What do I do with my money?
Sometimes, we make money too complex. We hear and read financial recommendations that are beyond our understanding, so we tune out. We assume that those who manage their money well are simply smarter than us in this area, and we are doomed to a life of poor financial choices. If this is you, it is time to stop thinking this way. There are some basic formulas (that anyone can understand) out there to help lead you to financial health.
For those of you who are just now considering or reconsidering what it looks like to be financially healthy, here is a simple, 3-step formula that answers the question, “What do I do with my money?”:
- Give. Before savings, retirement, and bills, we are to be generous. For those experiencing financial strain, this sounds counterintuitive. But the Bible tells us that we are to trust God with our money and first be generous givers. God’s given you money, not so you can have an over-the-top, extravagant lifestyle, but so you can invest in Kingdom advancement. Generosity should be the primary goal for your money. If you don’t currently give, set aside a percentage of each paycheck to give away. I recommend you start by giving 10% to your local church.
- Save. Once you have set aside your money to give, it is time to save some money for emergencies, retirement, and future expenditures. First, try to get to the point where you have 6 months of living expenditures saved. Once you have this, try to get to the point where 10% to 15% of your paycheck goes toward retirement. Finally, set aside money for future purchases, like a car, so that you do not have to go into debt.
- Live. Your lifestyle should fit into this “leftover” category. If you struggle to give and save, you may need to reexamine your lifestyle. You may need to cut back on the amounts spent on restaurants, entertainment, travel, or other lifestyle choices we all make. Remember, your first two priorities are to give and save.
And that is it–three simple steps. Many have used this formula to help answer the question, “What do I do with my money?” You can too. Certainly, you may have to make some difficult decisions to align with the Give-Save-Live formula, but it is worth it. Because when you do, you will find yourself financially healthy.
What about you? What financial challenges currently hold you back from fitting into this formula? Please place your comments in the section below.