A Girl of Wisdom is generous (continued!)

save-moneyI firmly believe that a Girl of Wisdom is wise with her money. Even as a teenager or young woman, she knows how to budget and how to save for the future. After all, how can you be generous if you have no wisdom in looking after your own money?

I encourage you to start actively deciding how you will spend your money. If you don’t already have a budget, make one! Use the budget activity in this chapter to help you. It’s really easy! Here are some simple steps-

  • Add up how much money you earn each week (pocket money, part-time job, chores, babysitting etc)
  • Add up how much you spend each week, which is not paid for by your parents or others, but comes out of the money you earn (food from the school shop, mobile phone credit, going out with friends, make-up, clothes etc.)
  • Your budget will quickly reveal how much you can really spend each week- you may need to adjust how much you go out or find cheaper ways of having fun!
  • Now for two challenges… in your budget, include money especially for generosity and saving for the future.
  • Challenge 1: Put aside 10% of your weekly money (for example, if you earn $50 in a week, put aside $5). This is to be spent on someone else for no reason… a little gift, buying them some food at school, getting them a card or just giving them the actual money if they need it!
  • Challenge 2: Save $1 per day ($7 per week) and put it into a separate savings account that yields high interest and that is hard to access. Get a parent, older sibling or another adult to help you do this if you are not sure of the different bank accounts especially designed for saving money. AND DO NOT TOUCH IT EVER!! Let it grow and by the time you finish school, you will have a great sum of cash to help towards buying a car, going away on a trip or another major purchase.

I once heard a great statement that I have never forgotten. A person, talking about money and being generous, stated, “Your money may leave your hand, but it will never leave your life.”

Think about that for a moment. When you choose to be generous, the actual cash may come out of your wallet and leave your hand, but the joy of knowing you have made a difference in somebody else’s life is worth more than any amount of cash. And what you sow, you shall reap- what goes around, eventually comes around. And nobody can take that away from you.

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A Girl of Wisdom is generous!

11483046-woman-giving-her-friend-a-gift“The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”

Proverbs 11:24 & 25 (MSG)

I remember a time many years ago (before getting married and having a baby) when I was shopping with one of my friends and found myself wishing, “If only I had more money….” There were so many cool clothes, shoes, bags and make-up products surrounding me, yet limited cash in my wallet! On my way home, I found myself thinking about all the things that I didn’t have and to be quite honest, I started feeling sorry for myself!

Later on that evening, I remembered a conversation I’d had with a friend who was really struggling financially. A series of unfortunate situations had left her without much money and she was finding it hard to pay for necessary things, like food and bills- forget about clothes, shoes, bags and make-up products! I suddenly felt very grateful for what I did have and immediately, I started thinking of ways that I could help my friend get through this tough time.

TV ads, magazines and the internet send us messages that what we currently have is not good enough. There is always the latest iPhone, iPad and iPod that you must have. As soon as you purchase the latest brand of clothing, it becomes out of fashion and another brand replaces it.

You see, when you are feeling dissatisfied with what you have and you focus on all the things you wish you had, you don’t think about the needs of others. A discontented person who doesn’t realise how fortunate they actually are will never be able to generously help someone else in need. They become stingy and tight-fisted with money. And when they do give money to someone, it’s with an expectation that it is paid back.

However, when you are genuinely grateful for what you do have (and this doesn’t mean that you still can’t have a wish list of things you are wanting!) it enables you to become outward focused and generous. Your hand doesn’t cling so tightly to every dollar anymore. You freely pay for something for another person, without expecting them to pay it back.

Becoming a generous person is, once again, a choice you need to make. Start small. The next time you go to the movies with a friend and you get to the ticket counter, surprise your friend by paying for her ticket too. Or maybe pay for both of your popcorn and drinks. The next time you buy yourself a pretty pair of earrings, buy another pair and give it to a friend as a gift for “no reason.” Why should gifts require a reason? Why limit gifts to birthdays, Christmas, weddings and special occasions?

And you know what? I really believe in the old saying, “treat others the way you would like to be treated.” The moment you start being generous, you will notice others being generous towards you. Not that you choose to be generous in order to get things in return, but it will be a natural result of you desiring to be a giver rather than a receiver.

In our next blog post, we will talk about practical tips on making the most of your money!

Show me the money!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Money. We all have it in one form or another. Some earn more, some less and this is dependent on many factors such as age, type of job and hours worked per week. What is applicable to all is how you use your money.

The woman described in Proverbs 31 knows how to manage her finances. In verses 16 and 17 (NLT) it says:

“She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.”

No matter how great or small your finances are, our question to you today is, “How do you handle your finances?” Here are some thoughts for you.

1. Trust God with your finances. Money isn’t everything. Yes, in our society there are bills to be paid, food to be bought as well as many other expenses. First and foremost, trust God with what you have. Talk to Him about any concerns with your bank balance and ask Him to provide for your needs.

2. Make (and stick to!) a budget. There are many ways to do this, from excel spreadsheets to computer apps. Find a budget tool that works for you. It’s a great way to look at how much you earn and where your money goes!

3. Give some money away. Don’t keep it all to yourself. Find a reputable charity or perhaps something in your church, where you can give to those in need.

4. Invest wisely. Regarldess of your age or the amount of money you have to invest, seek some professional advice about where to invest some money for the future.

A Girl of Wisdom knows how to manage her finances. She trusts in God, is aware of her expenditures, seeks advice on investments and loves to give some of her earnings away to those less fortunate than herself.

Money isn’t everything.

Tuesday 31st May 2011

Money is important, but it isn’t everything. Money pays for things and helps us survive in our society, but it doesn’t promise us a fulfilling life. I don’t think many people come to the end of their life and wish that they’d made more money. I think most people come to the end of their lives and wish they’d spent more time building closer relationships with family and friends.

Proverbs 23:4&5 (NKJV) say, “Do not overwork to be rich… for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle…”

What can we learn from these verses?

1. Work hard but don’t overwork. A Girl of Wisdom is a hardworking chick! She does her very best and fulfills her responsibilities. She is savvy when it comes to money. She knows how to budget and save and has no problems with shopping and pampering from time to time! However,  money is not her number one priority. She works hard, but not at the expense of neglecting her relationships with loved ones and being there for others.

2. Value money but don’t trust in it. A Girl of Wisdom is not wasteful with her money and doesn’t take it for granted. She understands that she can use her finances to help others and to make a difference to those in need. However, money is not her source of security. She places her trust in God, knowing that money can vanish as quickly as it arrived, but God will never fail her and will provide for her in ways that money never could.

I pray these thoughts cause you to reflect upon your views of money and its impact on your decisions. Remember, money is important, but it isn’t everything.

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