Financial Management Plan
The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more (Matthew 25:16).
Money manages people or people manage money. It is a productive servant, but a dreadful master. Thus, a financial plan is necessary to organize assets around a system to spend, give and save. Simple processes offer checks and balances to keep the check book balanced, avoid debt, pay taxes, stay accountable to not over spend, be generous, and prepare not presume on the future. Our Heavenly Father entrusts us with His material blessings to be wise managers.
Perhaps you start by recording all your expenditures over a month. Watch closely how much it takes you to live, save receipts from everything: coffee, gasoline, books, magazines, food, eating out, medical, house and car repair. Store the amount of the receipts on a budgeting app or spreadsheet. This discipline to details gives you a realistic understanding of what it costs to live. You may discover the need to designate more funds to areas that are subtle spending costs.
Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer (Proverbs 30:24-25).
Like the tiny ant we are extremely wise to define our needs and prepare a financial plan to facilitate good outcomes. For example, God expects and blesses generosity. Giving marks mature followers of Jesus. So, we start by giving 10% of our income before taxes to the Lord’s work. We also save 5% in a short term contingency account and 5% for long term savings. Now we are positioned to spend responsibly after investing in what’s most important. Wisdom plans well.
Above all, be prayerful and nimble in your approach to financial planning. Make sure the plan serves your priorities, if it doesn't, modify the plan to meet your needs. Every season is different, so be aware of how you must adjust. For example, you may have to choose between private education now for your child or a college fund for later. Don’t put unrealistic pressure on your family to do both if it erases your financial margin or dips into debt. A financial plan is freedom.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty (Proverbs 21:5).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me by Your Spirit to plan and manage well Your material blessings.
Related Readings: Proverbs 15:22, 25:28; Luke 12:16-21, 14:28-30; 1 Timothy 6:6-10