be sure when its the end of the circle for us that we’ve made attempts to forgive when someone won’t forgive. We loved one when they wouldn’t love back and when the result of the relationship still wasn’t how we’d prefer then we continue to be thankful for the relationships we have.
Enjoy tomorrow and make the most of your circle of life.