[Gary] Have you spent 40 years working hard so you could retire and travel? But now you find the dream is gone—the savings are disappearing—the retirement fund dwindling.
Are you living off your credit cards—making the minimum payments—and digging a hole of debt that will lead to bankruptcy?
What can you do when bad economic times are crushing your dreams?
We can show you where to find the answers. Answers that can help you get control of your money. This isn’t a get rich scheme or an investment show. We’re going to explore one place few people would look for financial advice—the Bible.
Along the way, we’ll talk with a financial expert and a couple who have used biblical principles to change their lives.
On Beyond Today , we're going to discover some practical ways to help you in “Managing Your Finances.”
[Announcer] Join our host Gary Petty and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today !
[Gary] Are you drowning in debt and afraid you might lose your car or house? Are you worried about money all the time? Are you watching your retirement fund dwindle? Are money issues causing stress between you and your spouse?
If you’re dealing with money problems then this program is for you. Today we’re going to discover ancient secrets to managing your finances from a place many people would never think to look—in your the Bible!
For so many people, the dreams of just a short time ago—dreams of owning your own house—or having a reliable car—or retiring early and traveling—have disappeared in an economic crisis that seems to be getting worse all the time.
Do you feel anxious and stressed over the money most of the time?
You may not be able to control the national economy, but you can get control of your life, your behavior and your money.
We’re going to show you how to do it. We’ll even talk with a couple who have applied these principles and look at how it changed their lives. They have experienced the relief of a stable budget. You can too. Getting control of your money won’t be easy—but you must accept that if you keep applying the same old solutions to the same old problems—you will simply arrive at the same old problems.
Today, we’re going to discuss three basic steps in getting control of your money. We’ll also tell you how to get a study guide, Managing Your Finances .
The first step—learn how to budget.
We interviewed Gregg Drury, a business banker, who analyzes people’s finances to see if they can qualify for a loan. He gave us some simple advice that anyone can do. Gregg told us that the first step is being able to recognize and admit that there is a problem.
[Gregg] With several issues in life, the debt trap, if you will, included, probably the first step is just recognizing that there is an issue and owning that. Until you realize that it’s a problem, it’s not just going to fix itself, you can’t really develop a plan to find a way to get out of that issue.
If we’re talking about a family that’s fallen on some financial hardships or that has a debt problem, I think equally important is coming together as a family unit. Either husband and wife or bringing the children in as appropriate—if it’s age appropriate for them to be a part of that solution. And then come up with a game plan, which typically starts with doing a budget.
[Gary] We asked Gregg, what is the most important action a person can take in getting control of his or her money?
[Gregg] Developing a budget is probably the most important piece of a plan to get out of debt. It can also potentially be the most difficult part to do. I think the first thing that you have to do is analyze your monthly income verses your cash outflows or your bills. And then you need to decide in which order you are going to assign every dollar that you have coming in. I think you start with your basic needs first—food, clothing, shelter. And then, prioritize the remaining bills that you have and determine the order in which you want to pay those.
[Gary] We’ll show you how to do a basic budget in just a minute. Now Gregg also pointed out an often ignored aspect of getting out of debt—working with the creditors. Now think about that.
[Gregg] I think that’s where communication, even potentially with the creditors, if it’s credit card debt. A lot of times you can call those people and they’ll settle for less than the full balance or you can get on different payment terms with them. But at some point, you do still just have to analyze the monthly income verses what you have to send out.
[Gary] No financial plan works without a budget. It’s that simple. You have to know how much money you have and where it goes.
In order to find out where your money is going, you need to get a little notebook and carry it around with you for an entire month. Write down every cent you spend, every credit card purchase, every debit card expenditure, every check you write. Keep a receipt for every expenditure. At the end of the month, review where you spent your money.
You may find that you’re just throwing away some of that hard earned cash. Now let me give you an example. Spending three dollars a day—that’s all, Monday through Friday, on a cup of coffee is 15 dollars a week, 60 dollars every four weeks. That’s over 700 dollars a year! Think what you can do with 700 dollars! Making coffee at home and taking it in a thermos could save you a lot of money.
Now included in the free booklet we’re offering on today’s program— Managing Your Finances —is a “Monthly Income and Expense Worksheet.”
Here’s the simple concept of using this budget worksheet. And when you get Managing Your Finances , this is right in the middle of the booklet. And you’ll see a “Monthly Income and Expense Worksheet.” This will help you break down what your expenses are every month. And it begins with of course your take home pay, but you have to take out whatever your taxes are that you pay. And then, it breaks it down and it starts with offerings towards God, charitable contributions—Remember, always be generous to God!
