Friday, March 16, 2012

Mean Green

Source: glesmarketing
Tomorrow, hundreds of people will go out into the streets donning their green attire in light of St. Patrick's Day. Wearing green is cool, but having more green in your pockets is cooler. Money...not drugs lol. Say no to drugs. The 2012 theme for my church is "Moving Forward" and a couple weeks ago, we learned that moving forward requires getting your finances in order. I just wanted to share a few simple tips I've learned that will help keep more money in the bank!!

1. Set GOALS!!! Budget!!! This is definitely one of the most important things to do! You need to develop a strategy when it comes to your money. Just saying "I want to buy a house in 2 years" isn't good enough. How much do want to save each paycheck?...each month? Can you even afford to buy a house at the moment? Budgeting also helps you to discover more ways to save money. If you take a good look at your bank statement and find you're making one-too-many trips to fast food restaurants or spending too much money on clothes, then you can make plans to cut back and use that money in more useful ways. Setting goals and developing a budget also gives you accountability. You have set boundaries for yourself and you now have a visual of what you should and shouldn't do with your money. It's important to know the comings and goings of your won't get too far without a plan. There are plenty of budgeting templates that you can look up on Google, so start there if you don't know where to begin. I have a pretty simple budget that I keep in an excel spreadsheet. It consists of two categories: Incomes and Expenses...and from that (Incomes-Expenses), I have my discretionary income. My "play" money that I can do whatever I want with lol. 

2. Take Your Lunch I just starting taking a financial freedom course at church this week and one of the points my instructor touched on was spending too much money on fast food. It was kind of funny lol. He went into great detail about what he could do with a $4.99 chicken from Costco during the week, while we're out here blowing $10 here and there everyday for lunch and sometimes dinner. It was actually very eye-opening. I've heard this piece of advice before, but I never had it broken down quite like that. He had a whole story behind it and everything lol. One day, I actually sat and calculated the amount of money I spent eating out in a 3-month period...smh. I'm not even going to disclose the's embarrassing lol. So try to pack your lunch more and eat out less. Those dollars add up.

3. Pay Yourself First My mom used to tell me this all the time, but I never listened. This is a great habit to get into. Some people just can't WAIT to give DSW, FootLocker, Amazon, etc. all their fresh monies lol. Invest in yourself before you go and invest in somebody else's business. 

4. Use Cash This requires more work being that you have to hit up an ATM, but it will change the way you spend. I'm MUCH more hesitant about spending when I can look at each individual bill leaving my hand. Swiping a card and putting it back in your purse/wallet is so much easier than handing over cash never to be seen again. I like the idea of this one, but I always realize I need to go to the ATM at a time I don't feel like going to an ATM lol. I'm going to do better though, because this one actually works for me. 

5. Snowball Your Bills I've heard this one a lot too. This refers more to debt (credit cards, student loans, car notes, mortgages, etc). You start with your lowest bill and pay that off, then use the money that would've went to that bill, on your next lowest bill...and so on and so forth. 

For example, say you start off paying these amounts every month: 
$350 Student Loans
$200 Car note
$50 Credit card

You were diligent in paying on your credit card and paid it off, so now your payments look like this:
$350 Student Loans
$200 $250 Car note
$50 $0 Credit card

The money you were paying on your credit card is now going toward paying down your car note quicker!!

This method takes some self-control. It's very easy to take that extra money and blow it on something you don't need. 

6. Know Your Credit Score and begin working on ways to increase it if it's low. Higher interest rates due to low credit scores will cost you more bucks over time. Some people have never seen their credit score and have no idea what is on their report. They DO make mistakes, so it's important to keep up with that. You can get one free credit report from each bureau once a year. The three credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. A good piece of advice I've gotten was to request a report from one of the three bureaus every four months. That way, you're able to monitor your credit report a couple times a year. However, sometimes their may be discrepancies between reports from the different bureaus. I honestly don't understand why you cant have access to your own credit score all the time...trying to keep us down lol. 

7. Give God What's His  This is the most important of them all in my opinion. I used to be one of those people that made all kind of excuses for not giving to God. "I have too many bills...I don't get paid enough...How do I know they're going to do the right thing with my money...I GOT PLANS"...and the list can go on. Let me just say that my student loan payments are MASSIVE so initially, I gave a little bit here and there when I felt like it. Then came the game changing bible study where my Pastor helped me to see that all things come to me through God. Nothing happens without His say so. I have my job because He made a way for me. I have side hustles because He placed those gifts in me. I owe God more than I can ever pay Him. One hundred percent of what I have belongs to Him but He only asks that I give cheerfully in proportion to what I give what freely comes from the heart.

I also set money aside...TO GIVE AWAY. This is definitely behavior inspired by God lol. I never would've come up with that idea on my own and it has been a BLESSING! It's so crazy to me that I give away so much more money now, but I feel so less strapped for cash. My needs are ALWAYS covered and as soon as money gets low, there's somebody asking for my services in some area and BOOM, more income. Are you hearing what I'm saying? I give away WAY more money but through obedience to God, I HAVE more money now. 

I'm going to let God talk for now lol. Tell them what You have to say about giving. "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. (2 Cor. 9:6-8)" He also says "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38)" 

Another thing, God isn't out to burden you or make your life more difficult with giving financially. He says this, "...Give in proportion to what you have. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have not what you don't have. Of course, I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves...(2 Cor. 8:11-13)" He makes it clear that He loves a cheerful and willing giver. So don't go giving if you don't really want to do it. Wait until you're truly understanding of why you should do it and how God feels about it. God has a strategy for the money He ALLOWS you to have. It's not all about's about advancing the Kingdom and helping others. 

As far as my church goes, I can see the benefits of our giving through work being done in the local and global community, programs in the church, assistance to members of the church, and then some. I could go on and on and on about this so I'll just cut it here lol.

Hope this helps GO AND GET YOUR MONEY RIGHT!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment