The Wednesday evening Bible study group is working its way through the Crown Bible study on the topic of money. The study has been renamed “Do Well,” which seems very appropriate based on their approach to the topic of money. In addition to practical hands-on money management, the Crown philosophy highlights the fact that when you live life God’s way, you do well. When you don’t live God’s way, you don’t do quite as well. That is certainly true when it comes to the way we manage our money and resources. In my research and preparation for leading the class, I came across an article titled “10 Signs You’ll Never Be Rich.” In the limited space of my newsletter article I can’t share all ten things brought out, but here is a highlight of some things that were shared that are supported by Biblical principles. Here are five signs that you're not on the right financial path.
1. You only work hard, not smart.
In school, we learn that hard work will get us ahead in life. But that's only half the story. You must equally work smart. One way to work smart is investing your money in the stock market or a retirement fund—that is, taking advantage of compound interest so that your money earns money.
2. You put too much emphasis on saving—and not enough on earning.
Another way to work smart? Increase your earnings, not just your savings. Saving is crucial to building wealth, but you don't want to focus so much on saving that you start neglecting earning. Clipping coupons and saving is wise, but a common thread among people who do well with their money is that they develop multiple streams of income and adopt smart savings habits.
3. You buy things you can't afford.
If you live above your means, you won't get ahead financially. Even if you start earning more or get a hefty raise, don't use that as justification to give yourself a lifestyle raise. Grant Cardone wrote for Entrepreneur, "I was still driving a Toyota Camry when I had become a millionaire. Be known for your work ethic, not the trinkets that you buy."
4. You haven't started investing.
One of the most effective ways to earn more money over time is investing it, and the earlier you start, the better. "On average, millionaires invest 20% of their household income each year," says Ramit Sethi. Maybe you can’t invest 20% of your income right now, but you can start investing something in your retirement right now. It will pay huge dividends in the long run.
5. You don't have goals for your money and life.
If you want to build wealth, the process will be easier and more enjoyable if you have clear, specific goals in place before forming a financial plan. Do you want to buy a house? Give to the church? Travel once a month? Enjoy a cushy retirement? Be able to help others? Give an inheritance to your kids? Write down these goals. The reason most people don't get what they want is they don't know what they want.
Proverbs 21:5 tells us that “steady plodding brings prosperity.” Whether it comes to spending, saving, giving, or investing your resources, consistent self-discipline that looks to God for guidance results in a life that is blessed.
Working together to win together for the cause of Christ,