Who Wins and Who Loses When It Comes to Money?
How do you define success when it comes to money? Is it about big houses and expensive cars? Is it about net worth? What is the determiner of success? Well it depends on what lens you filter the question through. If you filter it through the lens of the world, your success is defined through the amount of stuff you have accumulated, your investment accounts, and your bank account. If you filter it through the lens of prudent stewardship, the answer is quite different.
Success with money comes down to your level of peace when it comes to money. From a prudent stewardship standpoint, therein lies the litmus test. Truth be told, people are stressed about money. According to statisticsbrain.com money is the second leading cause of stress. The good news is that doesn’t have to be the case. You can be at financial peace. It comes down to how you answer three important questions.
(1) Is money guiding your life or are you committed to a Matthew 6:24 life?
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
I don’t think that people on a conscious level filter their decisions through the lens of money. I do believe that it happens on a sub-conscious basis. Our sub-conscious works in the background and acts on decisions based on how you interpret life. It is almost like we hit the auto-pilot button and make decisions with the same set of patterns that are ingrained in us and are patterns that have been heavily influenced by the illusions of money. When you daily commit to a Matthew 6:24 life, it keeps everything in perspective. In fact, everything truly falls in line. It is a conscious decision and commitment that ultimately changes subconsciously how you think.
(2) Do you have a plan?
“Know where you are so you know where you are going.”
The majority of financial stress comes as a result of uncertainty. If you want to reduce and in some cases eliminate that financial stress, have a financial plan of action. I am talking about a plan that is comprehensive and covers every aspect of your life. That process enables you to solve problems that you have allowed to render you helpless. You know the types of problems we just let linger instead of solving them?
A comprehensive plan creates a game plan for the following:
- A Financial Goal Plan
- A Spending Plan
- A Savings Plan
- An Investment Plan
- An Estate/Survivor Plan
- A Protection Plan – risk management in all aspects of every plan
Most importantly, a comprehensive plan gives you a means of interpretation and acts as a guide when decisions come up.
(3)Do you have strong prudent stewardship values? Do you have shared ones with your spouse?
“Want to know what you value when it comes to money? Just look at your bank account and credit card statements.”
This is an important one. What do you value about money? If you are married, what are your shared values? What is the most important thing when it comes to being a Prudent Steward of everything that God has given you? Oftentimes it is easy to list out your values. All you have to do is see where you spend money. Money flows to what we value. The real question comes down to priority of values. This is where the problem lies. We find out through the process that we really aren’t at peace with how we are prioritizing values.
A prioritized shared set of stewardship values keeps both the husband and the wife on the same page. It is one of the greatest processes that a married couple can go through.
It is important to know that three simple questions is a life time process. However, it is the most worthwhile journey that you can be on. It is time to claim control over financial stress and turn it into financial peace. Committing to a Matthew 6:24 life, having a plan for everything, and prioritizing and identifying shared values will give you the answer to how you win with money.
Bob Brooks is host of the Prudent Money Radio show. Bob is also a financial advisor who helps people set and achieve financial goals. For more information or to set up a phone consultation, email Judy Parrish at firstname.lastname@example.org