· Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. (Malachi 3:10)
· “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
· We are to trust in God for all things, but He also wants us to be wise! We are to plan ahead for those major things that will happen during our lifetime. If we are able to afford it, insurance can be an investment that helps to protect what God has provided.
The Seven Baby Steps
Step #1 — Start saving $1000 for your Emergency Fund in a bank.
Step #2 — Pay off all debt (except the house) using the Debt Snowball.
· “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
Step #3 — Put 3-6 months of expenses in savings.
Step #4 — Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement plans.
· Preparing now so that we can have money to live on later is a very wise thing to do, not so that we can be comfortable, but so we can spend our whole lives expanding God’s kingdom.
· If you follow Jesus, retirement is not a time where we get to just sit back and relax and wait to go to heaven. It is a time when we no longer have to work at a job. This allows us to be fully invested in the things that God wants us to do.
Step #5 — Save for your children’s college education using tax-favored plans.
· Our culture tells us that you have to go to college. That is not from God, however. College isn’t for everyone, and that is ok.
Step #6 — Pay off the house early.
Step #7 — Build God’s Kingdom and give!
· What would it look like to have no debt, money for emergencies, money for the future, college funded for your kids and no payments for your house for the rest of your life? How much could you do for the kingdom? How much money would be freed up to do what He wants you to do?
· What if we really take the things that we have learned these last few weeks and decide to take God seriously? What if we really believed that all this was true and really believed that if we follow God’s ways, that He will bless us? Can you imagine the impact that we could have on the world?
· If you believe that this is all true, you have to do something about it! If you haven’t made a budget yet, then that is your first step. If you haven’t been giving, then go home and pray about how much to start giving and start this week. Then start taking these baby steps. It may take you several years to get to Step 7, and that’s ok. If you take steps in the right direction, God will bless you.