Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Howard Dayton's Four Steps to Prevent Further Personal Financial Problems

Howard Dayton of crown.org has a simple and practical article on LifeWay.com called Help in a Financial Crisis. Here is an excerpt ...
What we do and allow in moderation, our children will allow and do in excess. - Benjamin Disraeli in an 1865 address before the British House of Commons
Financial problems can be devastating, so it makes good sense for families to practice prevention rather than recuperation. You may feel it's too late to practice prevention, but it's not. In fact, the only way to correct a downward financial spiral is to institute basic, simple, preventive measures in order to counterbalance unbiblical financial practices and to prevent further financial problems. 

Here are four steps

The first is obvious – stop borrowing
"The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous is gracious and giving" (Psalm 37:21).

Scripture clearly indicates that borrowing isn't God's best for His people and should never be used as a routine part of financial planning – especially now.

Start saving
"Precious treasure and oil are in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man consumes them" (Proverbs 21:20).

Today, spending and borrowing are promoted, and saving is discouraged. But God's principles encourage saving for future needs and purchases, rather than borrowing or using credit.

Avoid hasty decisions and ignore pitches such as, "buy now, before it's too late"
"The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless only becomes poor" (Proverbs 21:5).

Patience and consistency, rather than quick decisions and looking for instant success, are the ways to financial security. Discipline yourself to work and save to reach a goal.

Develop and live by a budget
"Poverty and disgrace [come to] those who ignore instruction, but the one who accepts rebuke will be honored" (Proverbs 13:18).

Learn to develop and live on a balanced budget – a monthly spending plan. If you don't, chances are that the cycle of debt will continue and could easily worsen. Those mounting monthly payments probably aren't quite as "easy" to make as they are alleged to be.

If Christian families would live by sound biblical financial principles, they would be lights to show others the way to financial freedom. Larry Burkett believed that with consistent teaching and discipline of God's principles, it would take less than a generation to break the financial bondage under which so many Christians live, and free them to fund the work of the Lord.

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