Are you the couple that spent 40 years working hard so you could retire and travel to all the places of your dreams? You now find that dream is gone. Suddenly one of you is laid off, the savings are disappearing, the retirement fund is dwindling. Are you the single mother that bought a house with a balloon payment? It was great at first but now the payments have skyrocketed. What can you do when bad economic times are crushing your dreams? On Beyond Today we're going to cover the timeless financial principles that can help you get control of your money.
Are you drowning in debt, afraid you might lose your car, your house? Are you worried about being laid off? Are you watching the stock market roller coaster destroy your retirement fund? Are you stressed because the value of your house has been wiped out and there's nothing you can do about it? For so many people the dreams of just a short time ago, dreams of owning your own home or retiring early and traveling have disappeared in an economic crisis that seems to keep getting worse. The money is getting tight and you can't control the company down sizing or national inflation. So how can you deal with the anxiety of financial difficulties?
Now you might be thinking, "ok now he's going to tell me how to invest in real estate or some internet scheme." Well no, because that's not the solution to your financial problems. You may not always be able to control the economic crisis happening around you but you can get control of your life, your behavior and your money.
Now it won't be easy but you have to accept that if you keep applying the same old solutions to the same old problems guess where you're going to go? You're simply going to arrive at the same old problems.
Well today we're going to discuss three basic concepts of how to get control of your life and your money. These principles come from a book that is often maligned as being irrelevant in our post modern society. If you don't have a Bible, go get one. Get one and follow along as we explore what the Creator says about your life and your money. Now let's start by looking at something Jesus taught on the Sermon on the Mount about your first priority in money management. Let's go to Matthew 6:25
Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Now at this point you might be saying, "Now wait a minute, wait a minute the bank is going to reposes my car and you're telling me to stop worrying?" Well the kind of worry Jesus is talking about is anxious thought. Now here's the key, if you're going to get control of your economic situation the first thing you must do is change your spiritual priorities. Instead of hoping you'll hit the lottery you need to ask how did I get into this mess to begin with? Now Jesus continues
Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
The first step in dealing with your money problems is the same first step in dealing with all of life's problems. You begin by going to your Creator and finding His answers and then trusting His solutions. You have value to God and He has solutions to your problems but you're going to have to accept those solutions and you're going to have to apply them to your life. Here in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus continues
Matthew 6:27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
Have you ever wished you were taller? Or maybe could jump like an NBA player? Or could run a hundred meters with world class speed? Beyond reality no training, no miracle drug can make you taller can it? What Jesus is teaching here is that there are some things in life you can control, there are things you can't control. We can either drive ourselves crazy trying to control every situation and every person around us or we can learn to trust God to help us through the times when we have no control.
To get control of your money you must first learn and live by the Creator's rules of life. He will then bless your life. Jesus continues
Matthew 6:28 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
Matthew 6:29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Solomon was a great King, he wore the most wonderful beautiful clothes in the world he was not arrayed like one of these.
Matthew 6:30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Jesus isn't saying that you can be irresponsible with your money and God will take care of everything. So what is His point? Notice the next verse
Matthew 6:31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
Matthew 6:32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Step one in dealing with your money problems stop making money the center of your life and turn to your Creator as the center of your life. God understands your needs. In verse 33 Jesus says
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
This isn't a health and wealth gospel. I'm not saying that if you just have faith in Jesus all your money problems will fade away. I am saying that when God is the center of your life you will have a blessed life.
As a child of God, you're going to suffer job difficulties, you're going to suffer health problems and sometimes the money, well it just won't seem to stretch far enough. Then you say, "Ok what benefit is there then in being a Christian?" Well when you place God and His righteousness, that's His ways, His instructions at the center of your life, He promises, the Creator of the universe promises to help your through the bad times, to give meaning and purpose to your life. And to give you a future beyond anything you could imagine.
Stephen Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , tells a parable of how easy it is to get caught up in zeal and get misdirected. He relates a story of workers who clearing the under brush from a jungle, oh they are hard at work with their machetes. The managers are sharpening blades, writing policies and manuals, setting up seminars for muscle development and creating work schedules. Everybody's working hard, full of zeal, they're accomplishing tasks. Then one day someone climbs up a tall tree looks around and yells down, hey we're in the wrong jungle.
