Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

Finances…how to tame the beast!

on November 25, 2012

There have been many great wars; the war of 1812, civil war, world wars 1 and 2. But families have been waging another war in recent years. That war is with their finances. You see, when your family operates without a financial strategy, when you don’t communicate to each other about money management or when you don’t trust that God will provide Sunday through Saturday, you inevitably set the stage for a financial defeat.

Consider this:

  • Only 1 in 5 people use a monthly budget.
  • Families carry 2.1 trillion in debt, up from 351.9 billion in the late 1970s.
  • About 50 percent the families surveyed spend $2,500 to $5,000 a month on debt payments.
  • Savings are at an all-time low, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Analysis. We tuck away only 1.2 percent of our income. (Focus on the Family)

Now let’s assume for a moment that your family has a realistic budget and a sound financial strategy. You’ve cut out the morning Starbucks run and weekly Amazon or Ebay purchases, and you are among the 22 percent of Americans who claims they waste no money. Still, after paying off expenses, your family is left with only pennies to spare. Despite your best efforts, saving for emergencies is out of the question.

If this sounds like your household, a change in tactics might be in order. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate spending habits for necessities like housing, food, transportation and insurance. Even small savings can add up over a year.

Another option is to examine your attitude.  Are your budget battles all-consuming, or are you embracing Christ’s instructions in Matthew 6:25: “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”

Maybe you’ve never developed a solid financial strategy. If so, sticking to a monthly budget is a good start, but it’s only the beginning. Wherever you place yourself on the money management scale, the following advice from Crown Financial Ministries may relieve some of the stress and help prepare you for financial battle.

I have a HUGE amount of student debt. In fact, I almost laugh at the statistic that says most college students leave college with about $25,000 in debt. I hold more than three times that much in college debt, and this does not include my husband’s college loan debt! Though it’s going to take us a very long time to pay it off, thankfully, though, it’s the only debt we hold.

We’ve decided to follow the Dave Ramsey plan for finances and I would suggest the same for your family. Even if you aren’t struggling financially, a plan like this could help your family substantially. Please go to Dave Ramsey’s Website to read about a plan to follow, books that can help you, and the way to set up a proper budget.

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