Are you killing your ability to save?
There are a number of excellent reasons to save:
- Adequate savings can prevent financial ruin when unforeseen expenses arise
- Having enough savings can reduce personal and relational stress
- Saving money can help pay for college or cover living expenses during retirement
- Having a healthy savings account can protect your ability to live and give generously
Possessing adequate savings is an essential element for financial health. And financial health is a means by which we can experience generous, Kingdom-advancing living. Financial healthy people are better able to say “yes” instead of “not yet.” And it is that life most of us yearn to experience.
So what decisions are killing your ability to save and experience financial health?
1. Not defining a savings goal
Identify a savings goal.
Goals tell you when you’re done and can celebrate.
How much should you save?
Try having three to six months of living expenses in a savings account.
In my book, The Money Challenge, this is Milestone 5. Let the number of those for whom you are financially responsible determine whether to pursue the shorter or longer end of the three to six months range.
2. Taking on debt
The Bible says that we are slaves to our lenders (Prov. 22:7). It’s true. When a credit card bill hits your mailbox, you must pay it, whether you want to or not.
Debt payments remove your ability to use that money for other purposes.
Avoid debt and increase your savings.
3. Not planning
Unfortunately, money in a savings account does not magically appear. As mentioned before, you should have a goal. But you should also have a plan to achieve that goal.
As you look at your income and expenses, consider how you can set aside money each month for savings. Create a plan to reach your savings goal.
4. Keeping up with the Joneses
“Keeping up with the Joneses” means trying to maintain a lifestyle that mimics those around you. Because of social media, the Joneses seem to be ever-present. We can’t get away from them. But obsessing over others’ possessions is a sure way to develop dissatisfaction with your own possessions and live beyond your means.
See why thousands of churches trust Tithe.ly with their online giving and mobile giving solutions.
The money you could set aside for savings is spent trying to maintain a façade that is destined to crumble. Don’t create a façade. Create a savings account.
5. Not leveraging technology
Because of online banking, setting aside money each month for savings has become exponentially easier. So take advantage of technology.
Set up a monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings account. Try to make the transfer occur on the same day you are paid. This will reduce the temptation to spend before you save. Technology can help you reach your savings goal. So use it.
Over to you
Saving money is critical for financial health. And financial health is a means by which financially-generous, Kingdom-advancing living can be experienced.
We save to give.
We save to protect our financial priority—generosity.
Consider what decisions may be killing your ability to save. And take the next step in your journey to financial health and living generously by saving.
What decisions have kept you from saving? Share what you’ve learned in the comments below.
Editor’s Note:This is a guest post by Art Rainer. Art is the author of The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money.