76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. It is a lifestyle Karen and I lived for the first 5 years of our marriage. We actually lived from paycheck to on a wing and a prayer.
Since I was leading our family in our finances, I irresponsibly lead ourselves in many areas of our financial lives. We were deep in debt. We were making terrible expensive purchases beyond our means. My job was not to be like the Jones. I wanted to beat the Jones and be the family everyone wanted to be. Sadly, that is a good example of pride – my pride.
When we reached a point of almost no return, we got helped. Since, I have been passing on our experience to many others to help and encourage others in their financial lives. Over the years of living it and leading others, I found 4 reasons people usual find themselves struggling financially. The diagnostics are hard to swallow but if you face the truth, Jesus was right in saying “the truth will set you free.”
Here is the list:
1. No to too little savings.
This one step turned our financial confidence around. We chose to the the hardest thing which was to build a $0 savings account to $500 and then to $600 and then to $1000. Now, we keep adding to that account. Our goal? To keep yesterday’s balance as the minimum balance and keep building.
There is nothing which keeps me more at peace than knowing when a financial storm hits, I have it in savings to attack it. avings has kept peace in mine and Karen’s minds and marriage.
On the next post, I am going to write more about what you can do to build your savings.
2. Living like you are a Kardashian when you should be living like the pre-oil discovering Clampett’s.
I love the Beverly Hillbillies. I watch their shows often. They lived in Beverly Hills and were rich beyond what their minds could conceive. Yet, they lived everyday as if they were still poor living in a one room shack in Texas. Just check the china cabinet in the kitchen!
You may have the income as the Clampett’s before they struck oil. Yet, you think you are a Kardashian and you have to have all the latest stuff in clothes, cars, and tech. Now you are deep in debt and/or can’t pay all of your bills. I have been there.
Live like the pre-oil Clampett’s so that one day you can live like the post-oil Clampett’s. Have a garage sell. Downsize your living space. Stop spending. Stop eating out. End the shopping marathons. Live like you are dirt poor today so soon you can live like never before tomorrow.
3. Too comfortable in a job with its income.
You get stuck. You get comfortable in a job. You love your coworkers. You do not like change. You get scared of the unknowns out in the job market. You don’t have the confidence you are better than you position or income.
Thus, you settle in a job with its income without considering other advancing opportunities or even asking for a raise. Week in and week out, you settle with your income satisfied with the job but personally unsatisfied financially. When does the madness end?
Ask for a raise. Begin looking what is out there. You deserve more. Value yourself more. Make yourself valuable and believe it.
4. You are robbing God.
We were tithing yet at the same time robbing God. I write about in Be Blessed? Read the Fine Print. God can’t bless what He has cursed.
If you are robbing God by not paying your tithe (10 percent of your gross income) and giving offerings, you are robbing God. (notice we are to pay our tithes and give our offerings. The tithe does not belong to us. It is God’s) Plain and simple. You are a thief.
God says in the book of Malachi Chapter 3:11 when you tithe and give offerings, He guards your crops and fruits (income). (NLT) Has your actions allowed God to put down His guard? Can God not protect your income because you have not placed Him first in your finances? Tough questions but are your finances cursed?
Though I placed this last on the list, it is the first thing on my list when people come to me for financial advice and direction. Take care of this first and then the others. Don’t place a dollar in your savings account if that dollar does not belong to you but to God.
There are probably more reasons which could be added to this list. What could you do today to begin getting out of your financial hole and begin living a life financially free and soaring? What can you do to cut back now so your life tomorrow could be better? Are you robbing God in tithes and offerings?
Place a microscope on your finances and make the changes today to create the best life tomorrow.
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