The Simplified Budget

Sometimes all you need to get started is a simple push in the right direction … which is why we’ve created a free resource called “The Simplified Budget”.

This worksheet will give you pre-set categories to help you easily fill in the blanks with your own personal budget.

If you need to add or change any category – feel free to do so! The first step towards creating a better budget is simply knowing  the facts – what is coming in, and what is going out … and this worksheet will help you do that!

If you have any questions or need help with the download, please feel free to email us at info@faithfulwithfinances.org.

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Get Your Free Download Here

- Faithful with Finances

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Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

 

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What’s not to love about Thanksgiving? Memorable times, your quirky family, and that huge turkey just waiting for all of you to DIG IN!

Whether you are hosting or attending – one thing is for sure … it can be expensive to feed ALL those people!

The truth is that many families struggle during this time of year. They are expected to put on a BIG feast – and that ends up costing them a hefty amount of money to do.

We thought it would be fun to round up the best, most budget-friendly recipes that will give you not only a fun holiday with your family, but one you won’t be left regretting!

Feel free to make one of these budget-savers this Thanksgiving … we guarantee no one will even know the difference!

Apple Pie Bites

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Recipe Here

These lovely little bites involve crescent rolls and slices of apples, along with a few staples you already have in your pantry. The perfect dessert solution to keep your wallet at bay!

Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole

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Recipe Here

The key to saving during Thanksgiving can simply mean “buying around sales”. If you know you will make a sweet potato casserole – be on the lookout for sales on sweet potatoes and pecans. Fortunately, this recipe calls for marshmallows – a very inexpensive ingredient any time of the year!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Recipe Here

With only 5 ingredients (one being salt & pepper!) this recipe is a total winner. You can count on this recipe stealing the show with it’s high ratings and delicious flavors …

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

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Recipe Here

This may be similar in cost to your typical mashed potato recipe – but it will be a huge time and sanity saver! If you are the one hosting Thanksgiving, you will definitely appreciate this recipe.

Cheesy Pull Apart Rolls

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Recipe Here

Sometimes it’s fun to add a slight spin on the old classics! In comes this recipe … a wonderful twist on classic rolls. With only a few ingredients, they are also shining stars in the budget category.

We hope you enjoyed this recipe round up!! Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite!

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Black Friday Dos And Don’ts

faithfulwithfinances:

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With Black Friday right around the corner, it’s great to equip yourself with some good tips and tricks! Here are some awesome ways to save …

Originally posted on The Debt Blog:

With Black friday nine nights away, customers are critically evaluating budgets and their holiday shopping lists while perusing programs and the advertisements because of their favorite shops.

1. Cash doesn’t Equal Love. In case you are striving to decrease expenses, or can not locate the loss leader, the finest presents are seldom the ones you purchase at the shopping center, but presents of love, expertise, ability and time. This might incorporate a playlist or a special scrap-book, or a thing you prepare paint or craft. Presents of love plus time that are significant and private will be far more memorable, thus do not shun guarantee coupons for a home cooked meal nights baby sitting oil-change,, garage-cleanup, or doing taxes.

2. Buddy Your chosen Retailers. Many retailers are providing special deals on FB and Twitter. It is advisable to incorporate your preferred shops for your friend listing (at least for for…

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Kick Your Bad Habits and Make New Ones

Kick Your Bad Habits

What makes a bad habit?

Something you’ve been doing for years that only makes your situation worse.

A good habit may be hard to develop at first, but changing what you already do now will make life much easier in the long run. Consider what you might be doing right now that causes hardships on you financially. Are you a spender? Are you late on payments? Do you keep your documents organized? There are so many little things we can do to get ourselves on a better path financially, so let’s take a look at some ideas on how to fix our bad habits.

Here are some examples of things you might need to work through:

  1. Putting expenses on your credit card and not paying them off at the end of the month
  2. Assuming you’re too young or too old to start investing for the future
  3. Having debt left to pay off, other than student loans or mortgage
  4. Keeping all of your money in a checking account
  5. Impulse shopping- failing to learn to buy what you actually need
  6. Waiting to start your financial planning until after you’re married
  7. Only focusing on yourself without doing any charitable giving
  8. Not having a firm grasp on your budget, knowing when to save
  9. Not saving a set amount automatically out of every paycheck
  10. Ignoring coupons
  11. Living beyond your means

Many people go through the fear of facing their habits and not knowing whether they can change. The good news is, we have the victory in Christ to change, and God is doing a new work in us! Romans 12:2 states this clearly, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

He does not want us to spend time in our old habits, because this distracts us from truly working hard to become stewards of His resources.