You see you can spend your time and energy working really hard only to find out you're basing your goals on wrong priorities.
Jesus teaches that God understands your need for food, clothing and shelter. He also said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you". Now the practical steps of money management begin with this spiritual understanding. There's more to it but this is where you begin.
What is the real goal of solving your financial problems? Is money itself the goal? Well no not really. What your really want is what? Peace, security, comfort in your life? If you think the solution is just getting more money and more stuff you're in the wrong jungle. And then you say, "I have money problems how can I seek God first? Let me first get my finances in order and then I can see how God wants me to live." Well you know it's that kind of thinking that put you in your present mess.
Now we're going to talk about some practical ways to get control of your money but understand Jesus' instructions, this is the starting point. In the same passage Jesus says
Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
You know there's nothing morally wrong with being wealthy or having wealth. It's a matter of perspective. Are we really supposed to believe that whoever dies with the most stuff wins?
Well listen to this true story. It was the most exclusive club in the world. The list of members included the celebrated names of Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Goodyear. In 1886 Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia became the private play ground where the rich came to swim, hunt and relax in their cottages. You have to understand though, these cottages were from fifteen to twenty five rooms. Today most visitors to Jekyll Island hardly notice the two stone lions standing before the ruins of the once lavish house of Edwin Gold. One day while hunting on the island Mr. Gold's son was killed in a hunting accident. Mr. Gold left the island in his absolute agony and never returned to his mansion again. What better illustration than this area where there are two stone lions standing guard over a ruined ghostly estate illustrate the teachings of Jesus? A mans life consists not in the abundance and the things which he possesses.
So the first point in getting control of your money, the first way to do that, where do we start, is when faced with the anxiety of financial problems remember that your Creator is interested in your life. Seek the way of life taught by Jesus Christ and trust that God will take care of your needs.
Now I would like to send you a very important free booklet, Managing Your Finances . You know the price is right, we're not going to ask you for a cent. We're never going to contact you. Now if you don't believe me order it, read it and it's free. You will learn what the Bible says about wealth, keys to successful money management, how to budget, how to avoid those money battles that can ruin your marriage, how to avoid financial black holes and the most important key of all, how to find God's blessing in your life. Go on line right now to BeyondToday.tv to read or order your free copy of Managing Your Finances . Or call toll free you can write this down 1-888-886-8632 by the way, the call's free too, 1-888-886-8632 or go on line to BeyondToday.tv and you can follow us on Twitter or join us on Facebook.
Once you turn to God and accept His spiritual priorities for your life you can begin then to learn the practical principles of money management. Now this leads us to our second point.
To get control of your money you have to learn to budget. Included in the free booklet we're offering on today's program, Managing Your Finances , we have a worksheet, it's called the monthly income and expense worksheet. Using this worksheet to determine your monthly income and expenses is vital if you're really going to get control of your finances because no financial plan works without a budget.
You have to know how much money comes in and you have to know how much money goes out. You may find out that you're just throwing away some of that hard earned cash.
Let me give you an example, spending three dollars a day, Monday through Friday on a cup of coffee is $15.00 a week, that's $60.00 every four weeks. You realize that's over $700.00 a year? Making coffee at home and taking it in a thermos could save you a bundle of money per month.
Now let's look at the worksheet ok? When you get your worksheet, now there's a couple of ways you can get this, you can go online, now when you go on line to BeyondToday.tv what can happens is you can actually download this and fill in these little boxes here and it will add up the figures for you helping you figure out how much money comes in and where it goes. Or you can order your booklet and get this sent right to your home. Now when you look at you will notice that after you take out taxes, after you take out the money you give to your church you write down where is my money going? You have savings, you have housing, whatever you're paying in your rent, whatever you're paying on your mortgage. You have utilities, electric, gas, water, trash, phone, you know you can't control some of those, phone you may be able to. Get this, download it, or get it sent to you, fill it out, start to get control by learning how to budget.
So first you get control of your life by setting right spiritual priorities, second learn to budget, this brings us to our third point, how to get control of your money.
The third point is get out of debt.
Did you ever play Monopoly? The goal of the game is to collect all the properties of a particular color and then build houses and hotels on those properties. Remember what it was like when you landed on someone else's property and they owned a hotel? You would pay out all your money, sell off your houses and you'd have to mortgage your properties. If you landed on a second property with a hotel then you'd most likely lose everything you have and you'd go bankrupt. You were then out of the game. You know Monopoly has an important lesson for your life. When you spend more than you make and buy on credit eventually you lose. Solomon said in Proverbs 22:7
Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.
