I am not often shocked to hear and see how people live above and beyond their means. I learned many years ago, “If your outgo is greater than your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.“ As a steward of God’s resources and supplies, I believe that as Christians, we ought to know and be the very best at taking caring for God’s finances.
The average person, upon receiving their paycheck will often PAY their bills, not INVEST, and hardly GIVE. This type of spending would be considered the PIG mentality. PIG? What is PIG? The acronym of PIG is P=PAY, I=INVEST, G=GIVE. I believe it to be a much wiser option as Christians to consider changing our order, it should be GIP: G=GIVE, I=INVEST, P=PAY. “Our culture values the size of the gift, but God values the size of what we keep.” — Ed Owens, Chicago fund manager
- 10% Tithe (GIVE)
should always go to God first
- 20% Savings (INVEST)
Always pay yourself. Always save!
- 30% Housing (PAY)
should be the max number that you allow within your overall income to go towards your mortgage, rent, or lease.
- 40% Living Expenses (PAY)
You must learn to enjoy what you have. Our culture has created a standard of living for the average American to live above their means. Our children do not need things, they need time–your time! (sorry–different subject and later post)
I highly recommend utilizing some form of budgeting and records management system. For years, I used Microsoft Money and Quicken as my personal software of choice. However, for the past several years, I started utilizing Mint.com as my personal choice for money management. You can visit the company site to obtain a greater wealth of information. The best part, it is FREE! Yep! Thought Christians might like that! Whether you are a web user, IPhone, or Android user, there is an app that will work for you. It has a great user interface and very helpful community of users that provide great insight to this wonderful company. Set your budget. Manage bank accounts. Track spending. All here within mint.com!
Here are a few templates taken from Microsoft.com® that you can utilize to at least get you started.
I would also highly advise that you follow some professionals that provide great insight into money. I prefer Dave Ramsey’s organization. They have courses in your area and many invaluable resources. Also, a practical person that you may be interested in is Clark Howard. Clark has a show on CNN and a radio broadcast. Both are very knowledgeable in their respective fields.