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MANAGING MONEY BETTER

MANAGING MONEY BETTER

MANAGING MONEY BETTER

I enjoy putting my money to good use, and recently the Lord has been pressing on my heart that I could do a little better when it comes to stewarding the money that comes into my hands.

In our home, I help manage the monthly and weekly budgets by putting together spreadsheets to help Stan and I know what is coming in, and going out each month/week.  I love organisation and order and so it is an absolute joy to be able to support my family in this way.

Side note- This post is a little longer than usual, so you may want to get a drink, a notebook, and settle in for this one ūüôā

I currently work part- time, work on writing projects, and run my small business (The Echoes of Her Heart shop) along with Stan who is building up his amazing freelance photography business (S Awuku Photography), and so it is even more important for us to be able to manage our finances well.

In this post, I’ll be sharing a few practical tips on how we can try to better manage the money that we receive, as well as some of the steps that I am currently taking to help me be a better steward over what God puts in my hands. These tips are by no means exhaustive, and as a keeper of my home, I am very enthusiastic and keen on playing my part well, as the Lord graces me to do so! I am just learning and growing as I go along, but thought I’d share some of my experiences with you.

It is encouraging to know that we can always cultivate and prune what God gives to us (and in fact, He expects this of us) so that it yields proper fruit at the right time; and whether we get around to doing our part or not, the beautiful thing about God is that His promise to us does not change. Where we act in ignorance, and lack of knowledge, He gracefully and faithfully helps us to acquire wisdom if we desire it.

I have realised that I can be a great blessing to my home by taking proactive and intentional steps towards gaining financial/Biblical wisdom and knowledge concerning my use of money. So how can we manage our money better?

While this post will be discussing a lot of practical things concerning money, it’s important to remember that the Bible encourages us to not put our hope and affection in amassing wealth and riches in this world¬†but to solely trust in God’s provision for our lives.

He is our ultimate provider and when we become so anxious and preoccupied with making money, and tending to our needs, we develop a tight grip with money and can struggle to have faith that He is the One that sustains our lives.

Have a read of Matthew 6:19-34

While we are to put all our hope in God, it does not mean that we should not be proactive in cultivating healthy habits when it comes to our finances. It is very easy to be lazy, passive, selfish, greedy and careless with money when we don’t understand the purpose and place for it in our lives.

The Lord has been convicting me to be faithful with the little that I have (Luke 16:10) and these are just some of the areas that he has drawn my attention to- perhaps you may be able to identify with them too!

Putting things in order of priority

Have you ever asked yourself at the end of some months: Where has all my money gone? What was it actually spent on?

When payday comes around, it is so tempting to spend money on items that I have been thinking about for a few weeks (or in some cases a few hours ha-ha).  There have been many instances where I have had items in a shopping basket, ready to go, and I have had that conversation in my head (you know, that conversation about whether you should commit or not!) to double check if I need certain items.

If I realise that I don’t need the items, I just release them. It is very easy to spend our money on things that we don’t particularly need, and justify it as a¬†treat. There is nothing wrong with treating ourselves, but when that becomes an overwhelming desire, we’ll soon realise that our focus can become very self-focused, and one treat easily turns into two, then three.¬†Before we know it, we would have¬†invested hundreds of pounds on clothes, shoes, makeup etc, when that money could have been used for more substantial things.

What helps me to remember the important things, is to have a spreadsheet with a list of all the necessities that need to be covered every month, so when the money arrives, I can allocate it, eliminating the temptation to spend it impulsively and unwisely.

Switch from fast fashion buyer to fashion minimalist

Research shows that the brain finds pleasure in pursuing and acquiring inexpensive things (think bargains and deals!), and high-street chains and our favourite online retailers know this and are cashing in big. With constant seasonal changes, the variety of clothing for women is just endless.  We have apps, email prompts, online adverts, YouTubers, and so many other outlets that inspire us to rush out and buy the next fashion item!

There have been so many (many) occasions when I have purchased clothing items impulsively, only to fall out of love with it a few weeks later. Recently, I have been compelled to own less clothing items and to spend little or no money on fast fashion.

