Simple Stewardship

Simple Stewardship: Tips for beginners

How to Spend Your Money Wisely

One of the most important things we can do as godly women is to be good stewards of our money. Whether you are working or staying home with your family, you have a responsibility to take what God has given you and use it wisely. After many seasons with an itty bitty pocketbook, I’ve learned some valuable lessons on making the most of our little bit. Many of them are about money – some are not! Many are predictable – some are not! Here are a few of the most important tips for women just starting this road to stewardship.

Tithe
This is, in my opinion, the single most important financial tip there is. It isn’t about the law, it’s about grace. It isn’t about giving your church money, it’s about trusting God. It took me a while to get it, and when I did I was a single mom… but I truly saw how God worked when I decided to take that leap. It’s a huge step, but an incredibly important one, both for your faith and for your finances. (If you want some more information about it, here is a fantastic sermon series from my pastor, Robert Morris. He also wrote a fantastic book on it.) The bottom line is that you wouldn’t have even the little bit you do without His grace. Any money you have is His. All of it. And all He asks is that you give him 10% and trust Him to stretch the 90%. And He will. Every time. No other tip I can give you will make your money stretch like this one will.

Budget
It seems simple – the idea of planning your money so you know where it goes – but so many people don’t do it. I have one friend who always said she didn’t budget because she knew there was nothing left after bills, anyway, so it didn’t matter. That’s where I am in this season and let me tell you – budgeting has helped alleviate so. much. stress. Putting your money on paper makes it work for you – and isn’t that the idea? My husband and I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University when we got engaged and have benefited greatly from the principles he teaches. We’ve been using the envelope system for a long time and it really does help you manage what you spend and spend it less quickly. No matter how much or how little you have, I promise it will benefit you to budget it.

Pay off debt
For us, this was pivotal. Once I looked at how much money we were wasting on credit card interest, I just about threw up. Each month, we were all but literally flushing hundreds of dollars down the toilet. Your money will go much further once you stop funding the credit card companies with your hard earned money!

Saving
Something that has saved us many times is having money saved. We try to keep an emergency fund of $1000 saved at all times, and that has helped a ton when we’ve had crazy things happen. When the washer rusted through the bottom, we could go out and get a new one. And, of course, as soon as we saved that money back up, the dryer went out — but we had the money for a new one sitting in the bank. We didn’t have to put it on credit and spend twice the original cost on interest, and when my husband’s business struggled, we were never afraid to lose our appliances! Putting some money back means sacrificing, but a few nights of Ramen each month are nothing compared to being without a washer (or a car, or whatever else might break next!)

Stretching
This is the most fun part, to me. There are many ways you can make your money stretch even further than you can imagine. From coupon clipping and deal-finding to repurposing your things rather than throwing them out, a small time investment can make a huge difference in your family’s finances. This is probably my favorite part of stewarding my family’s money: the creativity required to do it well. I plan to post many many things about money-stretching, and I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

How do you save your family money?

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