So what do we do now? How do we change our habits that we’ve developed for years? The first tip is to pick just one. Don’t tackle on all of them just yet, but instead, pick one habit that really hinders your stewardship, and work on it for 30 days. Set your mind to it, and after 30 days, you will see the fruit of your labor. Whether it be at a certain time of day, or as a trigger from something else, purpose in your heart to lean on the Lord and not your own way of doing things.

Here are some good habits to look towards and to replace your bad habits:

  1. De-cluttering  & Organizing your financial papers
  2. Saving up for a purchase (avoiding credit)
  3. Using a 30-day list for all non-essential purchases-(When you desire something, don’t purchase it immediately, put it on a list and look at it 30 days later to see if you really need it.)
  4. Pay your bills right when you get them
  5. Take 20 minutes a week to update your budget
  6. Search through the 2,000 verses that speak on money/possessions
  7. Use an envelope system (only cash)
  8. Find accountability in a friend

Remember, practice makes perfect, and the Lord loves to see His children honoring Him in their everyday lives.  Think about what you might need to change, consider that the Lord needs to be your rock and security, not your finances.

Do you have a bad habit you want to kick? Share it below!

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Lentils and Spanish Rice

faithfulwithfinances:

In need of a healthy budget-friendly recipe? Look no further! We love this awesome lentil and spanish rice dish from “The Collection: Broadening My World”. This would be a great possibility for a meatless-Monday dinner, or any dinner of the week, and will save your grocery bill MAJOR bucks! Do you have a go-to inexpensive recipe? Share with us below!

 

Originally posted on The Collection: Broadening My World:

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Trying to find new meals for dinner is difficult. Then trying to think of new meals to make on a budget that are vegetarian can become even trickier. This lentils and spanish rice recipe is a healthy vegetarian recipe on a budget. I felt pretty accomplished when I came up with the idea personally. I found a recipe on Pinterest that I adapted to create this meal.

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Ingredients:

Yields 6 Servings

  • 1 cup of Instant Brown Rice
  • 1 cup of Lentils
  • 3/4 cup of onion
  • 3/4 of a Green Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper (If you like your food mild only add 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 (10 ounce) Can of Rotel Mexican Festival Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Package of Romaine Hearts
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees

2.) Cook…

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Do You Consider Yourself a Steward?

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Believe it or not, if you are a Christian … you are called to be a steward.

You may have never realized until now that this is the job you were called to, but God takes great delight in making you a steward of His resources, and He is waiting for you to become faithful with what He has blessed you with.

Charles Spurgeon puts it this way …

“Every child of God is where God has placed him for some purpose, and the practical use of this first point is to lead you to inquire for what practical purpose has God placed each one of you where you now are? You have been wishing for another position where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind, but serve him where you are. If you are sitting at the King’s gate there is something for you to do there, and if you were on the queen’s throne, there would be something for you to do there; do not ask either to be gatekeeper or queen, but whichever you are, serve God therein. Brother, are you rich? God has made you a steward, take care that you are a good steward.”

If you have ever spent your days wishing or hoping for a different position in life – it’s time to stop!

God has placed you EXACTLY where you are for a reason … and He wants you to be a steward in that position.

What does this look like if you’re a stay at home mom? Or a cubical worker? Or a garbage collector?

All occupations, all callings, all lives can be lived for the glory of God – no matter where you are or what you do.

Here are 3 Ways to Become a Better Steward Today:

  1. Look for Opportunities to Share the Gospel

We are stewards of the great message that Christ has given us – the gospel! Because you have been entrusted with this, don’t be afraid to share it. Take special care of that message and reach souls for Christ when you get those opportunities.

  1. Live Your Life Out In Front of Others with GREAT Stewardship

Do you take care of the little things? The big things? People will notice. Let the words of your mouth be gratefulness, an attitude of contentment & gratitude. (Need inspiration on how to do this? Check out our last post on gratitude.) Before you know it, others around you will see the stewardship in your life.

