Money $eries Week: Building Financial Muscle

Today is the last day of Money $eries Week and we hope you have enjoyed it. We hope it has impacted you and given you motivation to go seek God and His Wisdom to view money from His perspective so you can manage it right and righteously.

To conclude, let’s review things we should all be doing to build financial muscle and gain financial freedom.

  1. Tithe. Give God back at least 10%, or start wherever you can in your faith, from all you earn to show You trust Him, to honor Him, and to provide for the ministries of His Kingdom here on earth.
  2. Save. Save as much and every cent you can. “There are times it has been hard to save or resave once I finally saved up something, but one thing for sure I do save my bronze and silver coins without fail,” says Tannika of Fruitful & Fabulous. Save an emergency fund for emergencies like a medical bill, or immediate expenses after losing your job, or if your car breaks down. Save for an expenditure (when a birthday you forgot or event comes up and you want to spend money on a gift) fund. Save for a vacation fund. Just get in the mindset of paying you too and saving.
  3. Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Pay off debts (high interest rate ones first or if that way seems too daunting, pay from the smallest to the greatest), and reduce the number of credit cards or some suggest just have one. Having a home mortgage or student loan is not a bad thing but do make efforts to pay those off early if can. Credit card debt is bad. “It is the worst, it seems to never go away once you have a balance from this one and then that one. “I once cleared and paid all my credit card debt. I paid it off and raised my credit score as well as saved money to put down money on my own home,” says Tannika. “So being credit card debt free is possible. The second time around has been difficult but I am determined to break free.” God doesn’t want us to be bound to debt. Pay your credit card bills on time and try to pay more than the minimum. If you must, don’t use your credit card for purchases unless you know you can pay it in full or 80% in full next bill. And assess if it is wise to purchase the item or thing you are trying to buy at that time. 
  4. That leads us to the next one, which should have been first. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. God doesn’t just disburse you green funds but other gracious gifts like wisdom, favor, His presence (we need those just as much as money). So seek God first! Seek God period. Ask Him for wisdom concerning money and how to manage it. Some people say they even pray and ask God to show them where the discounts and sales are. Get God involved in giving you strategies and wisdom with the monies He gave you to manage, provide for your needs, and be blessed and to bless. He is omniscient and our provider, so trust Him with what He is entrusting you with.
  5. Budget. Create a monthly budget and financial goals. Know what is coming in and going out, and regulate it. Put expectations on your money. Sacrifice things, like cable, you don’t need. Have a grocery list when you walk into the grocery store. And constantly check your budget and make revisions when you have to. Carry cash more or only instead of plastic money (credit cards as well as your debit cards). Have you ever got your items rang up and the price is over what you expected and you may not have it, but you pull out that plastic money. If you have cash, you have no choice but to stay in the confines of your budget. 
  6. Spend wisely. Don’t covet what someone else has. That means to want badly what someone else has. And don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. It leaves you broke, frustrated, and unoriginal. Don’t try to impress everyone and spend money you don’t have. Discipline your flesh also and learn to tell yourself no. You just might not need another dress if you are not wearing the other five you haven’t worn in awhile. At least donate two dresses if you must get that new one. 
  7. Invest your money. Make your money earn money (read previous post about what Shalamaar says about investing) and talk to a professional banker or stockbroker about ways you can invest monies.
  8. Give Back. You were blessed to be a blessing. And yes you are blessed whether you realize it or not. Impact and help others any way God leads you to help, whether it is donating to a cause or giving your time. 
  9. Don’t wear yourself out to get rich. Proverbs 23:4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Read Proverbs 23:5 and ask someone who has had millions and squandered it, and you will see why. Trust God who is our source to everything. He created us and this whole world. Pursuing riches and obsessively only leads to heartbreak and ruin. 
  10. Obey God. Obey God and do not forget Him when you are blessed and prospering. And yearn to see success the way God does because He views it differently from the world. If you obey the Lord your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out…. The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give you. The Lord will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings. (Deut. 28:2-7; 11–12)
  11. Invest in the Kingdom of God. Do you sow into the Kingdom of God with your time, money, and talents and gifts? Bless God’s kingdom with what He blesses you. Esther 4:14b And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” There is a reason why you have those talents, spiritual gifts, resources. We are to build up the Kingdom and give God glory in all that we do.
  12. Lastly, Pray. Talk with God and listen to Him daily!        photo from Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps (daveramsey.com)

