When times are tough, can you look to GOD for an answer to your financial woes? Does He have a financial law that applies to true Christians today? Many do not realize that GOD has promised to bless those who obey His financial law in faith!
The way GOD has structured this world; almost everyone has to spend a lot of time earning money. Some people may not like to work, but everyone likes receiving money. It makes us feel safe, powerful, and it’s the key, we believe, to getting lots of other things we need or want to make our lives happier.
Because money is so closely related to the desire for material things, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that having money or earning money is somehow separate from our spiritual life. But GOD is in everything, and the more consciously we relate to Him in everything we do, the better off we’ll be.
The first step in personal financial planning after making sure GOD is given His rightful share of your earnings is, controlling your day-to-day financial affairs to enable you to do the things that bring you satisfaction and enjoyment. This, of course, is achieved by planning and following a budget.
Regardless of what life stage you are in, you are likely to have some short and long term personal financial goals. Setting tangible and realistic goals, following them, and tracking your progress is the key to success in achieving all of your financial goals.
If you are married, it is absolutely essential that you and your spouse both share the same financial goals. Otherwise, achieving your personal goals is almost impossible. Develop your financial plans together, and review your progress together to make sure both of you are contributing to the same goals.
Determining what your short-term, mid-term, and long-term personal financial goals are is the first step. Some common financial goals are a dream vacation, a new home, college savings, retirement savings, and an emergency fund. Once you and your spouse have agreed on your goals, the next step is to determine a good estimate for how much money you’ll need for each of them. Figuring out an accurate amount involves discussion about the financial goals – for example, if you are saving for college for your children, what percentage do you want to pay? Also, do you want to pay for a state school or a private school? Retirement savings needs depend greatly on the lifestyle you plan to lead once you are retired, as well as when you plan to retire.
Prioritize each of your personal goals in order of importance, and then determine how long you have to save for each of them. Retirement could be many years away, but your short-term goals could be in a year or two. Next, estimate how much interest or capital gains you’ll expect to see in the accounts where you are saving your money. While capital gains are never guaranteed, you can use an estimated average for these purposes.
Finally, figure out how much you’ll need to save per month to achieve your financial goals. Don’t be discouraged if the dollar amount is overwhelming. The important thing is to have a set of tangible financial goals to work toward. On a monthly or quarterly basis, you should review your progress, and continue to refine your plan. If you aren’t meeting your goals, revisit your financial budget to see if there are any areas where you can cut expenses in order to free up money for savings.
As you save for the future, TRUST GOD to back up His promises! Pay the Creator of Heaven and Earth the “tithes” you owe Him-plus generous offerings-and see Him become more “real” in your life as you truly serve and obey Him. You will find that your life will be more joyous in many ways.