Every year I do my taxes I take time to look back on the blessings I have received. I don’t mind doing my taxes because it gives me a chance to look back and see what happened over the past year through the eyes of my money, possessions, and resources. I have lived by a set of personal priorities that have guided me to blessings in my life.
10 Personal Principals
Priority #1. Faith above Finance
I give 10% of my income to the church.
This is one of the basics for successful living. When I place my faith above my finances there is a ROI (return on investment) that no investment group can match.
Priority #2. Generosity above Greed
Offerings are another way I contribute my finances.
This is beyond my tithe (10%).
There might be a cause that needs financial help. For example; a soup kitchen, the homeless, girl scouts selling cookies, a crisis pregnancy center, young person going on a missions trip, or supporting a missionary.
Priority #3. Discipline above Debt
I DON’T USE CREDIT CARDS!!! (yes! I’m yelling This!!!)
I simply live on cash. There are a few things I still owe on, my house, education, and car. But for my day-to-day, I focus on living on the cash in my hand.
At the same time I work to pay off the debts I do have.
Priority #4. Consistency above Confusion
Paying bills is good discipline practice.
Each month I focus on what I have to pay and pay it on time. Paying bills on time is a good way to communicate your character. If the bill cannot be paid in full, paying what can be paid and communicating with the creditor in a timely and considerate way communicates respect and honor.
Priority #5. Focus above Fantasy
I keep a running total of all I owe down to the last penny.
This keeps my spending in check. Also, I make sure I know the interest I pay. The best way to curb debt is to see how much is being paid on interest.
Priority #6. Planting above Playing
Save!!! Save!!! Save!!! (Yelling Again!)
I spend less than I make.
I save so there is something to fall back on in case of a crisis, rainy day or a time my income fluctuates. When you save, your money grows. It’s like planting seeds and watching the harvest come.
Priority #7. Blessing above Burden
I Teach My Children to Tithe
I have been amazingly blessed because of my commitment to tithe and I want the next generation of my family to experience the same. I taught my children at a very young age to place their faith before their finances. Now they are being blessed as we have been.
Priority #8. Tomorrow above Today
Teach my children to manage money
We taught our children to manage money so they would not come back and squander what we had worked for our entire lives. Now my children are on their own and they argue with me as to who will pay the bill when we go out to eat.
Priority #9. Partnership above Privacy
I never hide anything from my spouse.
When I married Vicki, we moved in together, became parents together, go on vacation together, and do our finances together. I don’t hide anything from her. If we don’t have enough finances or we have abundance we work it out together.
Priority #10. Praise above Purchase
I Honor God with what I buy
I live by the idea that God owns all and I manage all. When I give my first 10% to the church, I still want to honor Him by how I manage the rest of my finances. When I purchase a house, car, clothes, gifts, food, recreation, or entertainment, I want it to be honoring to the One who has blessed me so much.
Bonus Priority – Budget
The underlying principle in all this is to develop a budget that names every dollar that come into my life. I do that by living the 10 priorities I just named. This has kept me on course for the past 30 years.
Question: What priorities do you have in your money?