  1. Take a Hard Look at How You Spend Your Time, Talents, & Treasures

The three important areas we are called to be stewards of is our “time, talent & treasures”. Take a look at how and where you spend your time, if you are using your talents to your full ability, and the way you handle and give your money.

Remember that becoming a good steward doesn’t happen overnight … it is a slow process that grows us to become more and more like our Savior.

Do you have ways that you practice stewardship in your life? Share with us!

- Erika from Faithful with Finances 

How to Not Blow Your Budget This Weekend

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When the weekend comes, many of us find ourselves in a spending frenzy…

We have dinner with friends, we have friends over for dinner, we see family, we drive to see a new place, we go on a date night, we have football parties …

Let’s face it, if there was ever a time to “blow the budget” it would be the weekend!

In a normal workweek, it can be easy to simply pack your lunch, come home & make dinner, and there’s really little time left in the day to do too much damage.

But when you have an ENTIRE day off … that’s when the spending begins!

Here are 5 sure ways to NOT blow your budget this weekend:

1. Remind Yourself of Your Categories

You once set up a budget … a long time ago … at the beginning of this month. Revisit the categories you might be spending in, and make sure to check yourself and see if you can even spend this weekend. Do you have money left in your “eating out” category? Can you afford to go shopping – even for something small? If not, find other fun things to do. Have a picnic, or play a new sport. Need inspiration? Visit our post on the 10 free things you can do today.

2. Look for Sales Ahead of Time

Planning a football party? They are pretty popular this time of the year! Plan your menu around the sales. If pork is 50% off in your weekly flyer – make pork carnitas, or something “partyish” that involves the item that is on sale. You will save MAJOR bucks doing this instead of creating a fancy menu with 1,000 ingredients.

3. Don’t Impulse Buy

Have you been wanting to go check out a new car this weekend? Take the time to make your purchase – DON’T feel pressured by the salespeople, DON’T make a decision right on the spot, and DON’T follow your impulses when you see something shiny and new. Go home, think about it, analyze it with your spouse or someone you can be accountable to, and then make your decision. It’s also a great idea to do the “30 day” rule where you wait 30 days to make a big purchase. Your mind can easily change in that time period.

4. Plan for the Week Ahead

Use the time you have at home this weekend to do some planning. Plan out your meals, your budget, and look over your expenses. Reminding yourself of the spending you will do in the coming week will be the ultimate “reality check” to help you stop spending this weekend.

5. Visit Somewhere Close

Depending on where you live, there are so many fun things to do in your area. With gas prices so high, it can be tough to take long trips over the weekend, only to come back Sunday night and fill up your tank again. Play “tourist” in your area and do some of the things that you normally wouldn’t do. Want to earn bonus points in the frugal category? Bike to your destination! You and your family will have lots of fun, and you will save money by not burning through gas.

Ultimately, we hope you enjoy your weekend and have lots of fun. We are here simply to give you great ideas to still have an amazing time without breaking the bank!

Have an idea to share? We love to hear from you, leave a comment below!

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

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A Moment of Gratefulness

I usually start the day with a “list” …

- clean the kitchen

- make breakfast

- go to work

- buy enchilada sauce

- fill up the Sonata

- get a birthday card

They are usually very mundane, unimportant tasks … but I enjoy having a “list” to help me get through the day.

The other day as I was going through my list, I quickly stopped at the gas station, impatiently waiting for the tank to fill up, when a thought occurred to me …

I am so blessed to be able to fill up my gas tank right now. 

Not only do we use the car to get to and from work, we often go see family that are about an hour and half way – once a week!

There are people that can barely afford to put gas in their car just to get to work.

I am blessed.

It’s these moments of gratefulness that we need to observe throughout our lives. We can’t simply go through our day without thinking about and thanking our great God for constantly providing for us.

Maybe you don’t have the nicest clothes, the nicest car, the nicest house, but you DO have a roof over your head, plenty of meals to eat, and MUCH more than the rest of the world.

In the US, and especially in California, we live in a very “blessed” area, yet it is very common to hear people walking around complaining.

