Honoring God in Your Financial Decisions
By Andrea Smith
(Second in a series)
When it comes to making financial decisions, my husband and I have always tried to honor and put God first. At the beginning of each year we make budgeting a priority, and we focus on setting aside the money we give first. Then we talk about our spending habits and pre-decide how to allocate our income in the coming months.
Since certain expenses only occur during specific times of the year, my husband and I like to use mint.com as a tool to help us see our expenses in real time and amortize certain items across the year, especially for insurance, tax bills, or other items that might just be a one-time or quarterly payment. We have the chance to adjust categories when needed to reflect what non-negotiable things are realistically costing us. At the end of the year, we can see if we need to make adjustments for the next year. You can also use Excel, Numbers, or Sheets—whatever you already have on your computer, tablet, or phone—to track things manually.
Tracking our expenses allows us to have healthy conversations about the best ways to move forward, even if we have to find ways to cut spending. It also makes room for fun topics like vacation planning and provides a safe space for negotiating other big-ticket items like new cars, health insurance, and housing.
When we don’t plan, we’re forced to live reactively, which leads to arguments and harsh words. So not only do these habits make life easier, but they also help us to respect each other more and honor God in all areas of our lives. We’re far from living out a perfect budget, but when we make the time to be proactive about it and plan ahead, a lot of stress is removed, even if we find we can’t have or do everything we wanted to do.
In the past, I’d gone into a shutdown, survival-type mode as a reactionary way of dealing with financial stress or hardship. But as I’ve experienced different challenges in my adult life, my relationship with God has grown—I’ve found that trusting God to provide for our financial needs has taught us so much about His promises to care for us. Putting God first in the financial conversation can help remove our selfish desires and make room in our hearts for change. When we let go, we have the opportunity to experience God’s provision and blessings in our lives.
From grocery shopping and paying bills, to navigating debt, and even living out financial freedom—God is ultimately in control and can use your story for His glory if you let Him.
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. - Colossians 2:6-7 (NASB)
Andrea Smith works full-time as a small business owner, freelance designer and artist, and has a passion for branding, digital marketing, good stationery, travel, and palm trees. She is also a part-time LCC staff member and lives with her husband and two rescue pups in Bluffton, S.C.
Need to get a handle on your finances? Financial Peace University can show you how! This nine-week class, meeting on Monday evenings beginning September 16, includes video lessons featuring Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze and Chris Hogan. You will learn how to budget, pay off debt, invest for the future and more!