The Power of Savings

If it were suddenly decided that all the money in the world was to be gathered together and then redistributed evenly to each individual on the planet, does it surprise you that, within a decade, it would all be back in the same hands? With a few exceptions, again the rich would be rich, the poor still poor. Well this is a fact. It seems that many of the wealthy – not all – possess the know-how to effectively utilize and manage their resources, while others spend and waste it before they get it.

The ability, or more accurately, the decision, to save money – paycheck to paycheck – is a beautiful art that requires discipline and character. Discipline, because it requires consistency over a period of time. Character, because you have a goal and reach it, despite setbacks, temptations and hardship. To watch your savings grow from ground zero into something more substantial establishes within you a sense of accomplishment and appreciation. While the foolish man was counting the dollars he spent, the wise man was counting the pennies.

The media is riddled with tragedies of people who came into money almost overnight, and then suddenly fell apart. People who achieve great heights too quickly, yet lack the bedrock character to sustain them in their new found fortune are headed for disaster. Perhaps that is what Solomon observed when he stated: “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” (Prov. 13:11).

For the Christian, the purpose of life should never be to amass wealth for its own sake, and never at the expense of discipleship. In the days we are living in, we must give “thought for the morrow” – food, heat, mortgage or rent all have to be paid next month – yet still seek “first the kingdom of God”. Everything must be in balance, with the work of God as a priority. Missionary work, charity and evangelism must not be sacrificed. But many times our hands are tied financially, handicapping us from meeting a need. We moan and complain about the overwhelming mountain of expenses. But I challenge you to take a closer look, and I guarantee you will find numerous, unnecessary holes that drain your funds, and before you know it, you are literally living beyond your means.

Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your overall saving habits:

1. Establish a daily cash summary of all expenses down to $1.00 to determine your spending pattern over 90 days.

2. Identify and eliminate impulse buying and focus on cash conservation at all costs.

3. Establish and stick to a monthly budget – try to minimize the “miscellaneous” expenses.

4. Pay credit card balances on time and even though you have a debit card, spend only what you have. Stay out of debt! It is a disturbing fact that most people spend 20 to 25 cents of every dollar they earn to pay off debt they could have otherwise avoided.

“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not?” (Is. 55:2). Sadly, we live in an age when few people can truly separate their wants from their needs. In fact, often our needs take a backseat to our wants! You need a car, but do you really need all the extra features they tack on? You need shoes, but why the designer name? You would be surprised how often a product is made at the same place, by the same people, with the same material -the only difference is in the label! And so, with our paycheck almost spent before we reach the bank, we play a constant game of ‘catch up’. When we have nothing saved, we are sometimes forced into the most immediate opportunity for ready cash, and rather than being able to appraise an opportunity in a relaxed way, we are rushed by economic necessity. No long-range goals. Without any savings we spend our lifetime darting and dodging.

While savvy marketing teams play upon society, creating needs that were not originally there, we must decide to be godly stewards of what God has entrusted to us. This does not mean that we can not enjoy the fruits of our labour, but let this be in moderation. If you really don’t need it, don’t buy it!

Discipline yourself to save a little money on a consistent basis, even if it starts at $5 per week. Not every sale requires your attendance! Rather, save and spend your hard-earned money for that which is “bread”.