So, why do you spend money? It’s something that all of us do on a daily basis. How come? What drives you to swipe that credit card, hand over that twenty, or write that check? What’s behind those decisions? This blog not only is a journey toward financial independence, but an exploration of the motivations behind our spending. Forcing ourselves to spend less could lead to temporary financial independence, but I think getting at the heart issues behind why we do things is ultimately what will change us. Amassing wealth does not happen overnight, but rather, little by little.
The Bible talks a lot about money, but for me when thinking about money, a good place to start is going back to the basics of Christian faith. God loves his children, and provides for them (Some passages about this are: Matthew 6:31-32, Genesis 9:3, Philippians 4:19). So, it’s not really YOUR money, it’s God money that he has lent to you for your time on Earth. That means that every credit or debit card swipe, or cash transaction is an act of worship. So what, or who, are you worshiping?
Some questions and truths I have found incredibly helpful on reversing how I think about money (and things I remind myself of often), are:
- Why are you buying the item? Do you need it?
- My downfall is that I’ll get caught up in a great sale and think – oh 40% off maybe I should go buy myself some pants, when really I don’t need anymore pants. So then I just spent $50 on pants, and even though it was a good deal, I didn’t need it and that’s just $50 I could have saved. In the words of my husband “There will always be a good sale Kristen”. So, I challenge you to take a step back from what you are purchasing and ask yourself if it’s something that is necessary for you at that time. 1 Timothy 6:10 says “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” Take care to place your love in Jesus, and not the money He has given you.
- Can you buy a less expensive alternative?
- I know I know, I said it, and I’m a hypocrit, as I sit here wearing designer jeans. This blogging thing is pretty humbling. But it’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately, and I challenge you to ask yourself it as well: is the designer brand really worth it when there is a cheaper alternative often at a fraction of the price? Are you worried about what others will think of you? Galatians 1:10 says “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Another powerful verse is Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” Fearing man means simply: fearing or being worried about what others think of you. So take a step back and ask yourself, “Why am I purchasing this really expensive thing-a-majigger?” If you find yourself worried about what others think or trying to fit in, fear not, because you don’t have to buy God’s love. And ultimately, His opinion is the one that really matters.
- Where you spend your money says what you value, and I might argue, what you worship.
- Get on a budget (see my blog post here about how to do that), and start examining where you are spending your money. You might be surprised how the little purchases are adding up. Proverbs 3:9-10 says: “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” This verse means, if you’re a Christian, are you honoring God with your money? Or are you frivolously spending it on things that don’t matter and will just perish with time?
- At the end of the day, remember, it is God who provides.
- Deuteronomy 8:18: “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”