Tag Archives: Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom Principle #9: Operate on a spending plan

For many people the “b” word is a bad word. They see a budget as retraining; as choking their lifestyle. However, one of the most freeing tools at your disposal is a budget. For those who do not like the word budget use the phrase “a spending plan.” We could also call it a saving plan or a giving plan.

Basically, there are three things we can do with money. We can spend it, save it, or give it away. Giving away money is a fun thing to do; more about that later. Saving (investing) money is a wise thing to do. Spending money is what we have to do or want to do. In order that we may do all three of these in a Christ honoring manner, we need to know our income and our expected outgo. Thus, the need for a spending plan.

There are many spending plans you could use. For sure, all of them should have the goal of fulfilling the biblical admonition found in 1 Corinthians 14:40. There we find, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

Without a workable and useable plan, we will find the words of Proverbs 23:5 coming into play. “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven. Another way to say that is, if we do not tell money where to go, it will disappear. Many of us have started the day with a certain amount of money in our possession, by the end of the day, it is gone, and we do not know where it went. It just flew away like the Proverb states.

Think of a spending plan like an email address or mailing address on an envelope. You would not send one of these without an address. You want it to reach it’s intended recipient. Likewise, a budget is putting an address on the money entrusted to you. You are telling it where to go (how to save it, spend it, or give it away) even before you receive the money. You do not want it to just disappear into thin air.

A budget is a plan. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” 

Proverbs 20:18a says, “Plans are established by counsel.” Let me know if you need help setting up your budget plan. There are several ways to track your spending using tools available to you on your computer or with some inexpensive financial software. For some financial consulting and coaching, send me request here: Tom@tomsavage.us. Have a great day!

Financial Freedom Principle #8: Avoid entering into surety

Surety means to braid; to intermix; to be security for another; for the debt of another person. When we serve as surety, we are co-signing our name to the debt. We are vowing that we will pay the debt if the other person defaults. The Bible has several very clear statements about financial surety.

  1. God views a person as senseless if he enters a surety agreement. A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, and becomes surety for his friend. (Proverbs 17:18)
  1. We should despise surety. Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts; If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you? (Proverbs 22:26-27)
  1. We should not enter into surety for a stranger. He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, but one who hates being surety is secure. (Proverbs 11:15)
  1. If we have obligated ourselves, we should get out of it if we can. My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; for you have come into the hand of your friend: Go and humble yourself; plead with your friend. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:1-5)
  1. If we cannot get out of it now, we should get out of it as soon as possible.

To help us see how serious this matter of surety is, consider three non-financial ways surety is used. By understanding these examples, we can see our Lord’s perspective on surety.

Example #1: In Genesis 43:9 and 44:32, Judah became surety for Benjamin. Judah made a promise he did not have the personal power to fulfill.

Example #2: In Ezra 9:2, it was used to speak of the Israelites who mingled with heathen cultures. They became so intermingled and connected with these cultures that it had long-term consequences.

Example #3: In Hebrews 7:22, our Lord Jesus is described as surety of a better covenant. Through His sacrificial death, we have a binding eternal relationship that will never be undone; and I am so glad that is true.

This is why God discourages and even forbids financial surety agreements. When we enter into them, we are binding ourselves to fulfill the agreements of the loan if the borrower defaults on the loan. We are putting ourselves under the bondage of another person. See Financial Principle #5 for some review. That principle reminded us to be free of debt. If we enter into surety for another person at that moment, we are no longer free of debt.

Financial Freedom Principle #6: Desire to be financially free

This is an important step. Many people who are not financially free either lack the desire or believe financial freedom is impossible. At this juncture of our journey, let me define freedom and then financial freedom.

Freedom: the power to live the way God intends us to live; the power to live the way we ought to live.

Financial freedom: the power to utilize assets, whether they be many or few, to bring glory to God as He provides for daily needs.

Many people would define financial freedom as having a lot of money. However, a person can have a lot of money and be in financial bondage. Another person could have few earthly possessions and be very free financially.

Being financially free is the goal of these daily principles from God’s Word. So far, we have covered:

  1. Have your priorities right
  2. Seek God not money
  3. God owns it all
  4. Be a good steward
  5. Be free of debt

Being financially free includes several things:

  • Being confident in the provisions of God (Matthew 6:25-30)
  • Not anxious about financial matters (Phil 4:6)
  • Maintaining a biblical balance of earning, saving, and giving money away (we will touch on these subjects soon)
  • Being in control of finances rather than financial matters controlling us

As we press ahead on this journey, check your heart and your situation. Are you financially free? Pause and praise the Lord right now if you are. If you would have to confess you are not, do you desire and believe it is possible to be financially free? If not, that is the place to begin. Spend some time with the Lord and tell Him you want your heart to be in-tune with His desires in this and other areas of life. Keep coming back each day. Together, let us strive and keep on striving to be financially free. Have a great day!

