In this economy, a lot of people are hurting. A lot of people have lost money. A lot of people need help.
Today’s economy makes a painful conversation, though rays of good news are starting to shine through. Hearing the constant news mix, many people throw their hands up in confusion and disgust. Planning can solve much of this confusion.
How did we get into this mess? Many reasons. The 20-somethings bought their parents’ house. The 40-somethings launched massive home renovations. The 60-somethings, with a paid for house, supersized to a new home.
Their shortsighted goals? To achieve lifestyles they didn’t earn.
People stretched for these goals to feel accomplished, even if briefly. They failed because they bought more than they could afford. They spent more than they earned. Their money controlled them. They did not plan.
I believe some of the best advice on personal finances comes from the writings of King Solomon. God inspired him to write three books of the Bible, where readers can find a wealth of knowledge in regards to budgeting. He wrote, “Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.” (Proverbs 21:5).
The following are five simple steps to plan financially. These are not fancy financial planning rules, just an ordinary, ready-to-use process that can fit anyone: 1) Tithe. God commands this. He does not need the money, but He wants to bless you. Try it, prove this to yourself. 2) Pay yourself first. Save for your future before you spend it elsewhere. 3) Do not buy it unless you have earned it. Debt can be used correctly or abused. You will slave for whatever you go into debt for. 4) Plan, proper planning may require advice. People are not born with the financial knowledge that they need. This will include perceived torturous ideas like budgets, investment and estate planning, among many others. 5) Relax, the Apostle Paul wrote from prison of all places, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have” (Philippians 4:11).
Financial plans should be simple enough to be followed. They should mix hard work, analysis, and perception.
Ambitious contentment describes a Biblical attitude for achieving financial goals. It’s a balance; a person should work ambitiously toward success. At the same time, the person should find contentment and enjoyment in their current stage in life.
December 2, 2009
Investment advisory services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc.("SFSG"), a Registered Investment Adviser. Securities offered through Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc., ("CAMAS") Member FINRA/SIPC. SFSG and CAMAS are separate and unrelated companies. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by CAMAS.
Posted on Wed, December 2, 2009
by Chris McAlpin