            http://www.fruitfulandfabulous.com

                Living Life the Fruitful Way 

                                ——————————

        Tell us what you have enjoyed, learned, and will apply to your life after this series.

        Disclaimer

        We, at Fruitful & Fabulous, are not certified financial planners or financial advisors. We do research and reference the sources that we use within our writing. The information provided should not be used as financial advice; it is used to promote financial literacy, financial literacy based from the Bible as well as discussion. The views, some of the experiences, and opinions on this site are that of the authors. Any suggestions or investment advice should be reviewed by a financial professional before acting on them.


        This website will never share your email address or any of your personal information with a third party for any reason. We are excited to encourage financial literacy and health but it is your choice whether or not you use the information provided and at your own risk.

        Money $eries Week: Q & A With The Professional

        Hey loves, 

        We sincerely hope you have been enjoying this week’s Money $eries and they have made an impact on you. We have been blessed to share tips, facts, prayers, and the Word of God on such a crucial, favorite topic in this world–money. This evening we are presenting a special Q (Tannika) & A (Shalamaar). Shalamaar Muhammad is a Commercial Banking Professional with JP Morgan and fellow Christian who loves to share financial wisdom with others. Enjoy our Q & A  as well as take notes.

        Picture: Shalamaar Muhammad, JP Morgan Commercial Banking Professional 

        TannikaWhat is the one mistake people tend to make the most with their finances?

        ShalamaarLive outside their means. People tend to buy things that they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. 

        Tannika: As a fellow believer, what are some things you want Christians to understand about money.

        ShalamaarAs a fellow believer, I would say remember that the love of money is the root of all evil. Money should be looked at and used as a tool to meet your needs and the needs of others. Also give to purpose and not just need all the time. People who repeat the same cycles of bad money management usually have an underlying issue that needs to be addressed and resolved, and if it isn’t, the need will always continue.

        Tannika: What are the major areas of finance people should also be concerned with than just paying bills?

         ShalamaarOther than paying bills, use your finances to save (emergency fund, nest egg).

        Invest- Earn a return on your money.

        Give- Help meet others’ needs as God meets yours.

        Tannika: Dave Ramsey, financial guru and Christian, encourages every one to have an emergency fund. Why do we fail at building an emergency fund?

        ShalamaarWe fail at building an emergency fund because we don’t want to make the necessary sacrifices to do so. Think about how many restaurant meals, unnecessary shopping trips, vacations and other luxuries we could have given up over a year to build the fund. A year goes by so fast, so cutting back for a while is a minor sacrifice in the grand scheme of life. Letting go of instant gratification can help build up that fund and save you the headache of looking for additional funds at the time of emergency.

        Tannika: Explain what it means to invest your money and the best way to do so?

        ShalamaarInvesting your money can mean so many things. In the most simple terms, it means to earn a return on your money. It can be a conservative investment such as a simple interest savings or CD or complex such as investment in stocks and bonds. It’s best to speak with a professional such as a Financial Advisor to learn more about what investment best suits you.

        Tannika: What is the best financial advice you received growing up?

        ShalamaarThe best financial advice I received growing up was not to use credit as extra money. Credit can be helpful but there are also dangers if you are not responsbile, live beyond your means, or do not have self-control.

        Dangers of Credit

        • Overdoing it; borrowing more than you can afford to repay.
        • If you don’t make your payments on time, you’ll damage your credit record.
        • Losing money on late fees.
        • Having to pay additional interest.
        • Difficulty getting loans or credit in the future.

        Once your credit is damaged, it can take years and tons of extra money to restore it.

