Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (All day)
[Darris McNeely] As we're winding down to the end of 2012, in the United States the big discussion, the big item is the fiscal cliff - whether or not the United States will go over this so called fiscal cliff, which I've tried to draw here with a landscape and then a sudden drop off into an unknown chasm down below. The fiscal cliff that is being described as an economic catastrophe looming ahead because of changes in taxation, the debt ceilings, and a number of other economic factors that are scheduled to change and hit on January 1, 2013. The President and Congress have been playing a chicken game if you will, back and forth for several weeks and whether or not we'll get to any type of solution we will just have to wait and see. When we recognize and really deeply think about the potential for the problems to take place with this so called fiscal cliff, it can be very frightening most of all because we know it's out of our hands. It's out of our control. It's in the hands of politicians and the leaders in Washington. It can be very frustrating.
But when it comes back down to our personal level really there's one thing for you and I to learn out of all of this and that is when it comes to our own economic situation and our own economic health, we do have choices. We do have certain levels of control and we need to exercise them based on certain principles so that we don't go off our own personal fiscal cliff into bankruptcy, into financial stress and problems. We can control certain elements of our own life and what is taking place with us.
I want to give you three points, three keys, universal, really unarguable - maybe the third one, but we'll talk about that - that are keys and principles of our own financial personal management that if we apply them can help us keep from going off our own fiscal cliff.
The first one, very simple, live within your means. Don't spend any more than what you've got, which means you need to have a budget. You need to know what you have. And you don't need to spend any more than what you do take in. That's the problem that we've got on the national level. The matter on the national level is the government can print more checks. Nations can buy that debt and finance it, but that doesn't happen for you and I on our level. Live within your means. Learn to live within a budget. It's going to take you a long way.
The second one is build the habit of saving, saving each time you get a paycheck. Each time you get your money, put aside a certain portion of it, whatever you can do. If it's only a dollar, if it's ten dollars, if it's a hundred, or a thousand, put it aside in a savings account or invest it into long term funds that you can get into or need for an emergency or other type of situation down the road - buying a house, paying off your debt. But get into the habit of saving. It's a biblical principle. It's important, and it's a discipline that will help you keep from going over your own fiscal cliff.
The third point I'll give to you is really a very spiritual and fundamental one and that is to honor God with your substance. Proverbs 3:9 says this, a very important principle, "Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of all your increase". Really what is being talked about here is the practice of tithing, the law of tithing mentioned throughout the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
It is the unknown key, the spiritual key to prosperity and to honoring God and letting God be your partner in your financial fiscal life. Taken with all these other principles of learning to save and to live within your means, and not incur excessive debt will help you to not go off your own fiscal cliff. And in the end, that's about the most important area of control that you and I have. Let's take a lesson as we think about this in the coming days before the end of 2012 as we look at whether or not the United States is going to go off a fiscal cliff. And let's make sure that in our own life, we've got our own house in order and we're exercising control over the matters that we can.
That's BT Daily . Join us next time.