So, you’ve got some money saved or you have curbed your bad spending habits in order to start saving some cash. What Biblical advice is there concerning being a good steward of this excess moolah? Very good question!

Robert Kiyosaki is one of my favorite authors in the world of financing. As a young man he learned about money from a man he calls his “rich dad”. This rich dad taught Robert not only how to- but, more importantly why- creating assets is so important to financial freedom. Before we go any further let’s be sure we know what an asset is:

·         An Asset is anything that generates income. Many people feel their house is their greatest asset. However, for most of us this is not the case. If you are paying a mortgage or rent on a home it can only be an asset if your expenses for that home are outweighed by money created by it. For example, your total monthly house expenses (including taxes, maintenance, etc.) are $1,500/mo and you rent out part of the home & also charge a local farmer for using some of your land to grow some of her crops. The money generated is $1,700/mo. In this case your house is an asset because all your expenses are covered & you have excess cash. In this case the excess is $200 a month of profit- this house is an asset because it generated $200 in income.

Matthew 25:14- 30 is one of my favorite verses concerning money and being responsible with the gifts God gives us. It tells of a man who was about to leave for a long trip. He called his three servants to him and entrusted each with a portion of his funds. When this man returned, both the first and second servants had doubled the money untrusted to them. However, the third- out of fear of monetary loss- buried the cash so that he would be sure to still have all his master had entrusted to him. Upon returning the master was not pleased! He rewarded his first two servants for their shrewdness saying, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' However, to the third he said, “'You wicked and lazy servant,… you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.” When I read this story I think to myself, “What did those first two servants do to multiply their money? Did they start businesses, buy some sort of primitive stocks or did they invest in some sort of agricultural venture?” One thing is for sure, whatever the venture was, they created an asset- something that helped yield added funds. They didn’t squander it, spend money on a lottery ticket or just put it in a safe place. They made a wise decision on how to multiply what they were entrusted with and were able to look their master in the eye with confidence that they had done the right thing. Can you say that about your money habits? Would the Lord look down on you with pleasure and say, “Well done!?” (which should be a Christians ultimate goal) Or will you be punished like the third servant who was stripped of his blessings?  

So, Taz, how do I create assets?

Actually there are many avenues. Recently I have been investigating Common Stocks, (aka Penny Stocks). I have to say I am not upset at the results. The stock market is full of opportunity for those with limited funds or those blessed with excess cash. I know, I know, ”Investing in stocks too risky!”, right? Keep in mind the third servant- who was stripped of all he was given- thought that risk was not worth the possible gains and his master was not pleased when he returned. Out of “fear” he did nothing and as a result he did not please his Master.

 However, those first two servants did not cower to the spirit of fear; instead they looked for smart, wise, profitable, Godly opportunities and moved forward with their investing. We have the same opportunity. Dive into the Word, pray to God for help in making the right investment decision in order to create assets which lead to financial freedom. The internet is full of opportunities to learn about the stock market and a lot of them are FREE! Yes, you can learn the basics and even the more technical/complex lessons needed to make wise investments and you pay zero, zip, zilch, nada, nothin’ for this education! So your excuses for not knowing have just run out.

Owning a small, part time business is another smart way to build an asset. Consider what you love to do. As the great Mary Kay Ashe said, “Find something you love to do and someone will pay you a lot of money to do it.” God has blessed you with talents and passion. I believe these can be great indicators as to what type of business you should start. If you are a natural born teacher and talker, motivational speaking may be your avenue. If you love to paint, see if the local small businesses need an artist to paint logos or scenes in their business windows. If you happen to be a whiz at personal finance, look into teaching others to be better with money.

Phillipians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” God didn’t say

“I have power to help you with everything, except creating assets, when it comes to that… you’re on your own, sorry”.

In fact when I read the passage about the three servants it seems to me that the master expected a return on His investment. It would stand to reason that God expects the same of us. (Note: I am not saying God commands us to be rich, only smart with the funds He has entrusted us with.)

To all those who insist that it just “seems too risky”; keep in mind there is risk in your current traditional job also. You take a risk each day that you won’t get fired tomorrow. You take a risk by trusting your car or public transportation to get you to your job on time each day. You are taking a risk that your boss doesn’t go bankrupt and have no money to pay you. Also, you may want to google “layoffs in 2012” The results may surprise you. It comes down to this: Would you rather be taking a risk while building your boss’ dream or while building your own?

