Money is a strange and weird phenomenon. It works in ways that sometimes even the top economists can’t predict. But common sense and Biblical insight can lead you to principles that will revolutionize the way you think about money. Are you ready to change your financial situation? I should start by saying you might not agree with every financial principle stated below. That’s okay! Let’s meet in the comments and get the discussion started. I’d love to hear your points of view, what works well for you, and how you might better these principles! 1. Living on less than you make should be top priority. You’ve heard this one over and over again. But unless you actually DO it, you’ll never become financially successful. Take some time to figure out your historical income and expenses, and you’ll see how much work you have to do. 2. Borrowing enslaves you. The Bible says it, plain and clear: The borrower is slave to the lender. -Proverbs 22:7b NIV (italics added for emphasis) I suppose you could substitute words in here for a more dramatic effect: Those who take out credit cards are slaves to the bank. Those who take out student loans are slaves to the government. Those who take out mortgages are slaves to the mortgage company. That comparison might seem a bit harsh, but I think it’s true. We are in essence “slaves” to those we owe. I don’t believe taking out loans should be considered a sin, but the Bible does make it clear that borrowing isn’t in the best interest of his people. You might argue, “But I pay my credit cards off in full each month, and I get reward points!” If you’re worried about reward points, try a cash back debit card instead. For further discussion on this topic, meet me in the comments! 3. Shopping with a list saves you a lot of money. The wonders of marketing are bound to make you spend more than you intended – especially if you don’t make a list before you step foot in the mall. Whether you are grocery shopping or gadget hunting, take a list and stick to it! 4. Marriage demands oneness in financial matters. If God intends a man and woman to be one in marriage, wouldn’t he intend for them to be one in their finances? I’m a huge advocate for combining all accounts possible and working a budget together. I’m absolutely convinced that the accountability and trust built when working a budget together accelerates a couple through their financial game plan. 5. Risk should be considered in every investment opportunity. I admit it. At one time I had all my eggs in one basket: Apple Inc. Sure, they’ve grown by over 300% in the last handful of years, but will that last forever? Of course not. And what happens when the stock finally plummets? I will have wished that I had diversified my money better! Today, I don’t invest in single stock companies. I invest in mutual funds and have a long term perspective. But I don’t limit my consideration of risk to the stock market. I consider risk in all types of areas: insurance , real estate , and more. Always add in the variable of risk, and you’ll make healthier – and more conservative – choices for you and your family. 6. Simplicity in life and business is beautiful. Keeping it simple has been one of the most useful financial principles to which I’ve adhered. Making things complicated adds stress and unnecessary work. Here are some things you might try and limit: Possessions. Bank accounts. Rentals (heavily leveraged mortgages). Clients. 7. Work within the confines of a budget, and you’ll actually discover freedom. The budget is often viewed as something boring, scary, or downright painful. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, I’ve discovered that making and keeping a budget helps us discover freedom. Do you have a fence around your house? If you do, ask yourself why it is there. Of course, it’s there to separate property lines (most of the time), but I think there’s something more to it. The fence was built to keep things in and keep other things out. It’s a division. Now imagine for a moment what would happen if the fence wasn’t there: your dog would do its business in the neighbor’s lawn, your neighbor might get upset and chop down your pesky tree that “leans on their property,” and the police might have to get involved. Okay maybe not, but you get the idea! Fences actually bring the community together through boundaries. In the same way, your budget keeps expenditures to themselves and everything works harmoniously. You know where each dollar belongs, and every one of them has a plan. That way, your grocery money doesn’t slip into the entertainment fund. Every one of your dollars is happy, and you are in full control. The budget should be a major part of your financial plan . 8. Always plan for the unexpected. Emergencies happen. Sometimes, they happen a lot. It’s best to be prepared with a serious emergency fund. An emergency fund helps you replace your income if you lose your job, or fund smaller emergencies such as your car breaking down. 9. Time is your greatest financial asset. You might think that cash is your greatest financial asset. But when you think about it, you’ll realize that the reason you want more money is probably because you want to make time for yourself. Time to spend with family. Time to study God’s word and give. Time to show others the love of Christ. Remember that time is your greatest asset, and your priorities will change. 10. Getting rich quick happens – but only to about .000001% of the population. Don’t bet on getting rich quick. Don’t waste your time or your money. When you play the lottery, the odds are severely against you. Don’t do that. You’ll most likely lose. Instead, get rich slowly through hard work and diligence. Besides, it’s more rewarding anyway, right? There you have it. Those are my top ways of handling money, and how I think money should work in your life. Do you have any principles that I left out? Meet us in the comments and let’s learn from one another! Photo by Images_of_Money Related Articles: How And When To Start Saving For Retirement 7 Ways To Get Serious About Personal Finance 3 Steps to Strengthen Your Emergency Fund How Often Should You Review Your Household Budget Sheet? Help Budgeting Your Money: Easing The Frustrations Are you a saver or a spender? 3 Timeless Principles for Wealth Creation John Frainee is a personal ﬁnance writer at TheChristianDollar.com . His goal is to provide biblical ﬁnancial principles that encourage people to live healthier lives. Beyond personal ﬁnance, John enjoys spending time with his wife and two crazy cats, playing a competitive game of Monopoly, and reading just about anything he can get his hands on. You can also ﬁnd him on Twitter and Facebook . The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
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How Money Works: 10 Principles Everyone Should Know