A Life Well Spent
This past weekend, our church wrapped up the “Rich People Syndrome” series with a conversation of the financial changes and decisions we need to make in our lives so that we are more aligned to being obedient to God’s word. If you’re interested in hearing the original message, click HERE.

So let’s get right into it. There are four main decisions we’ve got to make as it relates to our finances. If you’ve ever attended any sort of financial planning workshop (at church or otherwise), these are probably familiar.
Rich Rule Over the Poor RS
1. Choose a percentage of your income that you want to live on…and live on it. “Mind the Gap.”
So many of us are already living on some percentage of our income, but it has to be a conscious decision, otherwise we may quickly find ourselves living on 100% of our income. This may mean that we have to say no to some things we “could afford.” This essentially will create a manageable gap between your income and your lifestyle…which ultimately creates peace…and ideally reduces conflict in our marriages. You can still increase your lifestyle with your income…as long as you mind that gap (I can’t help but think about the London Underground).
2. Track your spending.
It’s really difficult to adjust your spending if you don’t know what you’re spending or where you’re spending it. In a previous relationship, I was taught to build credit and earn points using a credit card. I’d never had a credit card before, but I’m pretty conservative when it comes to my money. So, when I first started using my new credit card…I just applied it towards gas and groceries. My boyfriend at the time helped me choose a credit card that would allow me to earn points every time I filled up my gas tank or bought groceries (I think it did more than that, but you get the idea). I was then taught to pay off my credit card at the end of each month. By doing this, I could frequently check my balance online, pay off my balance each month and still earn points towards stuff (or cash back) I would have bought anyways…or even better, my first DSLR – true story.
3. Get rid of “dumb debt.”
I think this comes from Dave Ramsey, but dumb debt refers to credit card debt or student loans – anything that carries a high interest rate. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” So, we’ve got to come up with a plan to get rid of all that dumb debt. And once we have a plan, we may find that it won’t take us nearly as long to get out of debt as long as we stick to the plan. I’m fortunate in that I don’t have much in the way of dumb debt, but I do need to pay off my student loans – it’d be nice to have one less thing to worry about.
4. Arrange your finances so you can GIVE 1st , SAVE 2nd and LIVE on the Remainder. 
Matthew 6:25 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” This passage of scripture is pretty interesting because it challenges us to think about all the things we spend countless hours worrying about: what we’ll eat or what we’ll wear…among other things. Matthew 6:31-32 follows up with, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” God completely recognizes that we live in a 1st world country – he knows that most of have mortgages, bills to pay, college loans, retirement, etc. He’s not going to just leave us hanging, but we have to release control and allow God to do what he does best. I will tell you that I have been living this way for a couple of years now – my giving is directly deposited from my paycheck each month, followed by a second amount that is moved directly into my savings account. Not to say that I never worry about finances (I can be a bit crazy when it comes to sticking to a budgeting), but I don’t worry nearly as much. 
With all that said, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). What additional lessons have you learned as it relates to your finances?

On another note…and while you’re here – I recently became aware of KONY 2012. KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice. If you have a moment, click HERE to watch the video for more information.