“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17 ESV
If you are starting out in your career, now is the time to implement a financial formula that works. For most of us who never learned the art and science of financial management, balanced with life’s other more important values, can learn from the success and mistakes of others.
Warren Buffet, the third wealthiest man in the world, began his career by living on 50% of his earnings for over twenty years while investing the difference. John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in his time, used a similar approach to life. My mom and dad, hard workers with only an eighth grade education, exercised a similar formula which allowed them to send two children to a private school, pay off their house in five years, and enjoy retirement debt free.
That formula is simply to live on less than you make while investing the difference. A simple strategy that few in today’s culture are able to discipline themselves to practice. Yet those who practice it, appreciate the results.
The ideal is too find something you either enjoy doing or are good at to earn a livelihood. As the income comes in, the lust is to start spending on everything you desire. Don’t. Instead start by allocating the money from that first paycheck for the important and not desirous needs of your life.
First start by asking God where he wants you to share his income with. Whatever he instructs you, follow through. It most likely will be your local church; yet he may also suggest a para-church ministry or a nonprofit that is doing good work in serving humanity from God’s perspective. Wherever it is, God enjoys a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). Start off by giving a percentage that you can do so cheerfully. Some in the church preach the discipline of giving a tithe or ten percent as a starting point. If you can do so cheerfully, do it. If you can give more, do it. If you can only give less, do it. Whatever the amount, I assure you as God transforms your heart, you will become more generous in your giving over time. It is all his anyway. We are only learning to behave as his stewards.
Next, start saving. Whatever % amount you give away for a cause greater than yourself, save the same % amount until you reach 6 months of your annual income. It may take a few years, but when you arrive, you will have reached a point of economic freedom. If anything happens to your job, you have a reserve to fall back on. If an emergency arises, you have assets to fall back on. You don’t have to live by paycheck-to-paycheck in fear any longer because you have an emergency reserve.
After reaching your six month savings plan, start investing. Study and become a student of investment. If you are not adept at investment, than hire a personal planner without an agenda. Let him/her direct you into the instrument that will take your money and let it grow. There is no better way to earn a living than making money from money. That is how the rich live.
But you say by following the above, I will have to deny myself immediate pleasure and desires. Yes. But the fruit will taste better in the long run. Ask Warren Buffet. Ask my parents. Ask those people now in the late season of life who first spent their money without saving if they would do anything different.
The Bible states that the borrower is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7); that there is profit in all labor (Proverbs 14:23); and God knows how money is best invested (Ecclesiastes 2:24-6) These principles are true today as they were 3,000 years ago when first written. Yes, it takes faith to deny the self now for the potential of a better future. So are you ready to make the faith journey with your economic life? It all starts when you earn, give, save, invest, and then spend.
Rooting For You in Christ!
Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married