Now the best way to get out of debt is to get control of your money by learning how to budget and then spending only the amount of money you make. Now sometimes that means you have to lower your standard of living in the short run but you have more in the long run. This way you can break the oppression of being a slave to the lender.
Now one way of getting out of this and getting control of that and out of debt is to analyze why you buy. Now when you get this booklet or go online you're going to see a little test in here called a buying self-test. It's going to ask you questions, these questions go from do I really need this? Is this a bargain? If its on sale, is the price your price? These are very important questions you need to ask. All together there's seven questions, seven questions you need to ask before making any major purchase. Get this booklet, ask those questions to yourself before you make those buys. Learn to get out of debt and discover the satisfaction of living within your means.
Now before we go on to the Beyond Today panel to discuss how to get control of your money I want to tell you how you can get and order your free booklet, Managing Your Finances , we'll also send you something else. We will send you a free one year subscription to the Good News magazine. Now if you're looking for answers to life's most important questions this is for you. The Good News is a bi-monthly publication available at no cost. In every issue you'll find articles on subjects like marriage and family, what the Bible teaches about the most important questions in your life, how to make sense of today's confusing world news, how to understand the Bible in a post modern society and God's amazing plan for humanity and for you personally. Go on line to BeyondToday.tv to order your free subscription to the Good News or call toll free 1-888-886-8632 that's 1-888-886-8632 and be sure to follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.
We're joined today by fellow Beyond Today Steve Myers and Darris McNeely. You know people need to be educated in sound biblical financial principles and when we look at the global economic crisis that we're facing, it's because of an ignorance of sound economic principles, isn't it?
It truly is Gary, really it gets back to one word you used over and over again in the program and that is debt. Nations have lived beyond their means, run up big debts, we're looking at Greece, we're looking at Spain, Portugal, Italy and the European Union right now creating a major problem for that part of the world as having spilled over into the United States. Because nations for years and years they would not live within their means, they have instituted vast social programs that they could not afford and could not pay for and ran huge deficits and other nations now are having to bail them out. We've got even in the United States, the state of California for instance has a bigger debt than the nation of Greece and is having to make major, major cuts in order to balance their budget because they live beyond their means financing programs that they could not pay for. So it's a major problem
And that's the same, global problems are the same as the personal problems.
They are. In fact it's a historical thing as well, if you go back in time many historians would argue that the result of the civil war would have been different if the south's economy was different or Japan and Germany lost World War II because of economics. And so it's a huge story when you see what has happened today when you see the priorities in our governments have affected the entire world and debt is just over running everyone now.
The reason this is continuing longer on the global scale or on a national scale is that governments can print money. The individual can't, we can't print the money, it's illegal and will catch up to us much quicker than it does for a larger nation but the principles are still the same. If you spend beyond your means you spend yourself into debt and you will pay the piper.
And you print enough money it becomes worthless. I don't care how great the civilization, how great the country. You know we know there's nothing morally wrong with being wealthy. Some people in the Bible, some are wealthy, some are poor, you know all had relationships with God. But we need to know the difference between unhealthy consumerism and healthy money management. What's the difference.
Unhealthy consumerism is again is seeing something you feel you have to have before you can afford it. Financing it beyond your means, using that piece of plastic or several pieces of plastic that we all have in our wallets called the credit card and living a lifestyle that we really cannot afford which a credit card will allow us to do if you are willing to pay the interest. You know years ago I fell prey to that when I was in my early years of marriage, didn't have a whole lot of money but could get a credit card and I would just roll over the balance for a month at a time. It was manageable, I wasn't you know bankrupt but one time at the end of the year I tallied up the amount of interest I was paying on that credit card and it astounded me. I didn't realize that and I began to realize for that amount of money here's what I could buy or here's what I could have in the bank and I determined at that time to stop paying credit card interest. Now I still use a credit card but I got myself out of the debt. I started paying it off every month. So you learn to not charge something that you don't have the money for in the bank or you can't write a check for at the end of the month. Stop paying credit card interest. Make that a goal. Use your credit wisely but don't wrack up interest, it will eat you alive.