But then you have your housing, your utilities, your food, and what happens is when most people make a budget, they don’t break it down enough. To give you an example, utilities. You say, oh I spend so much a month. Yeah, but how much do you spend for electricity, gas, water, trash? Home phone? How about your cell phone? You see, all those have to be budgeted for throughout the month.
You have food, transportation, clothing, health care. There’s all kinds of things here in this budget to help you break down where your money is going. And remember, say you put 20 dollars in for auto repair and you don’t use it that month. Well don’t take it and spend it on something else. It’s in your budget. You keep that for the next month. That’s very important because the next month you might need an oil change and it’s going to cost more than 20 dollars. So this is an important, very, very, important worksheet that we want to give you for free that you can get from today’s program.
Now remember, no financial plan works without a budget. Next we’ll talk with a couple who learned how to budget and broke free of the chains of debt.
But first, let me tell you how to get your copy of— Managing Your Finances . The price is right—it won’t cost you a cent.
You will learn what the Bible says about wealth—keys to successful money management—how to budget—how to avoid those money battles that can ruin your marriage—how to avoid financial black holes. The most important key, how to receive God’s blessing in your life.
Go online right now to BeyondToday.tv to read or order your free copy of Managing Your Finances . Or call, toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's, 1-888-886-8632.
The first practical key to managing your finances is learn to budget. The budget worksheet in Managing Your Finances will help you get control. Writing down every cent you spend for a month will help you find out where your money is going.
The second key to getting control of your money is found in Proverbs:22:7: “The borrower is servant to the lender.”
You will never have financial security until you get out of debt.
Did you ever play the game, Monopoly? The goal of the game is to collect all the properties of a particular color and then build houses and hotels on those properties.
Remember what it was like when you landed on someone else’s property and they owned a hotel? Land on enough properties owned by other players and you would pay out all your money, sell off all your houses and then have to mortgage your properties. If you landed on a second property with a hotel, you would most likely lose your properties and go bankrupt. You were then out of the game.
Monopoly has an important lesson for life. When you spend more than you make and buy on credit, eventually you lose.
The simplest way to get out of debt is to learn how to budget and then only spend the amount of money you make—even if it means lowering your standard of living.
Now we talked with Troy and Cindy Phelps from Cincinnati, Ohio who used the principles in the Managing Your Finances booklet to get control of their money and it changed their lives.
The first question we asked is, what their lives were like when they were controlled by debt?
[Troy] There’s not a lot of security and safety for the family. And for me as the provider of the family, I felt a lot of guilt and stress of trying to manage those finances and make choices. And when the family wanted things, you know, I wanted to be able to say yes to those things but there’s always a lot of guilt that went along with that or stress that went along with that. So, it was a hard time—a lot of anxiety.
[Cindy] It’s really hard to understand the value of money when you’re in debt because it kind of didn’t matter how much when you would get a pay increase or something. It didn’t really make a difference because we were already using money that we didn’t have so, it just didn’t really translate. And then when it came to making decisions about buying, we didn’t really have good guidelines for what we could afford and what we couldn’t afford because it wasn’t really our money at that point. We had already used our money.
[Troy] It even made taking something like taking your kids to the dentist, things that you need to be able to do but even those things became question marks. Like, should we get the cavity filled? Because nothing can be a good easy choice to make for your family when everything’s about more and more debt all the time.
[Gary] Do Troy and Cindy’s financial difficulties sound familiar to you? Eventually money problems began to affect their family life:
[Troy] There was definitely spillover from us being in debt. Even in our marriage, for example. She can’t help but have a lack of or a certain amount of insecurity and maybe even a lack of trust with me making certain decisions when she knows that those decisions aren’t founded on biblical principles. So, every time I’d make a choice. Oh yeah we can get this, and let’s do this, when she knew the money wasn’t there. It certainly created a certain amount of tension between us. And the kids as well.
[Gary] The Phelps are a success story of people who broke the chains of debt. What brought about this dramatic change? When they began to accept what God wanted in their lives, then things changed.
[Troy] We realized that we were sinning. God gave principles and we weren’t following those. And we came to that recognition and we started to realize that God said in His Word that we should not be in debt. That a borrower is a servant to the lender, you know type idea. And we recognize that God didn’t want that for us and therefore we had to change that practice.
[Cindy] We realized that we weren’t free to help other people. We weren’t able to really be used by God because we didn’t have any resources that were available to us.
[Gary] The Phelps realized that they had to do something. What they did next is the most important step anyone can take. Troy and Cindy began to understand the spiritual aspects of managing their lives and their money.
