If you could spend five to ten minutes per day with a person who had a net worth of $2.2 trillion would you do it?
King Solomon wrote most of the thirty-one Proverbs and all of them are at our disposal free of charge.
The wisdom contained in these short chapters is life-changing.
New fads appear on a regular basis. Regrettably some survive and thankfully most die. In the realm of money there are always new ideas and concepts. Most are baloney. I prefer to stick with ancient wisdom that has survived thousands of years.
I realize there are many extremely smart individuals on Wall Street but these are the same people that lead Enron, Lehman Brothers, and similar debacles. I'll lean on God and His team of experts. He has promised to teach us how to profit.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17, ESV).
I've pulled five specific Proverbs in which God teaches us to profit. Perhaps you would like to add your favorite in the comment section.
Proverbs Teaches Us To Plan
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5, ESV).
You would be surprised as to how many people drift through life without a financial dream, vision, or a plan. A paycheck is received and it's totally spent without any consideration of the future. When our destiny is not considered, a terrible collapse is inevitable (Lamentations 1:9). Planning is not rocket science but it does require effort. It's best to begin on a small scale.
I encourage families to start with a budget. All is needed is a piece of paper and a pencil. I support the zero based budget idea. In a zero based budget one simply spends every penny on paper before the month begins. It's similar to an architect creating a blueprint for a builder to follow. Follow the plan, then measure twice, and cut once.
“Most people don't have a plan. That's why it's easy to beat most folks” (Paul “Bear” Bryant).
If you have a budget deficit take a peek at this article.
Those with more salary than expenses will be able to save and or invest.
A Call to Action: Begin tracking your expenses today. Start the budgeting process next month.
Proverbs Teaches Us To Save
“There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it all” (Proverbs 21:20, NKJV).
When It Rains It Pours
I have some bad news and I have some worse news. The bad news is that everything you own will eventually break and become useless. The worse news is that these thing have the tendency to break down at the worst possible time. It's going to rain on your parade several times throughout your life. That's why a rainy day fund is needed.
I've heard them called rainy day funds, emergency funds, and I recently heard a friend call it a POM Fund (peace of mind). Financial experts encourage folks to have 3-6 months of living expenses set aside for job loss or other emergencies. Save more than 3-6 months if possible.
At the end of December there is a holiday many of us celebrate—Christmas. According to Investopedia, American families spent a little less than $1,000 on gifts for the holiday. Did you know you if you save about $80 per month you will have almost $1,000 to spend next Christmas. I know it's like some kind of magic! What else could we do with this financial freakiness?
Cars stop working, appliances go kaput, roofs need to be replaced, and clothing becomes unfashionable. These are all candidates for a sinking fund.
A technical definition for sinking fund is an account established for the gradual repayment of debt or the replacement of an asset (car, appliance, etc.).
Maybe you cannot tackle all of these things right now. You can, however, choose one and begin to make progress.
A Call to Action: Save something each and every paycheck. When I first began investing in my work 401(k) it was only 1%. It was a great way to dip my toe in the water. Can you save $5.00 per check? Just start.
Proverbs Teaches Us To Resist Debt
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7, NIV).
I wanted to write, “avoid debt” instead of “resist debt” but it now requires more than simple avoidance. Steering clear of debt requires tremendous grit and resistance. We must intentionally decide to live a life free of debt and then fight tooth and nail at remaining free from it's siren song.
Long ago my wife and I had our hearts set on spending a year in Sweden at Living Word Bible College. Several of our friends packed their stuff and moved away for a life-changing year of intensive discipleship. We did not get to go. We stayed back in Kalamazoo, Michigan and paid off debt. It was a humbling experience and one I have no intention of living again.
Debt steals from our future. I want to remain financially free to do whatever God says whenever He says to do it.
Let's heed the warnings from the Good Book: The borrower is slave to the lender.
Call to Action: Opt out of prescreened credit card offers for five years. Maybe if you don't see them you won't get tempted.
Proverbs Teaches Us To Transfer Risk
“A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished” (Proverbs 27:12, NKJV).
I'm fascinated with the book of Nehemiah. He was called to repair the protection around Jerusalem. The wall was rebuilt and the gates were restored in only fifty-two days.
We all will need financial protection at some point in our lives. Rainy day funds protect against job loss. What about catastrophic events? How do we protect ourselves from a catastrophe? We do so by transferring risk. It's also known as insurance. With insurance we purchase a policy and transfer the risk to the insurer.
Everyone needs a handful of different insurance types.
- Home or Renters Insurance
- Term Life Insurance – Stick with the inexpensive term policy through a reputable company. Get coverage outside of your company if you're able. Why? If you lose your job you lose your coverage. Life insurance is another way we tell our family that we love them.
- Long Term Disability – What if? Unfortunately, I know several people that could have benefited from LTD insurance but did not have it. At least check into it.
- Long Term Care (before 60) – Similar to term life policies these become more expensive as you age (for obvious reasons). Nursing homes are expensive. Please, seriously consider transferring this risk. I have a family member that could have used this coverage and does not have it. It's real and it's painful.
Call to Action: Get a term life quote. Shop around for your home & auto—get at least 3 quotes. Do you even know how much LTD or LTC insurance cost? The call is free.
Proverbs Teaches Us To Practice Generosity
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25, NIV).
I'm amazed at how God orchestrated the interaction between His kids and money. Jesus was crystal clear when He said we could not serve two masters. Money touches every area of our lives. Everyday we're interacting with dead presidents. Yet, we're supposed to stay free from the love of money. God teaches us to profit and empowers us to get wealth but we must not love the stuff! The best way to stay free from the love of money is to practice radical generosity.
The Kingdom of God is an upside down Kingdom. It's paradoxical in nature. If we want to be first we must be last. Those who want to lead must serve. God promises those who give will prosper. Jesus said that when we give it will be given back to us. It does not make sense to our natural mind. Do it anyway.
Be a giver. Imitate God by loving so much that you give!
Call to Action: The next time you're in a fast food drive through, pay for the car behind you.
A Proverb A Day Can Improve Your Financial Wisdom
The Proverbs are awesome.
I pulled five of them for this article but there are dozens—maybe hundreds more that teach sound, financial wisdom.
Read one per day and commit to practice what you learn. After one month you will notice a major improvement in your financial wisdom!
Please share your favorite financial Proverb in the comments.