Don’t let that be you.

Take a moment today to thank your great God for what He has provided, not focusing on what He has not.

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

P.S. Did this post make you think of something you could be more grateful for? Please share, we love to hear from you!

Our Favorite Ways To Save This Fall

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Fall is the beginning of the holiday season, and stores abound with decorations signifying the changing leaves and upcoming Christmas bustle. Splurging around this time of year is very common. And this is why we want to offer you a few creative and fun ways to save this Fall that will get you in the mood AND save you money. It’s a win-win! Feel free to involve your kids in any one of these ideas … they will be sure to get everyone excited for the changing seasons!

DIY Leaf Mason Jars

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With only a few supplies needed, these DIY jars will add the perfect touch of Fall to your home. Set them in your kitchen or on your table as a centerpiece.

Pumpkin & Floral Front Door Display

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http://www.pinterest.com/pin/412431278349223025/

This beautiful example of “Fall Front Door Decor” can be done on your own with supplies you have around the house. Add some firewood, a pumpkin, lantern and/or candles, and finish it off by buying an inexpensive floral arrangement.

DIY Fall Wreath

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Just spending a few minutes on Pinterest can give you a million ideas for DIY wreaths! Find an easy and inexpensive one and you will save over $30 simply by making your own.

Decorated Pumpkins

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The best part about this DIY home decor is the savings! You only need three supplies – a pumpkin, spray paint, & a marker. Too easy.

Have any ideas to add? We would love to hear them!

- Faithful with Finances

God As the Ultimate Giver

Have you ever thought of God as a “generous giver”?

He is the ultimate example of what it means to give generously and freely to others.

A popular verse we hear thrown around very often is John 3:16 …

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The cross was a pure act of generosity. God chose to give us His Son. To allow Him to be dragged through the mud, beaten, scorn. And He did this all for us – to GIVE us this free gift.

In James 1:17 we read “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…”

Every gift we receive in our lives that is “good” and “perfect” comes from the ultimate giver of gifts.

He specifically places special acts of grace within our lives to let us know that He cares.

Think of a thoughtful fiancé that wants to let his future wife know he is thinking of her … so he leaves a dozen roses for her to come home to after a long day at work.

Not only does God give us little gifts like this, He also gives us BIG ones …

Our family, our health, our finances, our children …

He will always be there for us, looking for ways to give us special gifts every single day.

Knowing that this is the character of God, His true giving character, how do you feel about the way you are giving back to Him?

Have you given Him “good” and “perfect” gifts from what you have?

Take this week to reevaluate your giving, and if needed, make a change to be more generous. God will ultimately reward those that will chose to let go and give in a more sacrificial way.

- Faithful with Finances

Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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The average American household spends an insane amount of their paycheck on groceries. How can this be? Among the many problems that contribute to this, here are a few:

1. Prices are on the rise -

We are all well-aware of the constant inflation rate, and our groceries are no exception. Prices continue to rise, and families are caught trying to cook meals at home while overspending in their grocery budgets every month.

2. “Healthy” is expensive -

Gone are the days where living on the land was the most affordable thing to do. We now find ourselves walking into health food stores shocked by the prices we see on a simple box of oatmeal.

3. Time is of the essence -

In many households, both parents carry their own jobs. This leaves less and less time for couponing, saving, and taking the time to plan out the trip to the grocery store.

In order to truly “cut your grocery bill in half” you will need to take a few important steps. Don’t worry … they are easy! Before you know it, you will see the savings start to grow.

If you can begin to change this one area of your spending, you will see major improvements in your overall budget.

Given that this is one of the biggest spending categories in American budgets, it’s important that we take control of this area.

Here Are 5 Things to Do Today to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half: 

1. Pick One Day of the Week to Plan

On that day, you will only need to carve out an hour or less. Make sure you stick to that day every week, or else you will run out of time and start buying meals on a whim – which means more spending.

On this day, you will need 2 things – 1.) The sale flyer for the store you shop at and … 2.) Your grocery store’s mobile app with downloadable coupons

From here, write down a list of every day’s meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you want to start slow, simply write down dinners for the week.

Look at what’s on sale, compare it to coupons in your app (if there’s a sale AND a coupon you’ve hit the jackpot!) and plan your meals around those sales.

