One thing that we need to recognise is that in days when words like recession,redundancy and bancruptcy are commonly used, the level of poverty around us increases. I want to go on record as saying that poverty is not a blessing. There are some that hold the erroneous view that poverty is somehow good or even holy. I believe that God wants us to have an abundance of provision even in difficult times. Not just so that we can have all our needs met but so that we can help meet the needs of others.
Let me share with you a simple seven point strategy that God has been teaching me for about four years now, about moving from never having enough to enjoying more than enough.
1) Pray over your finances. Jesus encourages us to pray “give us this day our daily bread.”
2) Devise a budget that takes into account of all of your weekly/monthly incomings and outgoings. There are plenty of good models available for you to download or peruse. You cannot challenge what you cannot measure. If you have a high level of debt seek specialist advise and a more rigorous strategy may be needed to attack and clear the outstanding amounts. Sending minimum payments doesn’t normally clear the outstanding debt.If you are in this position destroy your credit cards. As part of this process keep searching for the best deals available on things like fuel, insurance, mortgage etc. This has the potential to help you make real savings on your outgoings. For example I was able recently to reduce my expenditure on gas and electricity by over £300.00 per year by changing provider.
3) Tithe your incomings. Put God to the test in this priciple. He does not ask you to tithe what you don’t have ,only what you do have. Some will ask do I tithe gross or net.Someone once gave the answer do you want a gross or a net blessing? I want to go on record as saying that I believe that the tithe should go to the local church of which you are a part. If you are not part of a local church let me encourage you to find one.
4) Start an account however small at first, for offerings and giving. This account as it grows, can be used to help meet needs that you become aware of, this is the seed we sow. The amount of seed we sow determines the harvest we can expect.
5) Start a storehouse. A storehouse can be a savings account, an ISA, investments , property or possessions that are likely to increase in value. Where possible be ready to ride out the economic downturns. Some say I have nothing available to save. Why not save the ten pounds you might have spent at Mcdonalds, the coffeeshop, or in town it will amount to 120.00 per year.
6) Develop a “fun fund” try to set aside some money for fun events such as the the cinema, treats and holidays.
7) Pay for as much as you can with good old fashioned cash. The use of cards, credit, visa and payment cards are deceptive. Credit Action studies shows that we spend at least one third more than we think we have, when we pay for everything by card.Draw a viable weekly sum of cash that covers your day to day expenditure, like groceries, petrol/diesel etc. This is more important than it sounds. As your cash diminishes, a consciousness increases of the amount that has been spent. Whenever you are buying day to day items let me encourage you to use cash with few exceptions. Also exercise the discipline of staying within your weekly amount of disposable cash.
This simple seven point strategy works if it is put into operation. It will help to break a poverty mindset and get you out of the situation of feeling that you never have any spare money.