Becoming a Financial Steward 6: The Big Discovery

Hey there!!

I am so thrilled that you are tackling your debt and working on your strategy to break up with Sallie Mae, Visa, Chase...or whoever you’ve been in a debt relationship with that you need to say bye-bye to. You need to shamelessly break up with them over text and then actively get rid of them - for good.

Now it’s time to make a big discovery...and this is seriously BIG.  You are going to uncover how saving is the key to turning your financial ship around - ending the cyclical relationship with debt and heading in a new direction.

Do you know how the bible talks about saving?  The Lord calls it wisdom.  Oxford defines wisdom as “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment”. Read Proverbs 21:20, Proverbs 14:23-24, Luke 14:28 & Proverbs 13:11. I love what it says in Proverbs 13:11:

“Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”

Basically, get rich quick schemes and trying to win the lottery will come to nothing. It may be daunting and seem slow at first, but working hard and saving little by little will cause you to increase. All good things come slowly over time. I believe that’s because the Lord also wants to increase our character through perseverance, diligence & patience.  You will find that you feel a great sense of accomplishment and joy in your hard work and earnest saving.
If you already have some money set aside, terrific! You have a head start! If you don’t, that’s ok, we’ll start with a simple plan, and you will work your way through these achievable goals.

To begin, open a separate savings account or Money Market account in which to keep your savings; this should be separate from your general checking account.
Click on the bottom link for the current, best savings accounts earning the highest interest.  

Now, you need to look at your budget and determine how much you should set aside for savings based on the goals below.  If you already have a category and an amount for saving in your budget, then you may not have to make any big adjustments. If you do not have any extra left over after expenses, then you need to cut your spending and get rid of one or more unnecessary items so that you can start saving money. It might be painful to give up some things at first, but you will shortly realize that the quality of your life is improving and you didn’t need those things after all.

Ok let’s start with our...

Savings Goals:
       1. Create an Emergency Fund = $1,000 right away
       2. Save 1 month’s worth of income
       3. Save 3 months’ worth of income
       4. Save 6 months’ worth of income

*If you’re paying off debt using the snowball method and beginning to save at the same time, do it in this order:
      1. Get your emergency fund to $1000
      2. Snowball your debt
      3. Build your savings out to 3-6 months worth of income

An emergency fund is just that - for emergencies (things like a car repair, fixing a leak, a broken appliance etc.). You need to make sure that you have a fund for when those kinds of things happen. You should have at least $1000 to start, so that’s the first thing you need to save for. (If you are a homeowner you should eventually have between $10K & $20K available for big repairs)

After you have funded your emergency fund, you want to start saving 1 months worth of at least the minimum amount you need to live on. Take into account how much you need to pay to live in your house, keep the heat/lights on, feed yourself and your family & have transportation for one month.  Add that up and it is your next savings goal!  Repeat over time until you have at least 3 months worth of savings and up to 6.

This isn’t going to happen overnight - keep that in mind.  But each month you work at this you are creating a whole new set of habits and a way of life that leads directly to freedom. In all things and always, pray. God cares for you deeply and wants the best for you.  He wants to see you doing wise things and He wants to bless your work.  Actively involve Him, talk to Him about it, tell Him what you need and ask Him to help you.

Next time we will talk about investing and how that goes beyond just saving. Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it easy, not rocket science!  You are doing great! See you next time!

Would you like to talk with someone who can walk alongside you confidentially with your personal finances?  Please know that there is FREE coaching available for you to take advantage of from our Financial Ministry!  Just email: [email protected], I look forward to hearing from you.

-Sarah Bateman, Director of Community and Finance

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