Believe it or not, 2018 is just around the corner. This means that in less than a few weeks’ time your social media feed (should you partake) will begin to revolve around the New Year and perhaps, the Resolutions you might be making. We’d therefore like to jump the queue on this in order to plant some seeds now. The theme being how to become more effective stewards of our wealth and we hope it is in that spirit that you will celebrate the Christmas season and New Year.
If you don’t already regularly donate to your Church, consider starting. No amount is too small but a good guide is 10% of your gross household income to start. If you already are a consistent tither, perhaps consider giving more this year.
Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. (NIV)
This can mean a lot of different things to different people but start small. If you don’t already have an idea of what your monthly expenses look like why not begin tracking? Mint.com has a great app that can help you to achieve this and see where you could be spending less and ultimately giving more.
Proverbs 27:23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; (NIV)
ESTABLISH WRITTEN FINANCIAL GOALS
Going hand in hand with budgeting, once you know how much you’re spending consider writing out some financial goals that you’d like to achieve, no matter how big or small.
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. (NIV)
PAY DOWN YOUR DEBT
As interest rates rise, now is a really good time to start pouring any excess funds (perhaps through spending less as per above) into whatever outstanding debt you may have whether it be in the form of a student loan, line of credit or mortgage.
Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. (NIV)
SEEK OUT INVESTMENT COUNSELORS
If you do not already have an established relationship with an Investment Counselor, seek one out. Find someone who understands you as a person and with whom you feel comfortable in order to work on the previously mentioned goals.
Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (NIV)
BE OPEN TO FINANCIAL DISCUSSIONS
For many, talking about money within the family is taboo; but sometimes those conversations are necessary. Without needing to get into specific numbers, it is important to be able to communicate effectively about money matters whether that be to your spouse or to your children. Indeed, equipping your children with the necessary tools can go a long ways to establishing healthy financial habits.
Proverbs 11:24-25 One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. (NIV)
DEVELOP AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
We live in a society that is always focusing on what we don’t have or what we ‘need’ and it is so easy to fall into this trap of entitlement. Instead, let us cultivate a thankful heart, being grateful for what we do have.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (NKJV)
Obviously, these are goals that can be implemented at any point; but we hope that you will use the New Year to set in motion what you may have been merely contemplating up until now. 2018 brings opportunity for a fresh start and we pray that it will be a fruitful year.