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Archive for the ‘Financial Success’ Category

Simplify Your Life: Keep Your Finances in Order

So the rich man called for his manager and said to him, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Let me examine your books. It’s obvious that you can’t manage my property any longer.’ (Luke 16:2, GW)

Review your financesIn this Simplify Your Life series, we’ve cleaned up and cleared out a lot to make our lives less complicated. However, it wouldn’t be wise to continue this series without discussing personal money management. One thing is certain; we have to account to God for everything including how we manage our money and the other resources He gives to us. It would honor. God and serve us well if we have a good handle on our finances.

We have to know when and how much to tithe, give, save, invest, lend and sometimes borrow. If we don’t set money rules for ourselves we can easily become entangled in spending more that we actually earn and be faced with more debt than we can handle. But we can develop some simple money habits to keep our finances in order.

Simple Life Habits For Everyday Success
  • Be thankful for what you have. Appreciate the goodness of God toward you.
  • A heart of gratitude keeps you from complaining and constantly worrying about whether you have enough.
  • Give generously and with a cheerful heart.
  • You will be filled with joy when you see the benefits or blessing others derive from your acts of love.
  • Save a little every time you earn or receive money.
  • Consider this as a blessing to yourself for your now and your future.
  • Don’t run into big purchases or unplanned ones. Wait 24 hours to give it some thought.
  • This will help you to avoid overspending or making unnecessary purchases that you may later regret.
  • Borrow as little as possible and pay off your debts steadily.
  • You will reduce the stress of being a debtor if you embrace this practice.
  • Keep records of your finances and review monthly.
  • You will see the progress to your financial goals and make needed changes (spend less or earn more) to achieve them.

Personal money matters could at times be rather complicated especially with the many options available to us. At times, using the services of a financial planner will make it simpler to control.

How do you keep your finances in order?

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5 Life Areas to Review with Your Finances

As the old saying goes, “Time flies”. Six months of the year 2012 is almost gone! My last post focused on the importance of living on purpose and what are some of the things you can do to live intentionally to achieve your goals. One way we can keep on track is by doing quarterly reviews. Occasionally we have to access where you are compared to where you want to be and determine or revise your plan of action to get there.

Every quarter I like to take a look at my finances to see how I am progressing. I realize that as a child of God I am accountable to Him for all the resources He has placed in my care, including money. God requires us to be good managers of everything He has blessed us with.

Usually we tend to look at our finances in a bubble without taking into account the other areas of our lives. Sometimes we approach reviewing our finances and life goals with apprehension because we feel we haven’t measured up with our expectations. However, an honest assessment of our progress will not only reveal areas for improvement but will clarify our accomplishments and victories. We need to approach this time with openness and gratitude.

Over the next week, as your take time to review your life goals consider the financial side to each of them. Sometimes we tend to make plans without making the link to our finances and may later realize that we don’t have the financial backing needed to help us accomplish our goals.

So, consider these questions when you review your life goals:

Spiritual Growth

  • Are you faithful in tithing and giving?
  • Is there a retreat or conference you want to attend this year?

More important for Christians is to plan giving. You may be the one God wants to use to help another – include a little extra into your budget for giving. Be open to the leading of the Spirit of God in this area. Also consider how you can grow spiritually and account for this in your plan.

Career & Business

  • Are you satisfied with your current career or the growth of your business?
  • Do you need to study more in your field or start a new career?
  • Are you making enough income or do you need to increase revenue?

Career and business development requires a cash outflow.  However, how much will depend on the type of career or business that you are pursuing. It is important to weight all your benefits and options before moving ahead. The key is making sure this aspect is accounted for in your finances.

Physical / Health

  • Do you exercise regularly three or more times a week?
  • When was your last physical done?
  • Do you give yourself enough personal time and care?

Keeping fit means either cost of recurring gym fees or exercise equipment if you workout at home. On the other hand, the cost may be minimal because you have a few exercise videos to help you out.

I have a friend who often says that the grocery bill cheaper than a hospital bill. How true! The price you pay for being healthy is a lot less than the price of being sick. Keep healthy has financial benefits.

Family & Relationships

  • How would you rate your relationship with your family?
  • Do you spend time developing your connection to them?
  • What are some of the best ways to connect with my family?

Spending time with your family does not have to be costly. A family night with games and snacks is great for bonding. A regular time prayer will not cost anything but afford you many spiritual blessings. Society tries to convince us that we need expensive electronics and extensive vacations to have family time. I aim for simple yet effective ways to keep my family strong. Ask the Lord what’s best for your family.

Personal Development

  • Do you read as your personal growth plan?
  • Are you taking courses to increase your knowledge outside your career aspirations?

I am a reader of mainly non-fiction material usually on finances, success, and leadership and of course, Christian living. I factor books into my budget. E-books have proved to be more cost-effective but I occasionally I like to have to feel of a printed book in my hand. Apart from that, I also consider seminars or courses which will cost more than books.

I have not exhausted all the core life areas but hope you find this a helpful start. If you can see some level of success or growth – applaud yourself and keep moving forward. If you find that there are some areas where you are not progressing as you would like – don’t beat yourself up. Find out what’s lacking and why, ask God for direction and then make a plan and start with small steps to success.

For your benefit, I challenge you take some time to review your goals including your finances and align them. You may be surprised by what you have accomplished so far.

Share with us what you have accomplished to date since the start of 2012.