Editor’s note: Today we are in for a special treat as one of our own, Lorraine Thomas, shares a post with us today. Lorraine works in the business and financial world, and she has taught those who follow Jesus to steward their money well for His kingdom. In our post today, she discusses finances in times like these.
By Lorraine Thomas
I am a money person. I teach about money. I make plans with our money, and I think about money. I give talks about God and money, and I talk about the truths in the Bible that Jesus teaches us about money.
In James 1:17, we read that every good and perfect gift comes from above. All the good things we have, including our money, are from God. We are called as stewards over what He has given us, which can pose a challenge in times like these.
It’s no secret that this is a time of turmoil. Your workplace may have shut its doors, and employers may not be able to pay you. It is time to stand up, regroup, and get things in order to manage your assets well.
I have been spending a lot of time talking about money with others during the past three weeks, speaking some truths about money that are timeless and universal.
- Spend less than you make.
- Avoid consumer debt.
- Maintain savings, liquidity, and leverage.
- Plan for the future.
- Live generously, for God owns it all.
The idea of living without a paycheck may be paralyzing to you, but with a little thought and help, you can get through all this and still find ways to be generous with what you have.
First, start living on a budget. Now. On money you actually have to live on. Adjust your thoughts and your actions. Is the expense necessary? Stop or pause your subscriptions. Call your cable, internet, and cell carriers, and see what changes you can make. This is the time to sell whatever is unnecessary to make some extra cash. These little decisions add up and help you spend less than you make.
When budgeting, remember that the most important things for you to survive are food, utilities, shelter, and transportation. If you have money left after you pay these, then you can use your budget information to create a list to pay other items in order of importance.
You also need to do your part, too, if your traditional employment is shut down. Consider at least one non-traditional way to bring in extra money, like delivering food or dropping off groceries, be a driver for Amazon, or start a paper route, or tutor a child over Zoom. Always keep your eyes open for opportunities to build your income to cover your needs.
Living on a budget will allow you to find ways to spend less than you make, avoid debt, and maybe even put money into savings for the future, as well as live generously. Online resources for budgeting sheets abound, but here are three time-tested resources from Lorraine.
Sometimes you can find yourself in a real pinch financially. It might seem impossible to stretch that budget to make it cover even your basic needs. There are resources out there to help, some of which can be found in the resource section here. Another thing to consider is to reach out to people and organizations that you owe money to and explain your situation. They can’t help you if they don’t know. You might be able to work out a way to make this work. Be up front and pray for them as they are in this situation, too.
Another place to turn for help is our church community and University Fellowship. They have offered resources to help you, but you need to contact them to let them know about your situation.
I know that all of this can sound overwhelming, but the important questions to ask yourself now during this current crisis in your lives are:
HAVE I PRAYED ABOUT IT?
HAVE I GOTTEN WISE COUNSEL?
DOES IT MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE?
WHAT GOALS OR VALUES DOES THIS MEET THAT CAN’T BE MET OTHER WAYS?
In conclusion, examine the values that drive your financial goals, prioritize your spending and giving, refine and review your budget and financial situation, and ultimately submit it to God as your provider.
God Bless You, Lorraine
Lorraine M. Thomas AFC, CLU, ChFC can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 541.431.3497. Find her online at thomasfinancialstrategies.com.