This is a post I’ve always wanted to write but wasn’t sure how exactly to go about it. In my other life, I briefly blogged about personal finance and worked as a financial lawyer. Knowing this, you may agree that money is a topic I understand.
But it goes beyond this, as a woman (especially as a Christian woman), I have realized that talking about money can be difficult. This includes sharing my money wins and struggles.
In some ways, it may seem like you’re boasting when it’s good or a failure when it’s bad.
For instance, in the last few weeks, it has been particularly hard to control my spending. I was not proud of this but had to accept that it was happening and find out what I could do about it.
This meant going back to the drawing board, back to the basics of money management but with the added benefit of considering my role as a Christian woman in today’s world.
I also realized that there may be others going through similar struggles. For you, it may not be excessive spending but more about earning more, saving more or giving.
If so, do check out these three things every Christian woman should know about money.
Three things every Christian woman should know about money
I believe that our finances are an important aspect of our lives, which means we have to understand and manage it well.
So, I’m super glad to share these three things every Christian woman should know about money.
Our Relationship with Money
This is a good time to mention that building a healthy relationship with our money is a key component to living a great life as a Christian woman.
Building a healthy relationship with our money is a key part of living a great life as a Christian woman.
We can do this by understanding and maintaining the place of money in our lives. Money is generally defined as a means of exchange, for determining the value of a good or service.
This means money is a resource, a tool that can be used solve problems but will not solve all our problems neither is it the only tool we need. This also means that it is not our source of happiness.
“Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!”
I couldn’t have said this better. The Bible is clear that going after money as your key to happiness or a problem free life will be a fruitless journey and will lead us down a path of destruction.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Let’s look at this practically:
Is money usually the most important factor when we make life decisions? Do we first consider the financial implication of anything we do before anything else?
Do we look at our bank account first before we proceed or more importantly, do we limit God by our bank account?
These are hard questions but necessary in checking our relationship with money.
Turning our focus solely to getting rich and maintaining these riches may mean compromising on our values, making excuses for doing the wrong things and forgetting the things that matter.
“…some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Tim 6:10
What it takes to manage your money
By managing money, I mean being in control of our spending and making sure our money is spent on the things that matter to us.
‘Money spent without purpose, is a step farther from your purpose.’
So, how are you doing with your spending? Would you call yourself an over spender, frugal or somewhere in between?
You probably have a smile on your face right now or you just sighed. I know I’m not the only one who’s struggled with spending J
There are two major aspects to controlling our spending:
“you must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”
The fact that you have a certain amount of money in your wallet or account doesn’t mean you have free rein to spend it all. The need for checks and balances matter when it comes to money management. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Create a budget or money plan with a list of your expected expenses.
- Where possible, avoid places or people that encourage you to spend. If this is not possible, find out the particular triggers that make you spend and confront these.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”
3. Practice delayed gratification – this is our ability to hold off on an immediate but short lived reward for a later more meaningful reward. An example could be to save money now to spend on a more important item later.
4. Before you buy or spend, ask yourself if you really need it, this brings us to the second point.
2. Knowing our needs vs. wants
While there seems to be a ‘general rule’ as to what would constitute a need –food, shelter and clothing– this is still subjective. It will depend on so many external factors including income level, location, gender, employment amongst others.
This also means that our particular needs are unique to each of us and our spending pattern has to be in line with this.
Our needs should always come before our wants but we also have to be certain that these wants are not camouflaged as needs.
About earning, saving, investing and giving
In the post about the qualities of an empowered woman, I briefly mentioned what I call the four principles of money. I believe every Christian woman needs to be aware of these and use them effectively. These are:
Earning is our means of generating income. This could be through a job, creating a product or providing a service.
This is usually a sensitive area as there are those who believe Christians shouldn’t be looking to work for pay or earn an income.
But is this really biblical? Is it okay to expect income from what we do even if it is for the kingdom of God.
I believe so, “…You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads the grain and “the labourer deserves his wages.” 1 Timothy 5:18
But it should also be as you’re led. Primarily, our focus shouldn’t be on earning money for money’s sake. It should be tied to our purpose and life as Christians.
This is our ability to set aside money now to be used ‘purposefully’ at a later time.
“Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.”
It is something we should do whether in little or in plenty and will usually depend on our goals, our income and expenses. Studies have shown that people who tied their savings to a particular action or goal were able to save more.
This is usually the next step from saving. It is the act of putting money or capital in a business or endeavour with the expectation of gaining extra income or profit.
Here are a few helpful tips for investing effectively:
i. Knowing your game plan
“the plans of the diligent leads to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
ii. Working with your income
iii. Understanding your risk appetite
“Wealth gained hastily will dwindle but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
iv. Making the most of your time
v. And doing some research about the possible investment options
I believe that giving isn’t something we do once in a while but should be a way of life. As children of a generous God, it is a given that we should continue in his footsteps. Giving is also a way to walk in obedience.
When God has called us to give and we do, even when it’s hard, it’s a sign of growth and moving our focus to God rather than ourselves. The Bible also mentions a few other benefits to giving.
“a generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
What every Christian woman should know about money –
Our path to stewardship
What do you think about our role as Christian women? I believe one key thing to remember is to always check our relationship with our money to make sure it is not taking the place of God or turning us into money obsessed Christians. See 1 Timothy 6
More importantly, we need to realize that the money and property we have today are a gift from God. It wasn’t by our power or might but by his grace and favour.
This means that we do not own these things, but are merely stewards of all the Lord has given to us and shall be expected to give an account of how we spent these. See the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.
What would that report be? Will he say…
“Well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over little, I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
What other things do you believe we should know about money?