Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21 NLT
Mismanagement of Financial Resources has escalated to phenomenal proportions: The average American household has debt exceeding $132,000.
Many years ago, prior to the Debit Card era, we used cash, checks, or money orders to pay for our expenses. We lived and spent money according to our simple budgets, and we stayed within the boundaries of our take-home paychecks. Then the era of Credit and Debit cards with Overdraft protection surfaced and our monthly budgets faded away. We became excited with our first extension of credit and the convenience of using Debit cards.
From the moment, I received my Debit card, I felt relieved that I only had to pay my monthly rent with a check. For years, I lived with an empty wallet; after all, who needs paper money when you have the card. I was convinced that my spending habits were good and the bank statements provided tracking, so there was no need for a separate monthly budget. As long as my bank balance remained on the positive side, I was satisfied with my financial status.
Last year, I was looking at the cable guide (basic cable only) and happened to see the title of a financial management program by Suze Orman. When I heard the real-life testimonials and her responses to “Can I afford this” and “How to get out of Debt” questions, I was surprised that she supported developing monthly budgets, tracking all expenses, and restricting use of Credit/Debit cards.
I went a step further and enrolled in an online Financial Management course and discovered that I had the wrong mindset and had been grossly mismanaging my financial resources.
Strike 1: First and foremost, as a Believer the monies that I possess are gifted by God, and I conveniently pushed those thoughts away.
Strike 2: As long as I had money left over, I patted myself on the back for doing the job of budgeting quite well.
Strike 3: I never reviewed the bank statement for tracking purposes because I justified all of my expenditures.
My life has changed drastically since I learned to manage my finances. Believe me, it took much prayer to break the chains of unnecessarily spending money. My wallet still contains a Debit card; however, it also contains a budgeted amount of cash money that reinforces stringent boundaries.
It feels great to finally have peace concerning my financial status. Now I can focus on stengthening my relationship with God, by studying the Bible, praying, and using the extra resources to help those who are in need.
Challenge for today: Invest $25 and take an online Financial Management course.
Prayer for today: Dear God, It is you who are the only giver of good gifts. I ask forgiveness for mismanaging the resources that you have blessed me with. I ask you to give me the strength to change the bad habits of wasting money, and time spent on meaningless activities. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz