How Well Are You Managing Your Finances?

By Ralph Olson

Although we live in the richest
nation on earth . . .

  • A Federal Reserve study showed that 43% of US families spent more than they earned.
  • Bankruptcies increased 8.6% in 2002.
  • On average, Americans can expect to receive just 37% of the annual retirement income they will need to  live comfortably.
  • In 1999 Americans saved minus 1.5% of their disposable income.
  • Half of those who maintain a credit card balance pay only the minimum payment.
  • The average outstanding credit card balance is $8,370.
  • In 1993 half of all families had less than $1,000 in net financial assets.
  • Average giving to a local church is only 2.5%.

Managing Your Finances

Financial success is not measured by how much you make, the size of the house you live in, or the kind of car you drive.  Rather, it is measured by how well you manage the resources God has given to you. 
Many struggle with this task.  They are deeply in debt, have little, if any, in reserve to meet emergencies, and are not adequately prepared for retirement.  Tragically, financial problems are the major cause of over half of the divorces in our country.  This results in years of heartache and difficulties for family members.

Are there answers to these problems? Yes, there are!

There are numerous tools and resources to help you become a better financial manager.  A primary source is the Bible which has over 2,350 verses that address everything you need to know about handling money. 
When you understand the financial principles in the Bible and follow the blueprint it provides, you gain a new perspective on financial success.

How Are You Doing?
Here Are Some Key Questions:

What percentage of your monthly income is used to pay off debts?   ________%

Do you regularly make minimum payments on revolving charges?  Yes / No

Do you use credit for products and services you used to pay for with cash?  Yes / No

Is giving to your church sometimes reduced or skipped because of lack of money?  Yes / No

Do you have a budget that is followed regularly, and updated annually?  Yes / No

Do you have a long range plan that includes all major purchases and retirement?  Yes / No

Do you have a Will that is current?  Yes / No

What percentage of your income are you saving and/or investing each month?  ________%

Is the subject of money a frequent cause of arguments with your spouse?   Yes / No

What is your credit rating?  _______________

If you have children, what steps are you taking to prepare them to handle money?

What is your biggest financial problem right now?

What Are Your Priorities?

The Bible says in Matthew 6:33, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

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