Saving Money Isn’t for Cowards or the Faint of Heart

Saving Money

Saving MoneySaving money isn’t for cowards.  If you are too afraid to make a move, you are going to miss out on moving in the right direction.   

It helps to see what sometimes stops us from implementing money saving ideas and what successful money experts or folk do that we are not taking note of… or doing.

If you want to save money, reduce expenses or debt, or really manage your money (and everything else) well, you need to follow these four steps that will help you change your actions, your family’s financial situation, and your life. 

First:  Check your Current Lifestyle Choices Against Your Family’s Current Income

One of the top five books I wrote about the other day on how to save money got me thinking, thinking hard deep down.  As much as I think I am not personally into material things big time, I think I have indeed been influenced by marketers today.  

We have unlimited television services and unlimited data on our cell phones.  We have been paying a monthly membership to go to Six Flags so we could go visit the park there any time we wanted to go.  I have been shopping at natural grocery stores, even if the cost was a little more on some things, and we have purchased some other things that, while maybe not really outlandish for all, were maybe too much for us at this given moment in time.    

It’s not that any of those things were bad in and of themselves.  When you have the money to purchase such items or services, these can be nice but still normal kinds of purchases.  However, they were probably things that really stretched us financially more than we should have let the world stretch us.  Given “life” as we now know it, they are out of the question for the most part now.  

I can admit I understand this all too well though – It’s tough to admit you sometimes have to do with less, to go without something for a while or maybe for a long time or even completely!  It’s hard to give things up that mean a lot to us for whatever reason they may seem important.  

On the same hand, it is pretty tough living with things your income can not cover. 

The Apostle Paul of the New Testament said in Philippians 4: 12:  

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  

Have Money Problems How to FixDo you have some things in your life that you really don’t need or can’t afford?  Have you purchased something that was beyond what you should have paid to get it?  Are you holding on to something your income says you can not afford?  Think about it.  Be honest with yourself.   

If you do have some things not “jiving”, you need to re-evaluate what your family has the money for verses what makes makes you feel good, right, comfortable, or “worthy”.  You (we both) also need to proclaim the desire to live within our financial means from this point on.

It is hard to make changes in life sometimes.  I have to admit that for me, making changes seems almost scary.  I guess I am kind of a wimp when I know something in life is going to change.  

However, if your income does not support expenses, then facing the situation with a more business-smart attitude and being prepared to make some changes in your world and/or possessions is a must.  

The good news:

You will be thanking the Lord for the important things you still have instead of crying over the bills you can’t afford to pay. 

Second:  Seek out ways to save money wherever you can – every day from here on out too.

I felt like I was pretty transparent with you all up there in that earlier paragraph.  I am seeing some of the ways I know we can cut back on spending expenses in our family.  (Really, I used to think I was so thrifty too!)  

There are other ways we are only yet starting to understand that we can cut back on as well, or at least areas we need to “investigate” more.

For those of you who feel you have already cut back to the bare bones, I beg to differ with you that your work is done.   There might still be some areas of resistance in your lifestyle choices.  There might be some better choices available today than there had been last year when you signed up for something or used a particular company for something.  

At the very least, there will be something facing you tomorrow, or the next day, or next week, or month where you need to make a decision.  You’ll want that decision to be a good one too!  

We always have been faced with choices and changes, and we always will be.  

Look for opportunities to make changes and good financial decisions right now.  

Be diligent when you are faced with a different day and different choices tomorrow.  

Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.  -Ecclesiastes 7: 14 (NIV)

When it comes to money in this world, the Lord is always wanting you to be ready for change, and Satan will NEVER let you have a free ride.  Your work in this area will never be done – or at least done for long.

Look for the best ways to manage family finances and family expenses now, and then keep looking some more.  

Third:  Be strong enough to make the changes you know deep down you need to make.  

Wow.  I guess I have been pretty open here already.  Should I confess another sin to you?  

OK, here you go.  In Texas, we have the ability to choose between several electric companies for our home’s electricity.  The idea is that these companies compete, and we win, as consumers, with lower rates because of their competition.

Well, we win only if we do our jobs.  

Have Money Problems How to FixI let our electric plan run out and just never bothered to either negotiate a new plan or more to another company with a better plan.  That particular electric company automatically put us on a month to month rate then which usually tends to be higher.  (It’s different than the month to month offered as a low introductory rate.  These are more expensive.)

The sad thing is that I have been like an ostrich with my head in the sand!  Maybe it’s like I have been like a deer staring into car lights!  I don’t know what it is, but I have had such a hard time calling who I need to call to make that simple change of electric companies!  

All right, I give myself a little empathy for just being afraid of change.  Still, it has been stupid of me to not actually follow through on some steps I know I need to make.  

I am sharing my own problem here with you so that if any of you out there are like me, at least you know you are not alone.  

HOWEVER….  

HOWEVER…

None of us should leave something bad as it is.    Bad situations won’t just up and change themselves!  We must have the courage to make things right, or even fight our way through bad times.

Oh absolutely pray first.  

But you gotta act too.  

You are God’s hands here on this earth.  If He helps you to know what it is that needs changed, then by golly, go change those things, and do so with courage and confidence.   

After all, you are not alone in these changes.  You’ve got a friend with whom nothing is impossible.  You’re covered well.  

Finally, Keep Your Priorities Straight and Your Eyes On The Lord

Haggai 1: 5 – 8 (ESV) says:

Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts:  consider your ways.  You have sown much, and harvested little.  

You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill.  You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm.  

And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:

Consider your ways.  

Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house (if you keep reading beyond our Scripture here, you’ll see “house” here meant the temple – God’s House)  that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord.

I’ll tell you what I’m thinking right now.  Whoever says the Old Testament isn’t applicable to life today never read THAT part of the Bible!  That sounds like what many of us experience today with our paychecks!  

What’s more important to note though is that God was not being honored in these folk’s lives, and they were suffering because their eyes were focused on all the wrong things and in all the wrong places.  

They forgot to stay focused on the One thing that should have meant everything to them, the One thing that should have been their focus, their saving grace, their Rock.  

If you have money problems, don’t let those problems be your God.  Don’t let them be your focus or the idol that takes your focus away from the real Heavenly Lord.  

Don’t forget where your attention should be first and foremost.  

Saving Money Need Forgiveness

Again, there is good news here.  And it’s here for you today.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  -John 3:16.  

No, saving money isn’t for cowards or the faint of heart.

It IS for those who need grace and are forgiven though. 

You can make it through the hard times if you have the Lord with you.  You can see what needs to be done if ask Him to make things clear to you.  You can correct things that are not right if you trust the Lord and the future He has planned for you.  

None of that may seem easy while you are going through it, but all those things are true, even for cowards and the faint of heart.  

You can do it.  (And so can I.)  

In Christ (together),

Chris

PS, Feel free to comment below on things you have experienced as you have worked through saving money in your past.  Hey, feel free to comment on what I have done (or not) too.  Just be nice.  I’m a work in progress.  🙂   Thanks.