Crown Financial Ministries |
Spending is a habit
Does money burn a hole in your pocket? Does buyer’s remorse set in after you have spent
If this sounds familiar, how can you manage your spending so you can buy the things you need now and also
save for the things you need in the future?
In order to change spending habits, people must first understand how habits
are shaped and the ways spending behavior can be changed.
In essence, they must identify spending leaks that give
immediate satisfaction but do not help reach financial goals and, instead, substitute desirable spending behavior that may
not be immediately gratifying but will allow financial goals to be reached.
How to change the habit
16:11 says, “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your
trust the true riches?”
People need to
learn to handle the smallest thing God has put under their authority—their money. Therefore, if the following guidelines
are followed it should help them control spending.
- Establish self-discipline. Put all spending under God's control. In so doing, individuals become managers of God’s
finances and all spending should then be from the vantage point of whether He would be pleased with the purchase. With God’s
guidance, any bad habit can be broken.
People need to learn to recognize the drive that places them in a difficult
spending situation. When they shop, they can avoid the spending pitfalls produced by that drive by having a purpose for the
shopping, a time limit, and a written plan.
Hence, they need to make a list before they go shopping and then stick
In addition, they should limit the number of trips to the store or mall and never shop when hungry or depressed.
- How far money goes usually depends on how badly people want something. As such, they need to be in control of the
money, under God’s direction, instead of having the money control them by limiting what they do.
has been brought under control, there should be a determination of how much needs to be spent each month in every area of
an implemented budget; and, since the basic idea behind budgeting is to save money up front for both known and unknown expenses,
there must be a commitment to stick to the budget.
If people are having difficulty with income equaling outgo, they
need to cut some of their outgo. As such, they should look at their budgets realistically and see where they can start trimming.
A budget is a money plan. With it, people can organize and control their financial resources, set and realize goals,
and decide in advance how money will work for the good of the family.
Therefore, because every purchase should be
considered in light of the established budget, buying any non-budgeted items on impulse should be avoided, especially if those
non-budgeted items will need to be purchased with a credit card.
- People need to be accountable to other persons for a specified period of time for everything they spend. Ecclesiastes
4:9,10 says, “Two are better than one;
because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but
woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”
If there is accountability,
people will be more inclined to be cautious in their spending habits—a look now, buy later attitude.
around before buying and learn to say no. Keep a record of spending and purchases and share these with the accountability
- Establish a want-to-buy list. Whenever people feel they need to buy something that is not budgeted, they should
put it on the list. They should wait seven days and find two additional prices for the same item, to be sure they are getting
a good buy.
If they still want the item after a week has passed, they will have thought about it and probably will
be getting the best buy on the item. However, they still should not charge it.
Finally, people can have only one item
on the list at a time, so if they find new “wants” during the week, they will have to decide between the two.
A good way to reduce debt is to develop discipline in spending habits. That may include taking away
any security that might be used in case of emergencies: credit cards or other avenues of borrowing.
not to go further in debt, people begin to reverse the process that produced the debt. Then, they can develop a balanced budget
that will control spending and will allow them to stay within the parameters of their financial means.