One of the reasons that America is in some of the problems financially that we are is that we all are consumerist when it comes to the home mortgages and the whole bubble that has come about in the last year or two is all a result of the things that we want. I have friends who are having their home go to a sheriff's sale this very week. And it is such a depressing thing to see that happen because it didn't have to happen. But this whole concept of I need something bigger, I need something better, kind of got to them so they stepped up, they got an unbelievable mortgage rate that they didn't have to pay off for five years but then when it finally hits suddenly you have to pay the piper and that debt just got right in the way and there was no way to finance it, no way to continue on and pretty soon you've got to pay and it came down to the fact that they couldn't cover it. So now they're going to lose it. And so that whole that concept that we live in our world today is that I need it, I want it, I need it now and if there's any way I can make it happen we will and we forget about the consequences that are down the line.
What you just said is so important for young people to understand because sometimes a young person will look at what their parents have and they'll want it now, the same things. I can remember when I was younger my wife and I living in government housing owning nothing but used furniture given to us by friends and family, not even have enough money to go out to eat. We worked and over the years we were able to get more without going into debt. And they don't realize sometimes it takes years to build wealth, you just can't get it by going out and putting it on credit card.
Yeah and you know one of the problems today with the 150 channels we have on our cable systems, there is a number of channels that get into home buying and home decorating and home television and people see somebody buying a home for hundreds of thousands of dollars and strapping themselves with thousands of dollars of monthly mortgage and they want that. They see that someone else is able to do it, they get into it and that began and that bubble burst a few years ago and that took a lot of people down with them. Because seeing someone else have something that they thought they ought to have and they really couldn't afford.
We forget that all important passage that you had mentioned from the Bible where the borrower becomes the slave of the lender and that at sometime you are going to have to pay that lender back and we can't put it off forever. Then it comes and it's a problem.
That's one very important biblical principle about managing your finances. What's some other important biblical principles when it comes to finances.
Saving for a rainy day. Pay yourself. Learn to put aside a little bit of money each month in an account you can't get to, it's not easily accessible. But pay yourself, watch that grow. It's the fundamental principle that works and if you can build that habit but then you will avoid the debt, you will have the money for an emergency, you'll have that money for something you really do need and perhaps even want when it comes time for you to have that if you build that habit. That's one of the most important I think.
Isn't it amazing too people forget the biblical principle of tithing?
Absolutely. I mean Christ said be a good steward and if we're going to be a good steward put first the priorities first and you've got to pay God right? You've got to show that you want to pay God, that you want to follow Him and so tithing is a way we can do that.
It's out of appreciation, I mean God doesn't need wealth. But we are to give back in appreciation and God blesses us. People don't want to accept that. That's a law. That's a spiritual principle. It's in the Bible. If you don't believe it I challenge you to try it.
You know today we are offering you a free copy of Managing Your Finances . And we're not going to ask you for money. If you don't believe me, order it, read it and see if we contact you for money. You will learn what the Bible says about wealth, keys to successful money management, how to budget, how to avoid those money battles that can ruin your marriage, how to avoid financial black holes. And the most important key, how to find God's blessing in your life. When you order your copy we'll send you a free one year subscription to the Good News magazine. Go on line right now to BeyondToday.tv to read or order your free copy of Managing Your Finances or call toll free 1-888-886-8632 that's 1-888-886-8632 or go on line to BeyondToday.tv and of course you can follow us on Twitter or join us on Facebook.
Anxiety over money is a leading cause of arguments between husbands and wives. Financial worries can cause stress that lead to alcohol abuse, depression and feelings of worthlessness. What can you do to get control of your money?
Well first recognize that God understands your needs and wants to be involved in your life. Jesus said to first seek God's Kingdom and His righteousness and God will help take care of your needs. Life is more than just getting stuff.
Now secondly get control of your money by learning how to budget, get a budget sheet that organizes your monthly income and expenses. Keep a record of every dollar you spend so you can see where your money is going. And don't forget to give God His share first.
And third, get out of debt even if it means lowering your standard of living in the short run. You know these aren't easy solutions. It's going to take time, work and sometimes giving up some of those non-essential luxuries. Peace of mind is worth it. Your life can get better simply by following the way of life given to us by the Creator of life.
Join us next week on Beyond Today and thanks for watching.