And this is the third step in today’s plan—after you learn how to budget and get out of debt, you have to establish God’s priorities in your life. This is the often overlooked secret to dealing with the anxiety of money problems.
Now listen to what accepting God’s priorities did for Troy and Cindy.
[Troy] Well the first thing we did once we realized we needed a change, was we repented. We went to God, both individually, and told God we were sorry that we had misused the blessings that He had already given us and we were not staying within those blessings. I think it’s Luke that says, he who is faithful in little is faithful in much. And we weren’t being faithful in the little that He has given us, so why would God ever bless us financially if we weren’t living within what He had already given us? I think that’s one of the biggest things is, we repented.
[Cindy] And asked Him to help us because it’s daunting. When you’re in the hole to think of how are we going to get out of this? And what is that going to be like? So, we knew that needed His help and the courage to be able to do it.
[Gary] The Phelps still had to change their lifestyle. They turned their lives around by applying the principles found in this very book, Managing Your Finances —the very booklet we’re offering to give to you today absolutely free.
[Troy] Thankfully we had used the church Managing Your Finances booklet several times in our life. But we kind of just played with it for a while. We’d never really gotten serious with using it. And so we really structured our budget for the first time and kind of, using those categories. That there is an insert in that booklet that kind of breaks down all the different ways you can spend your money and things. First and foremost, making sure you are tithing and all those different principles. And we went through that and we began to really use a budget and stick to a budget for the first time in our lives.
[Gary] In the next segment, we’ll look at some principles on how to make wise decisions about what you buy and some teachings of Jesus on money. We’ll also talk some more with Troy and Cindy Phelps.
But before we do, as I mentioned earlier, the best way you can get out of debt is to gain control of your money by learning how to budget and then spending only the amount of money you make—even if it means that sometimes you have to lower your standard of living. To help put this important principle into effect and to discover other practical money-management principles, I highly encourage you to order a free copy of our study guide, Managing Your Finances.
Besides that, we’ll send you a free subscription to our valuable bi-monthly magazine. This publication will give you insight into the many down-to-earth teachings of the Bible. It not only will help you comprehend the spiritual significance of biblical prophecies, but aid you in preparing for a challenging future.
To order your free copy of Managing Your Finances and receive your free subscription to our magazine, call 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632 or go online to BeyondToday.tv . Now we provide our literature entirely free of charge as an educational service. So please, request yours today!
Now we’ll get back with Troy and Cindy in a minute. But first, let’s look at one of the principles they had to learn in order to get control of their finances. They had to learn how to make wise buying decisions.
In the free booklet we’re offering today, Managing Your Finances , there is a simple “Buying Self-Test” that can help you avoid making bad purchases. Now before you make any big purchases, ask yourself these questions:
Do I really need this? There’s a big difference between what we want and what we need.
Second, do I need this now ? Many times we want something right now because it’s the latest product when really we can wait to get it some other time, sometimes when the price is cheaper.
Three, can I get a better price elsewhere? Do comparison shopping. You’ll be surprised at the difference in prices in different places on the same item.
Four, if this is a bargain, is it a current or suitable model? You know sometimes a bargain really is a bargain.
Five, can I get by with a less expensive version or a model of the same item? Think about a car. Sometimes all the whistles and bells can add thousands of dollars to the price of a car—when you really don’t need them.
Six, is it of good quality? Sometimes we’ll buy a cheap piece of furniture because oh, it’s such a great price. And a year later, we’re throwing it out because it’s fallen apart.
Seven, will I be pleased with my purchase in 30 days? That’s an important question to ask yourself. You know, buyer’s remorse. Lots of people buy something in a very short period of time really regret buying it. Sometimes, if you have a question, wait 30 days, then make the buy. Make sure you really want it.
Learn to make good buying decisions and discover the satisfaction of living within your means.
Troy and Cindy tell us about some of the factors that produced success in learning how to manage their finances—including paying off the credit cards.
[Troy] One of the things that kept us focused was having a peer group that Cindy mentioned before. Having other people be encouraging to us really helped give us some of the fuel we needed to remain diligent. Also seeing some early successes—the first card that went away. And being able to throw that money that you used to be paying on that card onto a second, began to be a real excitement for us.
[Cindy] We would have certain milestones. You know, once we were able to accomplish this, then we would be able to celebrate a little bit. And sometimes we would go ahead and you know, that’s when we would say let’s take the family out to dinner because we’ve worked this long and this hard and we’ve not gone out to dinner for so long. So, now is a good time to say, we did it. Let’s enjoy the fruits of our labor. And then let’s get back to it.