I typically plan Mon-Thurs meals because I know we will be with family or friends on Friday night. Do what works with your schedule.

Store your “list” in your phone along with your downloaded coupons and you can do this shopping trip whenever your schedule allows.

2. Shop 1 Day of the Week

Get all of your shopping done on that one day, according to your list. This should be very easy for you to do and should take less than an hour, but make sure you carve out the time for it. Think of the time you will save avoiding the store 3-4 times a week like most families! (especially during the after-work rush hour!)

The only time I deviate from the list is if I can find the store brand product that beats the price of my sale ad & coupon price. This happens on occasion, so I will just go with the store brand. That will save you BIG in the long run.

3. Pay Cash

Maybe you haven’t jumped on the “envelope system” bandwagon, but you CAN make a big difference in your budget by simply paying cash for groceries.

There’s is something innately frugal about paying cash: you know exactly what you have, you can’t spend any more than that, and you are sure you will stay within your budget.

The magic starts to happen when you realize that with this fixed amount, you can get creative in many different ways. Eventually you will see yourself buying A LOT for a little.

4. Plan for Days You Don’t Want to Cook

Throughout the week, unexpected things will happen. You will find yourself getting lazy, and that favorite chinese takeout restaurant sounds AMAZING.

So how do you combat this? Simply plan for those days.

Whether this means store-bought pizza (less expensive than takeout pizza), or freezer-friendly microwave meals that take seconds to prepare … plan for those days.

Here’s a simple comparison:

Cost of chinese takeout for 2 ppl = $20 – $25

Cost of “Pf Changs” refrigerated takeout meal for two at the grocery store = $5

**thats 4x-5x the savings!**

Thursday happens to be “that day” for me. I never want to cook on Thursdays! Maybe it’s because Friday is so close, or maybe it’s just because I can’t handle the monotony of cooking one more night, but Thursday is definitely my week spot. Because of this, I have built into the list either a pre-made meal, refrigerated pizza dough, or something very convenient to make like quesadillas.

5. Make Your Grocery Budget Reasonable

One of the biggest mistakes budgeters make is creating a spending category that is too strict. This can make you feel like a failure, as you will often miss the mark.

Decide on a reasonable amount to spend that you won’t feel “deprived” by at the end of the week. If you feel too deprived, you will end up “binge spending” at the end of the week – similar to what happens to people on a diet. They are deprived from their favorite foods only to binge on pizza Friday night!

Make sure this doesn’t happen to you, and create a solid spending category that you can consistently meet each week.

Put these 5 tips into practice today and you will see MAJOR improvements in that grocery bill!

- Faithful with Finances

What it Takes to Live Below Your Means

loose changeYou want the hard truth? The absolute hard truth?

Living below your means is NOT easy.

You will have to make sacrifices … on many occasions.

You will feel like giving up.

You will take each purchase seriously … even when it’s your favorite Starbucks drink.

You will want to complain.

You will feel deprived at times.

But in the end … you will GROW to love this lifestyle.

You will see your bank account slowly grow.

You will feel a huge relief from stress.

Your heart and mind will begin to seek God.

You will let go of the material, and look towards the immaterial.

You will appreciate the little things.

You will care more about the people around you … not the things around you.

You will meet your goals.

You will banish debt.

You will release contentment.

It can happen to you … yes you!

The only way to start is to start today.

Think about the sacrifices you will have to make, but more importantly, think about the rewards.

- Faithful with Finances 

A Little Reminder …

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Never forget to count your blessings, remember there are others who have much less than you, and give God the glory for what you do have.

- Faithful with Finances

If you’d like to see more inspire quotes like this, follow us on Pinterest!

Your Kids on a Budget: a Match Made in Heaven

Is it possible to teach our kids about how to honor God with money at a young age? Will they even grasp the concepts? Is it worth the effort?

There are many ways to get your kids started on the right path, and it is our duty as moms and grandmothers to start instilling God’s principles early on in their hearts. We are all familiar with the Proverbs 22:6 verse that states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Our hope through all of this is to train our children in such a way that they will long to glorify God when they are older, and not think twice about it!

So where do we begin?

Here are some simple and easy steps to get your kids on the right track, and hey, you might even learn in the process!

