Just last week preparing to teach church planters on the subject of prayer, I opened a journal I had used several years ago and out fell a ten dollar bill. I found money I didn’t know I had! Maybe you have had the same experience by finding money in a coat or a drawer. There are numerous places we can find money if we just looked. A number of years ago there was a book The Joy of Cooking. After that there was a book The Joy of Flying. And after that there was a book The Joy of Sex. Several years ago I picked this out of Inc. magazine an article called “The Joy of Debt.” It said, “Being in hock is all the rage. Are you missing something?” I thought, Who are they kidding? Nothing causes more problems, more worries, more upset, more financial difficulties than being under financial tension.
KEEP GOOD RECORDS
Some people, and you might be one of them that if you kept good records, you would find money somewhere. Possibly in your savings or checking account or in the way you pay your debts, like paying too much interest. You need to know four things when it comes keeping good records.
- I need to know what I own.
- I need to know what I owe.
- I need to know what I earn.
- I need to know where it goes
PLAN YOUR SPENDING
If you don’t have a plan for your money, someone else will. You have to have financial goals and plan your spending. There is a word that marketers use to get you to do impulse buying — it’s called “sale”. Many people cannot resist this word. If it’s on sale then I’d better buy it now — I’ve got to have it right now. Look how much I’m “saving”. It doesn’t matter if you don’t need it, just look how much you’re saving!
SAVE FOR THE FUTURE
The average Japanese man saves 25% of his income. The average European saves 18% of his income. But the average American saves less than 5% of his income. We spend it on everything right now. This is not based on income, but on savings.
That emptiness you feel in your life will never be filled with things. Things don’t give permanent satisfaction. If you have a financial problem, you don’t need a financial manager. You need a life manager. Messed up finances are a symptom of a life out of control — a life that is messed up, a life that’s not in line with God’s purposes. What you really need is a life manager who says, “I will help you in every area of your life.” When you get that then you’ll find real satisfaction.