A principle we should follow while handling personal finance: INCOME minus TITHES minus SAVINGS = EXPENSES
Income: Income is fixed for a salaried person and quite variable or uneven for a self-employed or business per-son.
Taxes: From our income, the first to be paid should be the authorities, established by God for the world we live in. It is not because we love these authorities, but because we love our God and would like to please Him through obedience. God looks into our hearts. The attitude could extend to choosing to stop to pay the road toll at the check-naka even when we can pass through it, choosing not to travel without buying a proper ticket, choosing to pay the bills with full GST invoice for all purchases, choosing to take all receipts in cheque and not in cash especially for businessmen, not giving fake bills to the HR department to claim deductions. We choose to raise the bar, compared to the world around us. We are not mere human beings, but God’s chosen people whose standards are reflected by our actions and choices.
Tithes & Offerings: It is a way of acknowledging our gratitude and honour to our Lord for giving us our abilities, skills, good health and the opportunity at our work place. As commanded by the Lord, 10% of the first fruits is a good place to begin with. By doing so, we declare that He is the provider and acknowledge that we continuously depend on our God’s limitless wisdom, timeless foresight and direction for each step in our workplace which keeps our income secure in the ever-changing world we live in. God sees our attitude in bringing our tithes before Him, more than its percentage. By doing so regularly, it loosens the grip of love of money in us. As God provides more in our lives, in addition to tithes, we can choose to contribute in various areas like evangelism, helping orphans and the elderly, providing educational assistance, as the Lord leads us.
Savings: As the Lord has given the example of how the ant saves for the winter, we should save for our future needs. There are few common saving buckets for each family:
- Rainy Day or Emergency ( 3 to 6 months of monthly expenses)
- Any upcoming big expenses ( next 1 – 3 years)
- Buying a house
- Children’s higher education/Wedding
A fixed amount should be set aside for savings every month, and not what is left after all the expenses. First save, and then spend.
Expenses: Living below our means and spending only for needs and not for greed or showing off, is a good guiding principle. Knowing our expenses well in advance is a good first step, to begin with. It is called a family expense budget, written down in a book or an excel spreadsheet. It includes all the regular monthly expenses, annual expenses like insurance premiums, celebrations for birthdays and anniversaries, vacations, gifting, shopping, etc. Looking back to the previous year is a good reference point. The more we stick to our family expense budget, the more we can save for our future needs.
God knows all our needs, when we choose to honour HIM in little things. He keeps us secured, and opens up new doors of opportunities in His abundant love. Trust in the Lord with all your heart so that He can truly work in your life.
~ Sojan Thomas
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