A couple of years ago, our staff was getting ready to go through the Financial Peace University class together. My mom was leading the class and wanted me to go, but I really didn’t want to go because I didn’t see the point in it for me. I was only twenty years old at the time with no debt and no mortgage payment, so I thought that the class didn’t really apply to my life. I thought it would be a waste of time, but I went anyways… Every week, they would ask what our takeaway was from the class, and I usually felt like I didn’t learn anything. I knew the principles, but I just wasn’t applying them.
In the last week of the class, Dave Ramsey talks about how if you live differently than everyone now, one day you’ll be able to live and give differently than everyone else in the future. I started thinking about all of the things that I would like to accomplish one day…like supporting missionaries, giving more to the church, traveling…and it really made me think about that statement. The choices that I’m making now are affecting my future and whether or not those things will actually be a reality for me one day.
From then on I really just surrendered my finances to God and decided that I wanted to start managing my money in a way that honors Him. I’ve worked very hard to save. I’m saving for a down payment on a house, investing into retirement, and giving more. I’ve even been able to just take my friends out and do fun things without having to worry about living paycheck to paycheck.
It’s definitely hard to manage your money well if you’ve had bad spending habits in the past. I used to go out and spend money randomly, especially on clothes, name brand things, and going out to eat with my friends. But it’s a shift in your mindset to understand how the money that you’re spending now could be used for something better in the future. It takes fighting against instant gratification and knowing that it may not be worth it, knowing that it could be used better in another way. It just took committing to God that I want to manage my money better for Him, and if I have to say no to things, then that’s what I’ll have to do.
My mom definitely helped me by holding me accountable and has steered me in the right direction by opening my eyes to saving for retirement and other things that will be beneficial to my future. I also started meeting with a financial advisor. He helps me understand what investments to make and in a way that will glorify God. He helps people realize things that we can invest our money in as Christians to honor God that will be a good investment as well.
If you’re younger, it’s never too early to start managing your money in a way that honors God, but it’s also never too late. We all have a future that we hope to have, and there’s things that we want to be able to do. But it’s really the choices that we make now that determine whether or not those things will be a reality.