A new way to think about spending
I have a confession to make: I love to shop. I love the feeling I get when I get a good deal on my purchases. I feel like I really accomplished something! Do you know I rarely pay more than $20 for a clothing item?! My secret is probably not so secret: I shop the clearance rack first, then I check out the sales. If I have a coupon, it’s even better!
Although I love to shop, I don’t go crazy. My tithe is given, bills are paid, we pay ourselves (savings), groceries are bought. I am aware of money spent and how much I can use to go shopping. Sometimes I can get tempted by sales and savings and have to tell myself, “you don’t need it.”
We live in a culture that wants us to spend money. These companies and business owners know how to persuade you to buy by using psychological triggers. You see it in social media feeds, on tv, newspapers, billboards, in movies, books, etc. They try to persuade you to buy things to solve problems you didn’t even know you had! Using words, colors, pretty faces, pain, love or pleasure to evoke emotions in us, compelling us to spend. Have you ever been compelled to enter your email address to get that free thing to help you make money? Or buy something because they say it is the last time the price will be this low? Feelings can be a strong motivator in us humans. I say can, feelings should not rule us. Remember we (believers in Jesus) have the spirit of self-control in us, among other things. You are more than your feelings. Don’t be roped in to buying things you don’t need or investing in business deals that are shady. Stop step back and think on it.
According to financial experts there are spending guidelines to follow. The guideline is called the 50/30/20 rule. I will add in tithing and the new way to think about spending will be called the 10/50/20/20 rule;
This scripture sums it up. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV). When Jesus speaks we need to listen!
Reference: Williams, G. A Guide to Creating Your Ideal Household Budget. U.S. News and World Report. https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/06/03/a-guide-to-creating-your-ideal-household-budget Published July 10, 2018. Accessed July 17, 2018
Money, Money, Money, Money
Money is loved, money is hated. Money is needed. Money is wanted. Money has power (to some). Money can bring happiness, money can bring sadness. Money can be an idol. Money can be a downfall. Money thinks it can buy love. Money can save lives. Money can bring death. Money is an anomaly.
Money is an influence in everyone’s lives – big or small. How much of an influence is it in your life? When I ran a twitter poll, I asked my twitter family what they would like me to write on. The choices were: Relationship with God, Finances/money, relationships and substance abuse. It was a tie 39% wanted posts about relationship with God and 39% about finances/money. I was a little surprised with the results.
I know you’re probably thinking; why is a Public health professional writing about money? Money, like many other things can affect your health. Stress from money issues can manifest into physical health symptoms like headaches, high blood pressure, and mental health issues like anxiety and irritability. Your health is influenced by its environment, with your home being its biggest influence. Your Parents, how you were raised, what goes on in your house, what money was spent on, etc. are/were influences.
Many people bring with them to adulthood money values (or non-values) from childhood. It can be a good or bad thing. I want you to take some time to think about how your parents dealt with money. Now come back to the present and take time and think how you deal with money. Are there similarities? Differences? If you are married, ask your spouse to do the same. Write down your answers and discuss them.
Many issues have a root cause. How your parents viewed money may be a root cause to how you view money. (Please see my previous post Investigating root causes of habits and behaviors and download the free root cause analysis worksheet.) Fear not, that is not the end all be all. You have the power to deal with money in a healthy way. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7 (KJV)
When God is in your life and you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior money issues can be a thing of the past. Remember God doesn’t want us to worry about anything! “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1Peter 5:7 (NIV) (Aa fav verse I repeat constantly) If you have a skewed view about money. Lay it on the altar and ask God for the wisdom to handle money in a way that is pleasing to Him. He will help you. Believe it. Of course, you have work to do: like to change your spending habits and /or getting professional financial help. (I will cover spending in the post next week).
There are many Biblical principles about money. The most important one is tithing. “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10 (NIV). Tithing is 10% of your income. There are many financial gurus who say pay yourself first, they have it wrong. Pay God first, then yourself. You won’t go wrong. It goes like this: God gave his son Jesus to pay for our sins, we give God our first fruits (10%), He gives back to us 10 fold! Isn’t that awesome! God continually blesses us when we just trust and obey Him (without grumbling and arguing, see Phil 2:14).
Your homework (this is for your personal use, you don’t have to turn it in to me!):
the 1 truth to having more money
I'm sure you have heard of the saying "Money is the root of all evil." Well that saying is wrong! Money is not the root of all evil, it is a necessity to live in this world. The correct saying is actually in the Bible, 1 Timothy 6:10(ESV), "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." (Some versions say stabbed themselves with many pains). It is the love of money that is what is evil. Even if you aren't a Christ follower this will still apply to you. Look at all the people of this world who will do anything for money...what usually happens to them?
Money is an idol that tempts many. Please look at how important money is to you. Do you spend, spend, spend because you think it will give you the respect you deserve? Or spend to try and please others? Is it really filling that void? How you spend your money determines if you will win or lose at the money game.
Here is the 1 truth to having money...give some of that money to those in need (just like the video said!). It can change your perspective and your life for the better. Before you know it, you will have more money! Luke 6:38 (ESV) says, "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Give and it will be given to you! Love ya!
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Christina Leeman, MPH, CHES
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Christina Leeman MPH, CHES, writer and health educator, emboldens women to be the She Who Honors God with her all - body, thoughts, words, actions.
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