Friday, January 8, 2010

Road to Financial Freedom: Part 1

First things first...

Y'all read in this post all about my financial goals. Today I want to share with you what I believe needs to be addressed before beginning a die-hard debt recovery and money management program.

The first step is evaluating your ATTITUDE about money.

The first and MOST IMPORTANT idea we need to address when it comes to money management and our attitude is who the money actually belongs to. First and foremost, our money belongs to the Lord. He has given us all we have and we need to understand that our money is actually HIS money!

If you have not been faithful in handling your worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:10

We are just managers of God's money. In his book Your Money Map, Howard Dayton says "How we handle our money impacts the closeness of our relationship with God. Every time you apply one of God's financial principles, you will grow closer to Him."

How we spend and save our money should always be with communication with God. Once again, it is ultimately His money! How would you feel if you were the manager of a company and you entrusted an employee with your money and they never consulted with you and just spent the company money (YOUR money!) frivalously?

After realizing who the money belongs to, we need to evaluate our attitude and thoughts about the money we are entrusted with.
It is said that how we relate to money and handle it is a learned skill. We learn by watching our parents, friends and church deal with money. Whether the learned skill is good or bad, you need to figure out what works for your family and the glory of God.

You have a choice. You can either continue the negative habits you have learned about money OR you can learn and use new effective habits. You can learn how to use your money to the highest potential.
Even if you feel like money is dominating your life, take heart, you can make changes. You have the power to take positive actions and head in the right direction.

In Mary Hunts book The Complete Cheapskate, she outlines key attitudes that need to be addressed (I will be paraphrasing.):
  1. Understand what money is! Money cannot equated with love, happiness, worth, respect, social standing, approval, acceptance AND it cannot purchase any of these things.
  2. You have to be responsible and honest! No more debt, bad checks... Take control and own up.
  3. Don't spend money that is not yours! (i.e. credit cards, loans you cannot afford, etc.)
  4. Respond appropriately! Don't get angry, upset, mad, etc... Just know your situation and try to make it better.
  5. Accept responsibility and not shame! We all make money mistakes (the small, big and the ugly!) but what we do with those mistakes is the big thing. And like it is said- Everyone makes mistakes.
  6. Know where your money goes! Be clear about where your money is going and headed!
  7. Dream! Goals and dreams... Keep having them!
  8. Be content! Be happy and content with what you have and who you are!
  9. Give! Remember the money is ultimately God's?
  10. Do what it takes! What is it going to take to get on the road to financial recovery? Do it! 

Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength. -King David

    Next week I will discuss the second step- A Budget (or money plan). Come on back! If you want to find more tips on frugal living, Life as Mom is the place to go!

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