There's a misconception that money management means you have to live within strict rules, have no fun, and figure a cost analysis for every purchase you make or adventure you take.
People think of managing money as a sure-fire way to zap the creativity and spontaneity out of life.
I am here to tell you that nothing is further from the truth once you understand budget living and start living a life of good stewardship.
Managing your money is like having a relationship with Christ.
If you an intimate relationship with Christ you know and understand that following Him is not about following a set of rules. You have learned what He expects of you, you spend time with Him. Living within the confines of your relationship with Christ is the most freeing thing you can do. It's a strange paradox.
And so it is with money management. You learn your monetary strengths and weaknesses, you grow, and you adjust your lifestyle. Eventually, you don't have to be bound by it but you live within it because it the second most freeing thing you can do. It too is a strange paradox.
My husband is a spontaneous man. We often take mini-vaca trips on just a few days' notice.
Spontaneity at its best. Very little planning and always an adventure.
On the flip side, we live within a money plan and all of our adventures are accounted for before-hand in that plan.
And after starting this new way of living in January 2011 with over $28,000.00 plus in debt we were able to become debt-free (except our mortgage) by December 2013. Now, in 2021 we still live within a plan and maintain that plan to handle emergencies, unexpected expenses, and family fun.
The issue with money management is that many people want to live outside their means because they have always lived that way. Many grew up living that way so although it is wrong it feels right. (Doesn't that sound familiar?)
Here are 4 common lies about money management
#1 – If we manage our money we can't enjoy the things we like
Getting started may mean you need to make some lifestyle changes but those changes may only need to be temporary. Or, you may find that over time making coffee at home is just as good as a daily Starbucks and your daily stop turns into an occasional treat instead.
#2 – There's no use making a plan – we'll just end up messing it up again
That's like saying, “There's no use asking for forgiveness from my sins, I'll just sin again.”
We ask for forgiveness and invite the Holy Spirit to help us change our minds and our will to not want to sin. Yes, we do trip up and sin again but God is faithful to forgive us.
Money Management is not designed to be a cure-all for our spending problems. It is meant as a tool to use to help us maintain a life-style that lessens the chances of incurring debt. Holy Spirit will need to change our perspective about money and if an unexpected debt comes up your budget will help you pay it off.
I would love to gift you my free 6-Steps to a Debt Free Lifestyle Mini eCourse. Click here to get started.
#3 – Debt is just a part of life
This is similar to number two. This mindset allows you to justify unnecessary debt like you would selfish, sinful behavior. It is the “everyone is doing it” mindset.
I heard this often as a budget coach and this mindset will defeat you right from the start. Debt does happen but we don't accept it as our normal way of life. We live a debt-free lifestyle and if debt happens, we address it immediately by adjusting our plan and working toward getting it paid off.
Sometimes debt does happen but it should never be taken lightly.
#4 – Money is the root of all evil, we just have to deal with it
This is such a misquoted verse. Pick any version of 1 Timothy 6:10 and you'll see money is not the root of all evil, but rather the love thereof.
Selfish desires can be traced back to most of our money-related issues. Aside from medical expenses and emergencies, our spending, saving, and debts are tied to our selfish desires. We love money – we want more, we love the high we get when we spend it, we love the status it gives us, we love feeling better than others who are less fortunate.
Other times we just don't know how to manage well what we have so we flounder.
Money is neutral. It is what you do with it that makes the difference. Managing it well and setting your heart to right with God in the area of money will lead to blessings, not evil.
Like a life with Jesus, you start to see things differently when you begin to manage money in a way that honors Him. You see that the long-term goal of paying off your credit cards (for good) more important than buying two new pairs of shoes, so you only buy one.