For many people, the financial world is full of a dizzying amount of options.
I think we’re taught to think that those of us with simple financial plans are missing out on our great opportunities. We think those with healthy finances are the risk takers. They are the folks with insider investing information.
Quite honestly, what it takes to be financially healthy is not glamorous. In fact, if I told you my secret to ‘wealth building’, you’d probably snicker at how ignorant and unsophisticated I am.
The key to your financial future is your spending habits.
A Slow and Simple Financial Plan
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. Proverbs 13:11
I’m amazed at the number of people who are looking for the next get rich quick opportunity. They either want to double their investments or start a business that will make them rich. So they take tremendous risks – with very little information – in an attempt to get ahead of the curve.
Yet, this is a race where the slow turtle does win. You might not be the wealthiest kid on the block, but you’ll be financially healthy and in a place where you can help God’s work around the world.
I tend to practice financial principles for dummies. My guiding financial principles are so simple that it seems silly that I need to mention them, but it’s clearly complicated enough that more than half of Americans find themselves in debt they wish they didn’t have.
My Slow and Simplistic Guiding Principles
- Avoid the lure of advertising and be content with what you have. The result is that you’ll spend less than you earn and practice the biblical call of contentment.
- Save a portion of every paycheck starting with your very first paycheck.
- Give a portion of every paycheck. Giving is a way to honor God by recognizing that all you have is a gift from him.
- Save up the money you need to buy the stuff you want/need. It’s amazing to me that our culture allows us to buy things that we can’t afford. Sure, it’s nice that there are ways we can buy things on credit (like a house), but credit should be an exception – not the rule.
- Invest a part of your savings in something you understand. Again, avoid the fancy footwork. Find an investing plan THAT YOU UNDERSTAND and take an appropriate amount of risk for your age.
If every American started following these five financial practices, then we could reduce household debt by 50% in five years.
Do you have any simple guiding principles that have helped you develop a healthy approach to personal finances?