(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Money on My Mind
By Kendall Fee
The thought of money can be overwhelming. Sometimes the constant stress of feeling like there is not enough of it, can put a strain in our lives. Everyone has times of financial struggle. The question is, how does God see our financial situation? How does He want us to see it?
Do you spend, save, budget, or tithe your money? If you have never thought about these questions before, then it’s time to dive into the world of finances. The Lord will be right by your side, every step of the way. I believe that the Lord takes finances very seriously, and we should too.
First, do you budget? Budgeting is hard, and at first it can be kind of confusing. It’s so helpful and important to budget when it comes to your finances. Personally, I just got a job at a local juice shop and in the tutorial center at my school. These two jobs provide me with enough money for groceries, gas, and other little random things that add up (toilet paper, dish soap, shampoo, toothpaste). With this lump sum of cash coming in every few weeks, I’ve started to budget my money. The best way I can explain budgeting is, keep your money organized. For example, I get paid $200 every few weeks and I put $100 towards groceries, $50 towards gas, and $50 towards miscellaneous each month. With some practice, you will see that it’s not that hard. To start, make a chart and write it out, it’ll help yourself manage your money more responsibly. The most important thing with budgeting is making sure you always have a little on the side. Don’t spend your money all at once, it’s important to save.
How are you proactively saving? For me, I get a good amount of tips at work and I always cash them into the bank. If you don’t make tips, take a little and start setting it aside. Saving is key! One day when you go to buy a car or make a down payment on a house, your savings will become a lifesaver. Save, save, save. The more you save, the better off you’ll be. With that being said, don’t think spending is completely out of the question. In moderation, spending can be a good thing.
It’s OK to treat yourself! A wise woman once told me, “If you’re having a rough day, treat yourself!” I’ve held onto that bit of wisdom for quite sometime now. Spending isn’t a sin. If there’s a reasonably priced bathing suit or sundress at Target, and you’ve been dying to get something like it, then spend. Spending a little here and there will not kill you. Your happiness is important. Spend only when you feel it’s necessary. Shopping at Urban Outfitters everyday might put a dent in your budget, because of how expensive it is. Therefore, shopping at stores like Forever 21 every few weeks is reasonable, because of how affordable it is. You worked hard for that money, so treat yourself! The big question we need to ask as Christians is, “is the money we make truly ours?”
Nothing is truly our own. Everything we have belongs to the Lord, even our finances. That’s why Jesus mentions tithing and giving numerous times in the New Testament.
Tithing is so important! Where’s the proof? Check out these verses: Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42, 18:12; Hebrews 7:5-9; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Matthew 6:1-4. These verses embody tithing and giving to the fullest. Jesus states in Luke 18:12, “I give a tenth of all my income.” That’s why we are called to give 10 percent of our income to the church. We follow in the footsteps of Jesus and handle our money with the help of the guidelines He mentions throughout the Bible. Trusting the Lord with our lives includes trusting Him with our finances. We’re called to give with a cheerful heart. The Lord blesses those who follow these financial guidelines.
So, when it comes to money there is no need to stress. Just remember the four simple aspects: Budget, Save, Spend, and Tithe. Don’t fear your finances. Remember, the Lord is on the throne, even the throne of your messy financial situation.