Financial Freedom Principle #5: Be free of debt

Debt has become basic to the fabric of our culture. Our government is in deep debt and many people are in debt. If you have the courage, check out the real time debt situation http://www.usdebtclock.org. Many people have bought the concepts “To drive a nice vehicle I must lease or have an installment loan” and “To live in a nice house I must have a mortgage.” Those beliefs have led many down the path of endless debt.

There are several problems with entering into debt. I will mention two. First, it is presuming upon an unknown future. People enter into debt “today” with the presumption that the future will be the same if not brighter. When future events beyond their control change, they regret they entered into the debt. This gives the enemy much room to put stress, grief, and depression in the heart. As we find in Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in the heart causes depression.” This tells us when we worry we will be depressed. Many people worry themselves into deep depression and physical illness over debt.

Second, it puts us under the lordship of another person. Proverbs 22:7 reminds us, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” We are to be servants of God not man. In 1 Corinthians 7:23, Paul reminds us “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” In Romans 13:8 he wrote, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Here are a few other verses on debt: Luke 16:5; 2KI 4:1; Neh 5:3; Deut 28:1-2; 12, 15, 43-45; Psa 37:21a; Prov 3:27.

Being debt free is associated with paying vows. When enter into indebtedness we vow or promise someone or an entity we will wipe out the debt at a point in the future; whether those days are a few or many. When we sign our name to a credit situation, small or large, we are making a vow, a promise, to pay the debt.

In Deuteronomy 15, we read about the principle of the forgiveness of debts after seven years. That would be nice. Could this be our Lord’s perspective? Should all debts be paid-off within a seven-year period? In our day, too many times the plan is “How long can I stretch out this debt to make the payment as small as possible?” The problem here is, we could be saddling others (children, grandchildren, and those who come behind us) to pay off a debt we vowed to pay.

To be financially free, one must desire and strive to be debt free. It will take time, sacrifice, and determination. It could require us to eliminate some outgo so we can do more with our income toward eliminating debt. As one man put it, “My outgo has exceeded my income and my upkeep has caused my downfall.” Being debt free is possible. Strive to be free of debt. That is a huge step toward financial freedom.

Financial Freedom Principle #4: Be a good steward

There is a phrase most Christians want to hear some day. They want to hear this phrase when they arrive in heaven and stand before the Lord God. It is “Well done good and faithful servant.” Have you considered the fact that the only time we have these words recorded in Scripture, it is in the context of a man be commended for his stewardship. It is in Luke and in Matthew. Here is Matthew 25:14-30.

For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.  And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Here are some other references about stewardship: Genesis 39:4-6; Psalm 8:6; Hebrews 2:6-8.

Adding to all this we also see in 1 Corinthians 4:2, Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. A steward is a person who cares for the possessions of another. As we already know, we do not actually “own” anything. Everything we have in our stewardship belongs to Him. We are to be stewards of His possessions.

The evidence is overwhelming. God calls us to be good and faithful stewards of His possessions. When this principle is actively and consistently practiced, we are on the right path of financial freedom.

Financial Freedom Principle #3: God owns it all

It is common to say, “this is my house” or “this is my car” when speaking of such things. There is no harm or foul in this when we are speaking this way to say these and other things do not belong to a friend or a neighbor. However, in all reality, He owns it all. We are to be good stewards of His possessions. I will have more to say about that in Tip #4. Consider some verses that speak of God’s ownership of everything.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1)

The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine … (Leviticus 25:23)

For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains,

And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. (Psalm 50:10-12)

The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:8)

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. (1 Chronicles 29:11-13)

In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. (Psalm 95:4-5)

The truth of God’s ownership is another top priority in being financially free. In this truth we are acknowledging His supremacy in every area of our life; especially money.

(For further reading see: Matthew 16:26; 25:14-28; Psalm 49:16-20)

Financial Freedom Principle #2: Seek God not money

As we discovered in tip #1, it is easy to get our priorities confused. Money is a very important part of our culture and our way of life in the 21st century. Because of that, we can put too much focus on money. We need to seek God not money. The following verses are just a few of the many verses in the Bible that remind us of this principle from God’s perspective.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1Timothy 6:10)

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

He (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. (2 Chronicles 26:5)

Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered. (2 Chronicles 31:20-21)

As we seek God, it is impossible to predict how He will prosper each person. It may be with wealth, long life, or greater opportunities for service just to name a few of the possibilities. The truth remains, however, we should seek God not money. That is the wise choice.

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Financial Freedom Principle #1: Have your priorities right

In this whole matter of financial freedom and desire to avoid financial bondage, the subject of priorities is the place to begin. Appropriate the following verses.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. (Luke 12:31)

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27)

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 11:4)

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17)

There is so much more to consider.  We are on the right path when our priorities are in the right order. Come back tomorrow for the next tip. Home