Assets can be created while you are working your nine-to-five. I started with a certain network marketing company a while back. A lot of folks have said to me, “I just don’t have the time to do that”. I ask them, “If your boss offered over time right now, would you take it?” Of course, they say “Yes”. I reply, “If you have time to work extra hours for your boss, you have time to work a few hours for yourself, do you not?”

I am not a millionaire by any means but I can honestly say that my part time business gives me the opportunity to be on in the near future. Can you say that about your traditional job?

Here’s something to consider: If you were the Michael Jordon at your job would it lead you to a prosperous lifestyle? Would your current job lead to the ability to give money to the poor, tithe a massive amount to your Church, or take yearly family vacations in order to build lasting memories with those you love?

 

Savings accounts, bonds, bank CDs, Money Market Accounts, etc. Your options are varied and many when it comes to creating assets. The only real question is: Are you going to choose to be disciplined enough to start creating these assets or will you settle for your current lack of financial freedom?

The Choice is yours!

Educational Resources

Stock market:

1.     Stocks for Dummies: A really good book you can get on amazon.com or audible.com

2.     The four of the following sites allow you to

·        Sign up for a free accounts 

·         Watch free educational webinars & videos or read free articles (I suggest you start with the first one listed)

www.tradeking.com

www.tdameritrade.com

www.scottrade.com

 

Starting a business:

1.     Small Business For Dummies

2.     The Business of the 21st Century by Robert Kiyosaki

3.     Network Marketing for Dummies by Zig Ziglar

So far, in this 6-part series- we have discussed the dangers of Over-Spending and tackled the idea of Creating Assets with the money you’ve saved. Next topic- Getting out and Staying out Of Debt. Not overspending and Creating assets are ways to deal with debt but we will dive a bit deeper into the debt problem in Part 3. Pray, take a deep breath and prepare to be totally honest with yourself. It’s gonna be….interesting.
 
 
I have worked and attended school/Church with many people who seem to never have extra cash. I have been one of those people a few times in my past and sometimes money is still a struggle now that I am re-married, in ministry, a business owner and full time college student. I hear those without money talk about how they cannot afford a vacation, health insurance or that new shiny car. However, most of these folks have made one very dangerous and basic mistake- they spend too much. I say that because I see the stuff they DO spend money on.

Doesn’t it seem logical that every dollar you spend is a dollar you no longer have? Yeah…I know, “Taz, that’s pretty much common sense.” Well…it makes sense but, unfortunately, it’s no longer that common.

For the purpose of this blog my definition of Overspending is a simple one- Spending more money than you need to.
Here’s what I mean.
Let’s say you leave home in the morning and you go through the McDonald’s drive thru, you spend $7 for breakfast, then on your lunch break you spend $10 for take-out at a local restaurant. On the way home you decide that the American-style Chinese food Timmy Chan’s is irresistible so you get an 8 dollar plate to go. That’s a total of $25 in just one day! I know most people don’t buy all three meals in a day so let’s just take the seven dollar breakfast for example. That’s still $35 a week- a total of $1820 a year! That’s a good start to a vacation in New Orleans (feel free to come get me and my wife when you’re headed that way).  For those who do buy all three meals per day, you’re spending about $6,500 a year. Wow! Imagine if you had that in your bank account instead of spread among all those local eateries. Imagine the bills you could pay off, vacations you could take or the band camps for which you could pay 100% cash so you could send your talented child to. (you know you want that loud saxophone of his gone for a week…admit it)

Movies can be another pitfall for the many who are struggling with saving cash. These days it’s about $9.25 for a movie and a bit more if it’s 3D. There are folks I know who go see a movie every week. (They insist on seeing it the day it hits theaters…..gotta love crazy people lol) I am not suggesting you stop seeing movies all together but once a week at $9.25 a pop is $481 a year. You could get a Netflix membership, pay $7.99 a month ($95.88/yr) and watch two to three movies a week instead. More bang for your buck seems to make the most sense to me. Compare going to the theater to a Netflix membership and that’s a difference of $385.12 each year. This does not including the cost of fuel it takes to get to the theater. (You have been paying attention to rising fuel prices, right?)

