In nearly every article I read concerning divorce, finances are listed as a common cause. Many marriages and homes have been broken over money matters, and it can steal your joy and peace if you let it. Don’t let it.
You can take control of your finances.
The heart solution here is this: don’t get too attached to your money.
Realize that the Lord has blessed you with it–it’s all HIS anyway. He will provide for your needs. We should only be good stewards of what He has given us. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in money matters. Paul cautioned us against that. He tells us that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Not money, but “the love of money” is the root of all evil.
The love of money is not a rich person problem. People from all walks of life can become greedy and too focused on their money. If you are overspending and stressing about every bill that comes in, money is probably taking up too much of your focus. (No judgment! I’ve been there. But you don’t have to stay there!)
Yes, money is a necessary tool, but we shouldn’t let it be more than that in our lives.
I love the words of the apostle Paul,
…I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:10-13) [emphasis mine]
I am a firm believer in taking scripture in context. We all know Phil 4:13. The verses previous to that tell us that Paul has learned to be content in whatever state he is in. He has learned to abound and to suffer need. How can he do this? Because he can do all things through Christ. And so can we.
We need to trust the Lord with our finances, and look to Him in all things.
There are some practical steps that you can take to having peace in your finances.
- Pray. Yes, this will likely show up on every list. Trust the Lord with your finances.
- Make a budget. I know this is a “bad” word. But truly, I believe that is the most powerful thing you can do to gain peace in your finances (learn how to make your own budget here). A budget is not a restriction. Your income is the restriction. A budget helps you direct your money, and gives you freedom. If ends aren’t being met, you can work with the numbers to see where cuts need to be made for that to happen. Yes, I’m a numbers nerd, but I believe a basic budget is important even if you aren’t.
- Tithe. Yes, I know that seems counter-intuitive, but truly it is not. No matter how much money you have (or don’t have) I believe that tithes and offerings should come right off the top and be non-negotiable. I have seen countless times where the Lord has provided for us. If you have a problem with your finances, I can pretty much guarantee that it is not because you are tithing.
- Don’t buy things you can’t afford. Sometimes we have to accept that spending money on certain things just isn’t in the budget right now. It means having patience to wait until we can afford it instead of swiping a credit card. (Say “no” to credit cards!)
Can I tell you a secret? You don’t “deserve” nice things. I think I just felt the room shift.
No, I’m not insulting you, I’m stating an across-the-board fact. We do not “deserve” nice things that we can’t afford. Period. I’ve seen so many people break their budget because of this, and it leads to more stress when the bills come due. We have become so entitled in this country that we think we deserve that new car, a bigger house, nicer clothes and accessories…but we just don’t. If you can afford it without stressing about money? Go for it. If you can’t, then you need to resist.
Your restraint will make the fewer luxuries so much more satisfying, knowing that you earned them!
Additional Articles & Resources
- Get out of Debt on a Low Budget–a series I did here on the blog, chronicling our journey to become debt free. Lots of good stuff here!
- 4 Signs You’re Trusting God With Your Money (or not)
- Money Saving Tips from the Amish Lifestyle.
- Money Saving Mom–I have a lot of respect for Crystal as a blogger, mother and homemaker. She shares great tips and articles concerning finances.
- Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (book)
- How I feed my family of 4 on a $200/month grocery budget
- Money Secrets of the Amish (book)
Y’all, I am soooo excited about today’s giveaway!!! I am giving away a complete home study kit of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University!!! We did not follow Dave Ramsey exactly, but I know that his program and teachings have helped a lot of people, and if you need a little push to get you started in the right direction, that is the way to go!