Monday, October 23, 2006


There is usually a best-seller espousing the "secret" of making money. But common sense is the key to making money and keeping it. If you live on less than you make, money accrues to your benefit. If you spend more than you take in, you go backwards to your downfall. It's that simple, and that difficult.

Seven out of ten people live paycheck to paycheck. Three out of ten say money worries adversely affect their lives. Five out of ten are one serious problem away from financial disaster. What do these folks need? They don't need a raise. They need a plan.

How do we set things right - financially, emotionally, spiritually? Dave Ramsey shares these five insights.

1. Live on less than you make.

I was having a conversation with a pastor I know about his financial condition. He was regularly sharing money concerns with me. So I asked him about his lifestyle, "Why do you live in the house you do? Why do you drive the truck you do?" He had purchased a new house in a new subdivision, and paid 50% more for it than an older used home. He was driving a fancy truck, and paying 100% more than for an older used model. The combination of those payments alone was probably a strain. Do what you can to live modestly, within your means.

2. Get out of debt.

For many people, before their income comes home it already has someone else's name on it. The average car payment is $378. Just think if you were to invest this amount every month! Instead, your money is working for someone else. The borrower is servant to the lender. Get control of your most powerful wealth-building tool - your income.

3. Get on a budget.

A budget is telling money what to do instead of wondering where it went. Just formulating a budget makes you wrestle with priorities. What really matters? A budget allocates resources to fulfill your objectives.

4. Save some money.

Everyone needs a rainy-day fund. Why? Because it is going to rain. Now is the time to prepare. Leaders are counterintuitive to the cycles of life. Most people, when things are going great, "live it up." Then when times are bad they "hunker down." A leader, when times are good, gets tough on himself and his resources. And then when times are tough he "lives large."

5. Give generously.

Jesus taught it is better to give than to receive. There is a certain joy that comes with giving that you cannot experience any other way. If you are not in a position to give, you are missing out. Get into a position where you can be generous.

The issues with finances (like weight loss, yard work, etc.) are behavioral. We know what to do. We just need to do it. Live like noone else, so you can live like noone else.

There are three areas of challenge that have been the undoing of many Christian leaders: Money, Sex, and Power. In “sinful terms” these are the sins of greed, lust and pride, or as John describes them, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Regularly assess how your are getting along with these besetting sins:

1. Am I living within my means? Am I taking control of my finances, or letting my finances control me? Am I a generous person?

2. Am I experiencing a healthy sex life with my spouse? Am I making sex a priority? Am I allowing my eyes or my heart to roam?

3. Am I listening to others? Am I manipulating others? Am I the hero of every story?

Which of the “big three” is most challenging to you at this time? What questions should I have asked, but didn’t? What first step will you take toward health and recovery?

1 comment:

DEBTective said...

Bub, just wanted to say a big-time thanks for spreading the word about debt freedom and Dave Ramsey. The sooner people deep-six their debt, the better they'll end up. Way to go, baby!