My aim now is to own fewer, better quality clothes that I¬†truly love, feel confident wearing and are timeless! It’s important to discipline ourselves against the urge of¬†want it now, have it now culture that we live in because when it goes unchecked, we can end up spending frivolously.

Do not purchase based on feelings! try to be as objective as possible

Another difficult area. Hand in hand with fast fashion is impulse purchases! I cannot count the many times I have walked past a Superdrug store, gone in for no reason and purchased a nail varnish for no reason (nail varnishes are my thing).  Our feelings can be so strong at times, especially when it comes to purchasing things because we feel as though we need to it.

I am now cultivating a healthier habit by only travelling with a certain amount of money that I will need for a day. but what about emergencies and unforeseen circumstances you ask? I carry my credit card with me as a back-up for emergencies because I am personally disciplined enough not to use it on a whim.

If you haven’t used it in a few months, consider getting rid of it, or using it.

One of the biggest reasons we tend to spend money on certain items is because we don’t keep stock of the things that we already own, so when we are in the shops, we pick up items similar to what we already have. It’s also easy to keep items in our homes and wardrobes ‚Äújust in case‚ÄĚ we’ll need them, so it‚Äôs worth taking stock of what you have.

Similarly, we often have emotional and sentimental attachments to items and try to justify the many reasons why we need them, but things such as gym memberships can eat into your finances if you are not putting it to use! Every few months, I assess all my direct debits, just to double check that I am not paying for things that I am not using.

Become financially/Biblically literate

Proverbs 17:16:¬†“Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?”¬†If we had all the money we thought we needed, how would we spend it? It would be a waste if we did not exercise wisdom in our stewarding of it.¬†Stories abound of people who received the money they wanted and then wasted it on foolish spending. Without wisdom and discipline, it is so easy for anyone to do so.

When we begin to acquire knowledge about money- practically and Biblically, we position it in its right place and can make wiser and sober-minded financial decisions. Learning the difference between what is an asset and what is a liability is crucial to developing healthy money habits and spending.

so that I can teach my children, help support my husband as he works hard, and contribute to wise financial spending.

Budgeting and allocating

Proverbs 13:11:¬†“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”

This is an important one. There is a place for budgeting, and saving when you budget and allocate money, you give it purpose, and you make it work for that purpose. If we don’t allocate or budget money, we find that it is much easier to¬†forget¬†about certain things that need to be paid, and financial targets that we desire to reach, and spend money impulsively because we think that we have more disposable income than we have.

¬†Do you have some type of savings plan?¬†Are you systematically and regularly putting some money aside?¬†¬†You may be thinking, “I don‚Äôt have enough money as it is‚ÄĚ Prayerfully decide about an amount that you can regularly put away every month for something specific, and with consistency, you will see that the amount will grow.

Hold a loose grip on money 

Part of Biblical literacy concerning money is holding a loose grip on it. Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:24 that we cannot serve both God and Money. This suggests that we cannot have two masters. We have got to choose one, and if we choose the Lord, then He has got to be Lord over our lives concerning this area. Do you find that you hold a tight grip on money?

Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:10 that physical money is not the problem, but our love of money is. When we love the idea of money, we can be driven by greed, and self-centered motives, to acquire more of it for our own needs, rather than considering how we can use the money that we have been given to be a blessing unto others. The love of money can also draw us away from our faith, as we desire to be lords over our own lives.

I hope this post has encouraged you in some way! I would love to hear your thoughts on how you are seeking to be a better steward of money.

If you haven’t already, please do subscribe to the blog to receive the latest blog posts straight in¬†your inbox!¬†

I am so excited to announce the recent launch of The Echoes of My Heart journals to help encourage you toward greater intimacy with your Lord in your own quiet moments of reflection and study. I pray that you will purchase one and be immensely blessed as you begin to journal, or continue to journal in your relationship with the Lord. 

You can read the popular blog post that I wrote about journaling {HERE}

YOU CAN PURCHASE A JOURNAL {HERE}

 

 

 

Written by

Alethea Awuku



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