Earn, Give, Save, Invest, Spend

“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17 ESV

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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!

Dr. Mike

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

Is Money The Answer?

“Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything.”  Ecclesiastes 10:19 (ESV)

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The first pages of the Bible that I every read was the Book of Ecclesiastes. As a seventeen year old seeker of God, I was stumped to understand the contents of the Book. What is so spiritual about physical pleasures? marriage? labor? Is all vanity? Yet the first scripture that I found excited as a young entrepreneur was the above. Living in a physical world which requires physical food, drink, and power to function, the above scripture makes more sense than just dollars. In fact, 40 years later the scripture has more meaning now than ever before.

For example, bread and wine are the dinner staples of Biblical times. Every dinner included the two. Jesus himself at the last supper took these two staples and transformed them into an everyday memorial. Whenever bread and wine are taken, we are reminded of Jesus and commemorate his death, resurrection, and future return. (Maybe that is where the custom of saying prayer before each meal came from?).

Also, isn’t bread shared between friends. It is a custom even as of today to invite people over for meals as a show of friendship and hospitality. Most often, where laughter and good conversation takes place, bread is usually a staple of the meal. Likewise, wine with its alcoholic contents, loosens the heart and helps ease the emotional pain. Been so since the beginning of time. A little wine loosens the tongue and makes one feel a little happier. (Too much wine though causes one to lose control of their ability to manage their emotions and mental faculties). Yet in Biblical times wine was the main drink at weddings, festivals, and dinner. Jesus’ first known miracle was changing water into wine.

Most people don’t have a problem understanding bread is made for laughter; a few less with wine gladden’s the heart; but money a solution to one’s problems? Yet money is the answer for most of the challenges that people face each day. With money, one is able to purchase happiness (not joy), freedom, and opportunities that others without money cannot know. Ask yourself with the many challenges you face each day, how would they be different if you had more money to throw at the problem?

In fact Jesus spoke about money more than many other topics. He didn’t avoid the issue. Instead, he met it head on. His concern is when we make it a priority rather than secondary in our life. Yet money makes this physical world go around. If given the choice, how many would rather be poor than rich? Not many I’m sure.

In this physical world, it takes money to operate. People need money to purchase the necessities of life; governments need it to operate; even churches need it to cover the cost of ministries. Money answers many of the problems that confront them.

Again, the problem lies when money becomes life’s priority and foundation instead of Jesus Christ. When one keeps their priorities in order, is radically in Christ, than the above scripture makes perfect sense. What do you think?

 

We are always rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, 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

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