        Wow, thanks to Shalamaar for blessing us with loads of knowledge about emergency funds, investing and debt as well as the dangers of credit! 

        What are you taking away from today’s post? How will you apply what Shalamaar has shared with us to your new financial journey?

        Today’s Scripture:

        Jeremiah 17:7‭-‬8 NIV  “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord , whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

        Luke 16:10-12 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

        Prayer:

        Father, thank You for Your wisdom. Let me seek You and Your wisdom as well as Your Will to be done in my life. Help me to, for here on out, see money the way You do and to use it for Your glory and in Your wisdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.

                       __________________________________

        Shalamaar Muhammad is a woman of God whose joy can be seen and felt through her beautiful smile, her faith and involvement with her church, her spending time with her family and friends, and her volunteer work. Shalamaar is a Commercial Banking Professional with JP Morgan who also does business planning and personal finance. She has been a consistent volunteer with South Suburban PADS for more than seven years and looks forward to continuing helping others in need.

        Money $eries Week: Don’t Let Money Take You Down

        The love of money as well as the need of money can cause you to make some foolish moves. Moves that can bring you all the way down.

        These foolish moves, like spending your bill–particularly rent–money on something you don’t need, can set you back financially and give you much grief. What about foolish moves like signing up for quick rich schemes, taking out personal loans one after the next, and spending out of control making more debt?

        There are countless people who play the lottery day after day in hopes to win the big ticket. And of many of those people there have been winners who have squandered every penny and have also fallen to tragic circumstances. 

        We all want money. We all need money but don’t let money control you. Don’t let money take you to the grave, to jail, or to a life spiraling out of control. 

        There are three ways to not let money take you down:

        • Trust God and learn to depend on Him. A pastor said it so eloquently, “God is the source to our resources.”
        • Check your desires and motives for the things you want. Do you really need that or that right now? Why do you want it?
        • Develop patience. Patience and prayer accompanies each other. Learn to wait on God, learn to be patient in all areas of your life. Don’t make decisions based solely on feeling and on impulse. Don’t let anyone pressure you to do so either. 

        Today’s Scriptures:

        Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

        Ecclesiastes 7:12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.

        Revelations 3:17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

        Luke 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

        Ecclesiastes 5:10-14 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit.

        1 Peter 5:2-3 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

        1 Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

        1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

        Luke 3:14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

        Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

        Proverb 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

        Prayer:

        Father, help me to believe that You are trustworhy and will provide for me. Help me to have pure motives and to be fulfilled in You. Give me the desires of Your heart. Father, help me to manage the resources You have blessed me with so I can be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

                           ———————————-

                    http://www.fruitfulandfabulous.com

                       Living Life the Fruitful Way 

        Disclaimer

        We, at Fruitful & Fabulous, are not certified financial planners or financial advisors. We do research and reference the sources that we use within our writing. The information provided should not be used as financial advice; it is used to promote financial literacy, financial literacy based from the Bible as well as discussion. The views, some of the experiences, and opinions on this site are that of the authors. Any suggestions or investment advice should be reviewed by a financial professional before acting on them.


        This website will never share your email address or any of your personal information with a third party for any reason. We are excited to encourage financial literacy and health but it is your choice whether or not you use the information provided and at your own risk.

        Money $eries Week: Holes In Your Pocket

        Sometimes it feels like your money comes only to disappear through some invisible hole in your pocket. Your bank account can’t even get acquainted with your money because it comes in and goes right back out. 

        You are barely getting by. Your funds don’t add up. Bills are due, debt is piling up. You obsess over making your paycheck fit all the bills and then some. You are afraid it will always be like this, living paycheck to paycheck. You have tried loans that you pay back twice as much in interest. You try getting more credit but get denied and rejected. You even tried supplementing your income with a side business you truly love but have no time for and have little success. It feels hopeless sometimes. But God!

        Today’s Scripture:
        Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

        And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you–you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?’ Or ‘what shall we drink?’ Or ‘what shall we wear?’ For pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

        Psalm 9:10 Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You. 