[Gary] One of things they talked about was the spiritual and emotional healing they experienced when they began to apply God’s principles to their lifestyle.
[Troy] I think guilt goes away pretty early in the process. Once you—thankfully we have a loving God—and so once you repent of breaking one of His guidelines, you know, you now have that guilt lifted off. But then, when you started changing the behavior—so the two things: repent and change. So once the change is happening also, real quickly the guilt of it I think left. And now we were making a positive—going forward positively.
[Cindy] I think that is something that we carried before is that we had shame for the place that we were and it was hidden shame because not everyone around us knew that we were in debt, but we knew. And so, letting go of that guilt and immediately changing and working towards something else I think you were able to let that go, and the guilt only returns when you stumble and you make that mistake again.
[Troy] And there are times that you stumble and I think that’s something we had to come to kind of recognize. That this isn’t a one time you change and repent and overcome this lifelong habit of spending money that you didn’t have.
[Cindy] And temptation.
[Troy] And temptation, yeah. And there have been moments along the way where we’ve failed. And sometimes we have to admit that to each other and say, you know, you’re right, that wasn’t the best purchase and we didn’t have the money for it. And both admit it to each other, admit it to God, and move forward again.
[Gary] Learn to budget. Get out of debt. Establish God’s priorities.
People can be surprised to find out that Jesus taught about money and God’s priorities for our lives.
Let’s go to Matthew:6:32—the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles”—or people of all the nations—“seek.”
Now listen to this: “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
All of us worry about, bills and money from time to time. Jesus tells us not to have anxious thought, not to be overwhelmed with anxiety. Instead, we should have faith that God knows what we need and He cares for us. Stop making money the center of your life and turn to your Creator as the center of your life. You see, God understands your needs.
Look at what verse 33 says: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew:6:33).
This isn’t a health and wealth gospel. I’m not saying that if you have Jesus in your heart or faith in Jesus that all your money problems will fade away. All of us suffer job difficulties, health problems, and you know sometimes the money just won’t stretch far enough.
Jesus says that when you place God—His righteousness—His ways—His instructions at the center of your life—that He promises to help you and me through the bad times. He promises to give meaning and purpose to your life and to give you a future beyond your imagination!
You know in this same passage we read, Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters, for either [we] will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and [money]” (Matthew:6:24).
You know there is nothing morally wrong with being wealthy. It’s a matter of perspective. Are we really supposed to believe that whoever dies with the most stuff wins? Wins what? What good is it to be buried in your fishing boat? God has an eternal purpose for your life beyond what you and I can own today.
This is really the most important point in getting control of your money: When faced with the anxiety of financial difficulties, remember that your Creator is interested and involved in your life if you let Him be. Seek the way of life taught by Jesus Christ and trust that God will take care of your needs.
Please don’t forget our free offers today including your study aid: Managing Your Finances , and our bi-monthly magazine. Both are yours absolutely free of charge. To order your free publication, simply call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632 or go online to BeyondToday.tv .
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And, if you want to learn even more about the wonderful truths of the Bible, please watch our live, bi-weekly, Wednesday night Beyond Today Bible studies on the Web . Now to find them, simply go to our Beyond Today website. Please join us as we cover various Bible subjects—designed to help you find hope for today and tomorrow. And, if you’re interested, we have congregations holding Sabbath services in hundreds of cities around the world . We’d love to hear from you.
Anxiety over money is a leading cause of arguments between husbands and wives. Financial worries can cause stress that leads to alcohol abuse, depression and feelings of worthlessness.
What can you do to get control of your money?
Well it’s what we’ve talked about today. First, get control of your money by learning how to budget. Get a budget sheet that organizes your monthly income and expenses. Keep a record of every dollar you spend so you know where your money is going. And don’t forget to give God His share first in tithes and offerings.
Secondly, get out of debt, even if it means lowering your standard of living now.
And thirdly, recognize that God understands your needs and wants to be involved in your life. Jesus said to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness and God will help take care of your needs. Life is more than just getting stuff. Establish God’s priorities in your life.
I know, these aren’t easy solutions. It’s going to take some time and work, and giving up some non-essential luxuries. But listen, the peace of mind is worth it. Your life can get better, simply by following the way of life given to us by the Creator of life.
So join us next week on Beyond Today as we continue to discover the gospel of the Kingdom. We also invite you to join us in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today I’m Gary Petty. Thanks for watching.
[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today’s program, go online to BeyondToday.tv . Please join us again next week on Beyond Today !