Many people grumble about not having enough money, when they actually have a spending problem. If you make a reasonable income and have a mortgage or rent payment that fits into your budget, you should be able to adapt your lifestyle to your income. If you routinely run out of money before the next pay day, you need to consider that you might have a spending problem.
Here are some the signs that you should look for in your life:
- You are unable to pay off your credit cards each month, and your balances are rising.
- You can’t meet your basic needs, yet you purchase new cars and technology because you want to have the latest upgrades.
- You can’t pass up a sale on clothes or household goods, even though you don’t need those items, because it’s too great of a deal.
- You hide your receipts and credit card bills from your spouse.
- You are regularly paying bills late and incurring late fees.
- You are bouncing checks.
- You lie to your spouse about your paycheck and your purchases.
If any of these signs apply to you, you need to make changes in your spending habits and your attitudes toward money. It is hard to change on your own. However, with God’s help and the support of your family, you can overcome your bad habits.
God promises this in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” As you seek God’s help through prayer and Bible reading, you will develop a new nature that is more in line with God’s perfect plan for your life.
Steps to Becoming a Responsible Money Manager
- Repent of past spending mistakes. When you sincerely repent, God forgives. You must also forgive yourself. Don’t remain in bondage to past regrets.
- Ask God to change your nature to be a responsible spender and to help you have a Heavenly focus. Responsible spending will allow you to share more of your blessings with others and build eternal treasure in Heaven.
- Commit to tithing. God’s word tells us that tithing is not optional. God asked us to return ten percent of all that He has provided to supply the needs of the church. This is an act of obedience, which God promises to bless (read Malachi 3:10).
- Develop systems, perhaps with the help of a financial counselor, for budgeting and accounting. Set up automatic deposits and bill paying to simplify your life and make it less likely that a bill will be overlooked.
- Seek assistance in developing a plan to systematically pay off debt.
- Be accountable to someone, preferably your spouse, for how you spend your discretionary money each month. Establish regular times, typically once or twice a month, to review all spending with your accountability partner.
If you have a serious spending problem, you might need to be Hyper Accountable to someone for several months or more who will review your bank and credit card accounts at least weekly to help you keep your spending in check. This person should be someone who trust explicitly and who is willing to confront you when you begin to slip back into bad spending habit.
You will find additional information on creating budgets and managing your finances in many of my other blog posts by clicking on the Finances tab on the right.
If you have money questions you would like me to answer, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write your question in the Comment section. Those who email me will be signed up to receive my free quarterly newsletter with money management tips, encouraging stories, and Scripture inspirations. For those desiring a better understanding of Biblical principles of money management, I have written a book Honoring God with Your Money. It is available on Amazon and from Barnes and Noble.