A growing number of families are experiencing debt problems and this has generated friction in the relationship. These difficulties are caused, primarily, because there is a lack of financial education for adults. Second, because of the advanced techniques used by the media that encourage extra spending. Third, for the rampant consumerism of our materialistic culture. The solution is learning.
I remember when I planned with my wife about buying our house. We decided to sell as many items as possible to complete the value, from one of the cars, electronic equipment, even the wedding dress and other objects. What surprised me the most was the amount of things purchased that we were not using. I decided that, from then on, I would be a conscious consumer. Free will presupposes the responsibility to respond with the confidence that God has in you to consume in moderation. Here are some practical tips:
- Useful activity is a divine plan.
The Creator God placed Adam and Eve in a situation that allowed them the opportunity to work. “So the Lord God took man and placed him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and keep him.” (Genesis 2:15). It is God’s will that we are busy and engaged in healthy work. You can’t manage zero, we need to have an entry.
Christian financial management means putting God first. Being financially faithful to God is the main factor in managing your life. If you put God first, He will give you wisdom and blessing (Proverbs 3: 5-10; Deuteronomy 28: 1-14; Mal 3: 6-12). Acknowledge Him as Creator, Owner of everything and the One who sustains you. Manage what He has given you by first returning His part, tithing (Leviticus 27:30), with love. After separating tithing and offering, which are the part of worship, you must manage your expenses.
This is the biggest expense you have in your entire life. There are situations in which it is better to live on rent (for example: if you are going to move to another city soon or when you want to add capital). If you purchase your home for financing, try to pay as soon as possible to lower interest rates. Control the expense of electricity, and do minor repairs yourself. Pay cash taxes at a discount. Don’t delay the condo. To calculate the purchase price of a house compatible with your entries, take your annual gain and add 70%.
- Getting around.
This is the second biggest expense and they say that “a car consumes as a family”. Take care to last. A zero car may not pay off, as it depreciates about FAMILY HOPE 23 Cesar Guandalini, theologian and director of the Christian and Family Stewardship Department of the Central Brazilian Union. 30% in the first two years. It would be better to buy, in cash, with two or three years, because it will have a useful life of 10 years. If you save R $ 500.00 per month in four years, you will have R $ 24,000.00, enough to buy a good car.
Supermarket presupposes lists. Prepare them based on a planned menu. Take advantage of the “real” promotions. When eating out, choose healthy options at a fair price.
Ask yourself: am I going to read all the books and subscriptions I buy? Should I read this material? There is a lot of bad content for sale. On the other hand, even the cheapest does not pay if it is not read. Invest in the study, which is still the best way to prosper, as long as the course is within your area. Buy school supplies before fake “back to school” promotions, or wholesale.
What you are worth is not tied to the brand of your clothes. His personal worth has cost the son of God, which goes far beyond a label. One third of clothing takes a long time to wear out. Identify it and use it with different combinations. Quality is not just in famous brands. How many pairs of shoes, sneakers and slippers do you really need?
Search among various health plans and beware of the cheap ones too. These can bring headaches later. The drugs advertised on sale are not always the cheapest.
Look for free entertainment, like parks. Take a snack. Make a “cookware joint” in your home. Visit relatives and friends. Be careful with enrollment in a gym that will not be attended. Consider the cost scale of pets: large dog (very worn), small dog (less worn), cat, bird, fish, turtle (low worn).
Assess whether you really need a new cell phone. When buying gifts, know that the amount paid will never exactly reflect your love. Do it yourself or buy something good, cheap and creative.
- Adjust your spending plan
Always ask yourself if there are expenses that can be eliminated or reduced. Are you taking your planning seriously? Are you willing to make the sacrifice now for more peace of mind later? For this, you will need to keep records to check if your plan is working. “All expenses must be noted exactly”. (Ellen White in Gospel Workers, p. 460)
You are not a tourist in this land and you do not need to enjoy everything that exists here. It pays to be faithful. Jesus promised that “whoever has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or woman, or children, or fields, because of my name, will receive many more times and inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29).
When the Bible says to seek “first, your kingdom and your righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33), it is declaring that there are blessings for you and that God “will supply, in Christ Jesus, each one of your needs. ” (Philippians 4:19). “The Lord will make you a head and not a tail” (Deuteronomy 28:13), “you will lend to many people, but you will not borrow.” (Deuteronomy 28:12). Trust in God, “because it is He who gives you strength to acquire wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18). He is the one who gives you your promotion at work, who opens the door to opportunity. Think like this: “I can do everything in Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).