We all want to be considered wise and knowledgeable.
Sometimes, we can’t think straight when it comes to managing our money.
Are you good stewards of what the Lord provides you? Are you training your children to be good stewards? Are you leaving them a legacy?
Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation],
And by knowledge shall its chambers [of every area] be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
Proverbs 24:3-4 AMP
Debt is a harsh master.
Are you a victim of our culture’s lies about money?
More, more, more.
Are you trying to fill a hole in your soul with more stuff?
Only God can fill you up and teach you to be content. And help you achieve freedom from debt.
5 Money Tips
1. Pay Cash.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s really hard.
We have credit cards. We have a debit card. We have ATM fees. We have a spending plan. I use an Excel spreadsheet. We have debt. Back to square one.
We just need to quit buying stuff. Just quit charging! Cut up those cards or put them in a big bag of water in the freezer. By the time it takes to unfreeze, you’ll have thought better of that purchase.
Don’t store your card numbers on websites – like Amazon. It’s too convenient.
Studies show that paying cash makes you really think about those purchases rather than swiping that plastic.
Live within your means. It might be shocking at first and there’s a steep learning curve, but you’ll get used to it.
Are you a slave?
The Bible says you’re a slave if you have debt.
Now, I know most of us don’t consider car loans and mortgages debt. Not many can pay cash for cars or houses.
Set your own goals. Our goals are to use no credit cards nor have any unsecured debt.
I know some people who forbid debt in their lives in totality. What freedom that must be!
The poor are ruled by the rich,
and those who borrow
are slaves of moneylenders.
Proverbs 22:7 CEV
Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law.
Roman 13:8 ASV
2. Evaluate where you can save money.
Do you need to add energy savers to your home? Paying a little upfront to seal door cracks or upgrade windows or add insulation could save you lots in the future.
Can you bike to work? Can you live with one vehicle? Can you combine errands to only go out once a week to save on fuel?
Keep your cars maintained so they don’t end up costing more when things break.
Buy second hand items when you need something.
Can you grow a garden to save on groceries? Can you get paid to recycle in your state? Get a water filter and reusable bottles instead of purchasing plastic bottles of water.
Can you make your own cleaners? Can you replace paper and single use plastic products with reusable ones?
Set up a healthy menu and plan meals at home (we love eMeals!) instead of eating out.
Cancel those catalog and magazine subscriptions. Unsubscribe to store emails and alerts and texts. If the temptation isn’t there…
Subscribe to emails that list free apps and Kindle eBooks. Use your local library instead of purchasing the latest novel. The list is endless and it all depends on your comfort level.
If you’re a homeschooler, there are oodles of options for free and frugal curriculum.
Are you one of those pampered people who buys a latte at the coffee shop every day? Do you get mani pedis regularly? I’m not saying to stop caring for yourself, but you must set priorities. Treat yourself less frequently perhaps. I wish I had all that money back from when I wasted so much!
Do you go out for happy hour with friends periodically?
You can do all that at home for so much cheaper. Make life more meaningful and save money. Rotate homes every week or month. It’s easier for parents too.
The Bible says that God will provide all our needs.
Make sure you evaluate your needs vs. your wants.
I know. Sometimes I need chocolate too. Don’t starve yourself of treats or you’ll binge. Just be careful and frugal and set priorities. Communicate with your family.
3. Rethink gift giving.
We don’t throw huge birthday parties for our kids. We celebrate at home with a special meal and decorate frugally.
For Christmas and birthdays and other gift-giving holidays, we prefer experiential gifts to more stuff.
If you have family members who don’t understand or agree, look into group giving exchanges like a charity or memberships to museums.
Cards are pretty and thoughtful, but they’re just expensive clutter. Send eCards instead.
Shop thrift stores. Make your own decorations and invite the kids to help to make it more festive!
Teach a spirit of giving to others. You can give services or time instead of things.
If you give stuff, check out this shopping schedule and plan accordingly.
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Mark 8:36 NIV
4. Educate yourself.
My husband and I come from very different money backgrounds.
His parents didn’t discuss money with their kids. At all. When they passed on during our first year of marriage, it was confusing and stressful to work out their affairs.
My parents were always very open with me about money. They are very organized. They have file folders for each account in a strong box with all the info so it’s easy to access in an emergency. My name is on the accounts to make my life easier when they pass so I won’t have to pay unnecessary taxes. They explained the process of banking and loans to me all my life. I attended their professional financial meetings so I could listen and ask questions. I so appreciate that practical education. They helped me buy cars – and my first house when I was in my 20s. I know what they’re worth and how they got there. They are very conservative, but they live very comfortably in retirement.
It’s an uncomfortable conversation for many.
Do you know how much you’re worth? Do you have investments? Are you utilizing the best options for saving towards retirement? Do you have enough insurance? What would happen in an emergency? Do you have enough in savings? Do you understand interest rates, CDs, money markets, savings bonds? Do you have parents or loved ones with whom you need to discuss finances? Will you or your siblings be responsible for caring for elderly parents? Are there funds in place for that?
Are you planning for your and your kids’ futures?
Read the Parable of the Talents. Which son do you relate to and why?
5. Be proactive.
Have a family notebook or protected computer file with all your information in case of an emergency.
We have IRAs. We have mutual funds.
We have 529s and CDs for our four kids. All the kids have life insurance and savings accounts.
We educate the kids about money and where it comes from and how banks work. I explain the dangers of credit cards. I want them to know the differences between debit and credit.
My teen has a checking account and a check card through USAA.
We know we receive an inheritance from Aaron’s aunt at certain intervals, dividends from Aaron’s mom’s IRA every September, when my parents pass on.
Consider your financial goals.
Are you prepared for your kids’ higher education? What is your vision for that?
Are you planning for retirement? What do you want retirement to look like?
Do you have extended medical needs? Look into flexible spending or separate savings accounts for that. Check into alternative medicine. Prevention is better than treatment sometimes.
Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;
for riches do not endure forever…
Proverbs 27: 23-24a NIV
Courtship Topics. These discussion topics (especially about money!) are great to discuss, even years after you’ve married. We weren’t on the same page at all in many areas nor did we even know! If you and your spouse don’t have the same financial goals, it will be almost impossible to get anywhere together. Finances are always an area of conflict in marriage.
Crown Ministries. I used to teach a Sunday school class for single moms on finances using these materials. They have some great tools for families.
The Money Couple. Take a money personality quiz to find out what you really think about money use. Discuss with your spouse.
Dave Ramsey. You either love him or hate him. I actually refuse to purchase his materials or pay for his course on principle. I know many who have achieved financial freedom through his teachings. I just think he capitalizes and profits off people’s ignorance and weakness. Judge for yourself.
USAA. They have great teen resources to get your kids started out right in the financial world. Check with your local bank to see if they have something similar. We like our one stop shopping since we move around so frequently with the military.
- Buy used curricula and books!
- Free Homeschool Deals
- Easy Peasy
- Homeschool Buyers Co-op
- Ambleside Online
- An Old-Fashioned Education
- How to Homeschool for Free Series
- Preschool Curriculum
- My Homeschool for Free post
Plans are established by seeking advice;
so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
Proverbs 20:18 NIV