If you are the type of person described here who spends money on breakfast each day, goes to the movies once a week & you are tired of not having money, imagine the result if you decide to eat breakfast at home,  and replace the movie going with the suggested Netflix plan. (No, Netflix is not paying me) You’d have an extra (drum roll please) $1,945.12 every year! That’s money IN YOUR POCKET….ok, in the bank. If you’re setting aside this cash in a savings account for the next ten years, that’s $19,451.20 before interest is added!!
It’s amazing what some patience and Godly discipline can do, huh?

Here’s an important tip to help reduce over spending. It’s a simple, doable, workable one.  Shop at thrift stores! aka, Resale Shops!

“Whooooaaawww!?!? Taz, you want me to buy used clothing? Only poor people do that. I’m not a poor person!”

You may not be poor,… now,…. but in today’s economy we cannot afford to be picky or to think too highly of ourselves. Jesus lived as a “poor person” having no home and was buried in a borrowed tomb. If He could do without the “finer things in life”, you can too. And shopping at a thrift store doesn’t mean you can’t find designer clothing. It does mean you pay less for them (ssshhhhh…nobody has to know)

Shopping at a resale shop means you get the same clothes you’d buy at Macy’s for a far more affordable price. That’s more money in YOUR pocket. Using your money at a resale shop will yield nice clothing and you’ll leave there with five outfits for the same price- or less- than one outfit at Macy’s. Now if you feel the need to unnecessarily spread your hard-earned cash around, I have a Houston, TX address to give you. I assure you I….aaahhh I mean, someone….will put it to good use.

Here’s a Bible verse for ya: Proverbs 6:6–8 says “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest."

What does this verse have to do with spending money? God is telling us to be wise, work hard and prepare for the future. Can you do that if you are spending your money unwisely? If you put nothing aside for a rainy day- as the ant- will you be prepared for disaster or even small emergencies? If you buy that expensive shirt, expensive rims or spend a ton of cash on fast food, will you have any left over to repair a suddenly nonoperational transmission of your beloved BMW? For most of us the answer is, “No at all!”

Also, consider the story of Joseph in Genesis 41:14 thru 57

Joseph interpreted the king’s dream and advised the king to save grain in the plentiful years so that his kingdom would be ready for seven years of famine. When famine hit all the lands Egypt was still doing well because of what they stored up. They then sold their excess grain to surrounding lands which had no crop to speak of.

They profited during a depression, imagine that.

Are you ready for a major depression to hit? Considering the current economy it’s not a far stretch to imagine it happening in the near future.

One last scripture to chew on: Proverbs 21:5

"The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty."

Yes, you have to make a definite plan in order to enjoy a time of plenty. (I remind you of the aforementioned story of Joseph)

Obviously God cares a great deal that we are wise with the allocation of our funds. He wants to see us prosper. I’m not saying you are destined to great riches, not by any means. I am saying that we are responsible for acting wisely with the money our Father has blessed us with.

Interested in learning more about spending, saving, investing and getting out of debt? Here are some books I highly recommend.

1.     Digging Out of The Money Pit: 30 Biblical Solutions to Your Financial Headaches

2.     Money Came by the House the Other Day: A Guide to Christian Financial Planning And Stories of Stewardship

3.     The Millionaire Mind

4.     The Millionaire Next Door

5. Where Did My Money Go?: An Honest Look At Perpetual Debt and The Fiscal  Slavery Of The American Family from A Christian perspective

 &


5. Whatever Happened to The American Dream?

Recap: Rethink how, where and how often you spend money. Research your spending habits, decide what you can live without. Consider this verse: Proverbs 22:7

"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender."

Which do you want to be, a victorious ruler or a slave to your creditors?

PS: You may be thinking “So, Taz what do I do with this money once I have decided to save more and spend less?” or you might be wondering, “I have some money set aside already. What is the Biblically correct thing to do with it?”

The options are almost endless for sure. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series- Creating Assets. It’s gonna be very interesting topic- to say the least.

God Bless and Happy Saving!

 

    Author

    I'm just an everyday guy, father, husband, Christian and business owner. Here I am sharing my experiences which serve to prove the validity of Biblical teachings concerning finances, money and stewardship.

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