Below are five decisions that can revolutionize your finances -- and your life. They are easy enough for a child to understand. They can be practiced by both rich and poor. And they are backed up by the best Christian financial experts -- Larry Burkett, Ron Blue, Dave Ramsey.
I can't force you to make these decisions. But I can tell you from personal experience that they work. Lydia and I have been living by these principles our entire adult lives. So here they are:
- Don't pay interest on credit cards. Either don't use them at all, or pay them off before the end of the month.
- Pay cash for cars. Yes, people actually do this. You have to stop using your car to impress people. Dave Ramsey said, "Having been a millionaire gone broke, I dug my way out by making a decision about looking good versus being good. Looking good is when your broke friends are impressed by what you drive, and being good is having more money than they have."
- The only debt you should have is a mortgage. And if possible, pay cash for your home. Larry Burkett said, "God doesn’t prohibit borrowing, but He certainly does discourage it. In fact, every biblical reference to it is negative."
- Tithe to your church. Remember, God doesn't need your tithe. You need to acknowledge that your money comes from God and belongs to Him. If you don't tithe, then your wealth will be the fast track to spiritual ruin rather than the blessing of a generous God (Richard Swenson).
- Give, save, and then live on the rest, and in that order.
There's a lot more to learn about money if you want to prosper financially. And I often teach those principles and skills. But if you will decide to start here, then the rest is easy. These decisions don't take a lot of smarts, but they do take a lot of heart. How much do you want financial freedom? What are you willing to do to achieve financial security?
"Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge. What to do isn’t the problem; doing it is. Most of us know what to do, but we just don’t do it. If I can control the guy in the mirror, I can be skinny and rich." -- Dave Ramsey