If you don’t make a plan for how you use your finances, someone or something else will make a plan for you. Preparing a budget shows you are a responsible steward with what God has entrusted to you.
- The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin (Prov. 10:16).
- A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous (Prov. 13:22).
- The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly (Prov. 14:24).
- In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked (Prov. 15:6).
- Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it (Prov. 15:16).
- Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations (Prov. 27:23-24)?
Hindrances to Developing a Budget
- Fear – Some people are too fearful of what they might find to begin developing a budget.
- Comparison – Don’t let what others own own you.
- Discontentment – When you can’t afford the type of lifestyle you think you deserve, you will make financial decisions that will cost you more in the long run.
- Busyness – If you never create the margin to develop and maintain a budget process that works for you, you may never experience financial peace of mind.
- Disorganization – A failure to address the pertinent issues will cause more pain later than it will be to wade through them now.
Goals for Developing a Budget
- Eager Generosity – Steward your blessings in order to bless others.
- Aligned Strategy – Establish a system in your family that provides regular opportunities for financial awareness and upcoming plans.
- Lifestyle Accuracy – Attempting to live beyond your means will eventually cost you more than you can afford.
- Complete Transparency – A family will rarely survive ongoing spending deception and escalating financial frustration.
- Future Mentality – Any financial strategy that disregards future needs will confront your family at the worst possible time.
- Practical Tranquility – If you can control your spending and develop a budget, you will experience a needed peace for your life.
Steps to Developing a Budget
- Assign every dollar a responsibility.
- Acknowledge your actual expenses.
- Adjust as you go.
- Access last month’s money.
- Address danger areas gradually.
8 Money Milestones by Art Rainer
- Start giving
- Save $1,500 for a minor emergency
- Max out your 401(k) or 403(b) match
- Pay off all debt except your mortgage
- Save 3-6 months of living expenses for a job-loss emergency
- Put 15% of your gross income to retirement
- Save for college or pay off your mortgage
- Live generously
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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