Like many others, I’ve seen my family experience financial hardships, jobless seasons, and have had my own share of both. Last year, I decided that I had had enough of “not having enough” and maybe you can relate.
Now, I’m no millionaire or financial expert, but I do want to share some nuggets of wisdom I’ve collected from working in the finance department at my job and completing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program. I’ve been practicing the following tips for about a year and can testify that I have seen the difference in the way I give and have an increased sense of peace. I pray they do the same for you.
1. Stop saying, “I’m broke.”
I know this is a popular phrase often said jokingly or as an excuse, but it’s simply not true. It’s a lie from the enemy used to keep you in a mindset where you feel incapable of being successful with what God has given you. The Bible says that we are either justified or condemned by our own words (Matthew 12:37), so if you keep repeating this phrase, of course you’ll always feel like you’re broke! Try saying things like, “I’m blessed” or “I’m content with what I have” instead. (Cheesy, but it works.)
If you’ve been in church for like 5 minutes, you’ve probably heard of tithes and offerings. Tithing just means giving 10% of what you earn back to God, and an offering is anything beyond that. Tithing keeps you in check and allows God’s blessings to flow into your life (Malachi 3:10-12). Ever since becoming a tither, I have never lacked anything, even in those difficult and jobless seasons. It takes some discipline, but I dare you to try it.
3. Learn how to budget.
Dave Ramsey says, “A budget is people telling their money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” It lets you check your bank account with confidence not fear. To start, estimate how much money you make in a month and look at your bank activity to categorize each expense (groceries, bills, shopping, etc.). Figure out how much you typically spend in each category and make any adjustments based on where YOU want your money to go. The EveryDollar app is a great budgeting tool to get you started.
4. Give like a rich person.
During one of Pastor Carl’s sermons on finances, he said something along the lines of, “If you want to be rich, act like a rich person.” This has stuck with me because I want to be that person that has enough money to pay their own bills and someone else’s. I want to pay off people’s missions trips. I want to leave huge tips at restaurants and donate to charitable organizations. Truth is, I can do these things now. I may not have a six-figure salary, but I can pay for someone’s coffee. I may not be able to pay off someone’s entire missions trip fund, but I can find $10 to give them every month. You get the idea.
5. Use what you have now.
Like the previous tip, you don’t have to have a lot of money to make a difference. Start small like giving $1 to your favorite charity or rounding up your tip at a restaurant. Use what you have to make someone’s day. If you want financial increase, become a good steward over the resources God has given you. It shows God that you are responsible and can handle more. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the millionaire giving advice.
Adrienne Del Hoyo