Step 1: Teach Your Children about Money Management

Start by setting up an envelope system with them. Determine what their needs might be, and make a “best guess” of what they would spend in each category. You will learn through the process what their actual spending might be. Remember, this is not about “perfection” in handling money, but more about the process of teaching your child how to become responsible.

If you are working with a younger child, start out by giving them envelopes of “play money” that will last throughout the year. Whenever they want something, they can take it out of their envelope of play money for that category, and you can hand them real money in return. Pretty soon, you will begin to see them really consider their purchases, and decide what to hold back on, or what to spend on.

If you are working with older kids, the same principles will apply, but instead, you are giving them real money. Set up a checking and/or savings account with them, and teach them in the process how it all works. Give them the chance to budget through the account. Also show them how to keep track of where their money is going, and give them the chance to do this themselves.

Step 2: Teach Your Children about Giving and Saving

It is important to instill early on in your child’s life that giving is extremely important. Although they may be reluctant at first, their hearts will eventually turn to joyful giving, especially if they are able to experience the joy of the Lord’s work being done. One simple way to do this with your child is to take 10% of whatever they might earn, (chores around the house, allowance, or a job), and give that away. One way to really involve your child in the giving process is to watch what interests them. Do they love being around other children? Donate to a ministry that works to provide food and shelter for other children. Take another 10%, and put that into savings. This will teach them the importance of saving right away, and not wait until the last moment when there is nothing left to save.

Overall, give your children a reason to thank the Lord for what He has done. Continually remind them that the money they might receive is not theirs, it all belongs to the Lord.

 

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Your Challenge: Be Completely Opposite of the World

“Given a choice, most people would choose to be rich. 

They dream about inheriting a million dollars, 

even if none of their relatives have that much. 

They spend money they often can’t afford 

to lose on lottery tickets, hoping to win the big jackpot. 

They play slot machines and gamble at casino tables, 

sure they can double and triple their money. 

As Alexander Pope wrote, ‘Hope springs eternal.’ 

Even when people win or inherit money, they want more. 

No matter how much money a person has, it’s rarely enough. 

Millionaires confess they don’t feel rich enough, 

although you’d probably change places with one any time. 

Surprisingly, many lottery winners go bankrupt 

or encounter serious financial problems 

within five years of winning huge jackpots 

because they don’t know how to handle wealth, 

and then they need more. 

It’s a vicious cycle.”

Everything the Bible Says about Money 

As you reflect on the words written in this book, take a minute to examine the intentions in your own heart. 

Here at Faithful with Finances, we are big on doing the complete opposite of what the world tells us. 

The world is pretty convinced that you can “get rich quick” and “more money will solve all of your problems” – when we as Christians know this can’t be true.

God causes trials and tribulations to enter into our lives for a reason, and that includes money problems! 

When you find yourself entrapped in thoughts of wealth and wanting more, think specifically about why God has placed you in the situation you’re in. 

He has you here for a reason, and He doesn’t necessarily want you to escape your circumstances, but instead, to grow through them. 

Today, focus on being the “complete opposite” of the world. Don’t go after false sources of money and spending. Think about one way you can put this into practice…and go do it! 

- Faithful with Finances

Giving to God First

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Many times we hear the phrase “give to God first”, yet many of us don’t realize what that actually looks like in our lives.

Giving to God first ultimately means putting Him in the “#1″ position to everything you earn.

Whatever you have decided in your heart to give, don’t hesitate to make that happen right as you receive it.

When you decide to put God at the bottom of the list, you can begin to loose sight of your priorities. Many people will pay all of their bills, their mortgage, their credit cards, and come to find in the end that there is nothing left to give.

If you are in this position, we encourage you to give to God from the “first of all your produce”. In other words – the first of your income.

Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

No matter how small, or how insignificant it might be, make sure you give God that #1 priority spot starting today!

- Faithful with Finances

Making God A Part of Your Everyday Choices

We are posed with choices every single day.

Should we chose this route over that route? Cream and sugar in our coffee, or black? Take the subway or drive? Chicken or fish for dinner?

Little do we know, we make a million choices each and every day, most of them subconsciously.

How can we make God a part of those everyday choices, and ultimately make Him the center of our thought life?

