Today we welcome Katie, who wrote a lovely post about how your faith can be applied to your finances and your budgeting methods. Essentially, the tenets of ones faith can help determine what you value.
What are your goals when it comes to budgeting? Maybe you are trying to save up for a new house, or a nice vacation. Maybe you are trying to free up more money to put towards your retirement fund. Or maybe you are trying to pursue a value-based budget.
What is Value-Based Budgeting
Value-Based Budgeting is the process of aligning your budget and your monthly expenses with what you value most. Where we are spending our money is a clear indicator of what we prioritize in our day-to-day. A good way to determine if your spending aligns with your values is to look over your monthly expenses. Do you feel like they line up well with the things you value most?
How to Apply Your Faith to Your Finances
As a follower of Christ, I believe that my faith should impact the way that I approach all decisions in life. That includes how I handle my finances. So this begs the question, how do I actually apply my faith to my financial decisions? It begins by looking at what the Bible has to say about money.
The good news is that the Bible has a LOT to say about money. In fact, there are more than 2,300 verses on either money, wealth, and possessions! Most people are often surprised when they discover how many times money is discussed. Furthermore, money was the most talked about topic by Jesus! In his preaching, Jesus discussed money roughly 15% of the time. 11 of his 39 parables were about money.
God clearly cares a lot about how we handle our finances. Before making any financial decisions, big or small, I ask God how I should handle the question at hand. We can infer a lot about how we are to respond to financial decisions by how Jesus spoke about it.
Can Christians Be Wealthy?
One question I get often is “Is it okay for Christians to be wealthy?” This is sort of a loaded question. Many do believe that having money and being a follower of Christ just cannot exist together. So what is the truth?
Let’s go back to the Bible. 1 Timothy 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all of evil.” The Apostle Paul is telling us that loving money will cause evil within our hearts. It is clear that it is not money that is evil, but the love of money. In that case, loving ANYTHING above God is not okay according to the Bible.
The line between just having money and loving money is blurred. Just because someone has a lot of money does not necessarily mean that they love money. And vice versa. If someone little, they could potentially love money.
Can We Pursue Both Faith and Financial Independence?
So if you’re a Christian and are reading about terms like Financial Independence and wondering if can pursue both faith and financial independence you need to start out with a heart check. What are your motivations?
The journey towards financial independence starts out with determining your “Why” behind your goal, which is a perfect place to start if you are trying to align your journey with your values. Why do you want to pursue financial independence? What motivates you to make the financial decisions you are making.
There is a lot about financial independence that does align with the values of Christianity. Like being mindful of your spending, choosing to not fill your house with meaningless stuff, and freeing up money to go towards things you want to say yes to. Things like giving more to the church, donating to good charities, and being hospitable.
The true answer to each of these questions will look different for each of us. The point of this discussion is to align your own values up with how you spend your money. For Christians, the Bible does make it pretty clear that the way we spend our money should be honoring to God. It does not say that having money goes against God, though we must be careful when we accumulate a lot.
Even if you are not a follower of Christ, value-based budgeting can be a great option for you. Whether that is valuing your faith, time with family, the environment, fighting against sex trafficking, or supporting another cause. Think about the things you value most in life and see if your spending shows that you do find these things important. Make adjustments where they are needed and have confidence that you are truly living a value-based life!
Thank you so much Katie!
Check out her blog for more faith-based financial tips.
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For more finance posts here at Richful Thinker: