The beginning of the year is as good of a time as any to rework your finances and get things back in order, and one of the best ways you can do that is implementing effective financial habits. I’ll admit, our finances have been a work in progress since we got married. (You might remember our big b-word talk…) But, there have always been three habits that we had in place with our finances that have made a huge difference in our ability to pay down our debt, live contently, and spend wisely. So, what are those three habits? Check them out and see if they won’t help you get back on track with your finances.
1. Tithe Faithfully
We believe that everything we earn comes from God, so it is our practice to give back to Him a portion that He has given to us. A typical tithe amount is 10 percent, but you can tithe any amount you feel is appropriate. And, this money doesn’t simply have to go to a faith community. We’ve often donated part of our tithed money to charitable organizations, individuals, and other projects or needs in our community. The fact that we honor God by giving back to Him, though, opens us up to receive even more of His blessing, and we’ve seen that come to fruition in a number of ways.
2. Save Before You Spend
The phrase that comes to mind with this one is “Pay yourself first.” While I’d probably adjust that to say “Pay God first and then yourself,” I do believe it’s important to set aside some money for your personal use before spending it on everything else. The problem with spending first is that you’ll likely use up all of your money before you get around to saving and then end up not doing it. One of the easiest ways we’ve found to make sure we save before we spend is setting up an automatic transfer. With each pay check we receive, a portion automatically transfers into our savings account.
3. Watch the Budget
One of the absolute best ways you can manage your money effectively is by creating and following a budget. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t a once a year thing. You need to rework your budget each month to add in any new expenses and make adjustments for fluctuating income. And, once you’ve created your budget, stick to it. I’m not the budget master in our house (but I am the budget keeper), but my husband checks in on our budget daily to keep us on track all month long.
Good financial habits are essential if you want to get ahead with your finances. So, take a note from our book and adopt these three financial habits this year. You’ll be glad you did!