The Bible’s answer is very clear… “pray continually”.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In this verse we are told to do 3 things:

1. Rejoice

2. Pray

3. Give Thanks

These three things should be a part of our every day lives as Christians, and in them, we learn to never take God’s faithfulness for granted.

Let’s think about what this would look like in a normal every-day situation. Say…driving to work?

We can CHOSE to drive to work aimlessly, listening to some mediocre song on the radio…or we can CHOSE to do these three steps. It would look a little something like this:

Step 1: “Lord, thank you for this new day! What a great Savior I have in you, you always seem to take care of me, no matter what the day throws at me!”

Step 2: “Help me to give my worries to you today. As I go to this job day-in and day-out, present an opportunity for me to share your love with someone else.”

Step 3: “Thank you for your constant and true blessings in my life. Thank you for my family, for this job, for this car. You have provided for me and I am beyond thankful.”

If you make it habit to consciously think these types of thoughts in your everyday life – trust me – big things will happen!

One amazing attribute of our heavenly Father is His love for us. Think about it for a second. He doesn’t have to talk to us, to answer our prayers, to love us in amazing ways. He doesn’t have to do any of it, but He choses to!

Give back to Him through rejoicing, praying and thanking Him for what He has done in your life today.

In what ways do you make God a part of your every day life?

Wanting More

Most of you have seen this type of commercial. The AT&T representative interviews kids and asks them simple, funny questions. What’s even funnier? Their answers!

This one struck me in particular. The AT&T guy goes on to say, “Who thinks more is better than less?” Surprise surprise, every single kid raises their hand!

The cute little girl goes on to ramble about “more” being WAY better than less, and how sometimes your parents say you can’t have more!

Although this commercial is meant to be humorous, it is also meant to resonate with the mass majority that MORE is what we really need. We need MORE money, MORE cars, MORE possessions. It’s a never-ending spiral that can consume a person’s entire life.

So what should we as believers take away from this?

We can’t give in to the spiral. Most of the Christian life is counter-cultural, and this area is no exception.

The Lord teaches us a much different concept…contentment.

Hebrews 13:5

“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I every forsake you.’ “

Proverbs 30:8

“Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with the food that is my portion.”

Today, think about the things in your life that cause you discontentment. Are you not happy with your savings? With your house? With your clothes?

Choose today to think about what God HAS given you, and what He HAS blessed you with.

What areas do you struggle with? How have you overcome them? Leave us a comment below!

How to Handle Worry

 

Worry can consume even the most steadfast and faithful servants. God never intended for worry to enter our lives. He loves us and steadily takes care of us…worry is not a part of His plan!

 

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

 

His desire is for Christians to FULLY trust in Him, to give Him their complete confidence. The sad truth is that many of us fall short of this.

 

Here are a few simple ways to put TRUST into action…and worry in the backseat!

 

1. Start Your Day with an Honest Prayer

 

Give the Lord your worries at the start of every day. Whatever it might be. Your mortgage, your bills, your kid’s upcoming college tuition. He will listen, and He does care. Give it to Him in the utmost honesty, because He already knows how you feel…before you even pray about it!

 

2. Deliberately Give Your Problems to Him

 

At the end of that prayer, make sure you go out of your way to say, “Lord, this is now in your hands.” Give it specifically to Him, because in the end, He is the one that will take care of it! His heart is to watch over you, and going this extra step to give Him the praise will only cause your relationship with Him to grow even stronger.

 

3. Meditate on Scripture that Causes You to Trust

 

One of the best ways to guard against ungodly emotions and feelings is to hide scripture in your heart. Have it ready on the tip of your tongue so you can fight whatever emotional battle comes your way. Meditate on scriptures that specifically cause YOU to trust in the Lord, and that minister to YOUR needs.

 

In case you need a little help getting started, here are a few of our favorites:

John 14:27

 

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

 

Philippians 4: 6-7

 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

Psalm 55:22

 

“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”

 

Start each new day giving the Lord your praise and He will turn back around and bless you for it. Never forget His promises and find peace in His great, almighty plan!

How do you combat against worry? Do you have a specific way to give your trust over to Him? Share it with us below!

Insights for Christians on Faith & Finances

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