        God doesn’t lie, in fact can’t. God doesn’t say something just to say it. He means what He says and wants you to know that you are so valuable to Him and He wants to take care of you. Why not let Him; He created and owns the universe. He is Alpha and Omega, omniscient and omnipresent. Meditate on His Word today and trust that He will do what He said He would. Seek Him and seek Him first!

        Tip: Track and make note of your finances. Know what monies are coming in and know where they are going to. Then eliminate expenses that you can do without or substitute like cable tv. Track your expenses at least once a month and make necessary changes. 

        Prayer: 

        Father, help me to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness. For you are the Great I Am, my maker, my present help in the time of trouble, my deliverer, my heavenly Father. Help me to trust You with my finances. You are the source of everything I need. Lord, I am valuable to You so help me to trust that You will never leave me nor forsake me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

                          ———————————–

                   www.fruitfulandfabulous.com

                     Living Life the Fruitful Way 

        Disclaimer

        We, at Fruitful & Fabulous, are not certified financial planners or financial advisors. We do research and reference the sources that we use within our writing. The information provided should not be used as financial advice; it is used to promote financial literacy, financial literacy based from the Bible as well as discussion. The views, some of the experiences, and opinions on this site are that of the authors. Any suggestions or investment advice should be reviewed by a financial professional before acting on them.


        This website will never share your email address or any of your personal information with a third party for any reason. We are excited to encourage financial literacy and health but it is your choice whether or not you use the information provided and at your own risk.

        Money $eries Week: Relationship

        Relationships are essential to our lives. They are crucial to our development, growth, and existence. They are so crucial that the Ten Commandments show us how we are to protect our relationship with God and our relationships with others. Jesus takes it a step further by instructing us “to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

        Today, however, we will talk about OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY.

        There are some of us who have healthy relationships with money and some of us who do not. Let us talk about the unhealthy relationships with money some of us have. Money controls some of us. Money leads us toward making poor decisions. Money runs away from us and it spends all of its time with our bills and/or bad habits. Money makes us feel good–until it goes away.

        Okay, let’s not put all the blame on money and make this one-sided. We are at fault for having money control the relationship. Moreover, we don’t see its worth. We don’t value it. We don’t get to know it. We either have unrealistic expectations, too little expectations, or too high expectations of our money. And we don’t tell our money what we expect it to accomplish. We don’t see our money’s potential. We don’t invest in it. We don’t let it rest. We don’t even let it just sit and catch its breath sometimes. We don’t use wisdom and care when handling it. Then we expect it to do what we need it to do and be what we need it to be.

        What about our management of someone else’s money (credit cards). We pretend its fully ours until its time to pay it back. Then we get stressed and our finances look even more a mess.

        Stats: Pew Charitable Trusts reports that 80% of Americans are with debt. (www.pewtrusts.org)

        But God desires for our relationship with money to not be a stressful, debilitating one, but a healthy one. He desires that money not master us and that we trust in Him, the One who supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

        Today’s Scriptures:

        Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

        Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

        Prayer:

        Lord, please help us to have a healthy relationship with money. We desire to serve You and not money. Break the yokes of poor stewardship and debt in our lives. Forgive us for building such a dependence on earthly things and for our love of money. Help us to trust and depend on You and to love You with all of our hearts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

        http://www.fruitfulandfabulous.com

        Living Life the Fruitful Way

         

        Disclaimer

        We, at Fruitful & Fabulous, are not certified financial planners or financial advisors. We do research and reference the sources that we use within our writing. The information provided should not be used as financial advice; it is used to promote financial literacy, financial literacy based from the Bible as well as discussion. The views, some of the experiences, and opinions on this site are that of the authors. Any suggestions or investment advice should be reviewed by a financial professional before acting on them.


        This website will never share your email address or any of your personal information with a third party for any reason. We are excited to encourage financial literacy and health but it is your choice whether or not you use the information provided and at your own risk.