Wealth in the Bible

Using God's Blessings to Bless Others…

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3 Things to do Daily as a Wealthy Christian

When it comes to the Wealthy Christian’s journey, there are 3 things that you might like to consistently do. These could even be carried out on a daily basis.

  • Save
3 Things to do Daily as a Wealthy Christian | WealthintheBible.com

3 Things to do Daily as a Wealthy Christian | WealthintheBible.com

This doesn’t mean that every day you have to put money in your savings account. Although, I have one automatic transfer set up as sending $7/week to my savings account. This equates to $1/day, so is in a way a daily saving.

It could be that you save money by purchasing things at a discounted price or buying in bulk at a cheaper rate. Or maybe it means you save water by collecting rain water and therefore decreasing your water bill. Think outside the box in this area, but be sure to have a consistent savings plan set up – if it’s automatic it happens and you don’t even have to think about it, it just happens in the background and earns you interest.

This may be seen as a future building act.

  • Give

Find a way to be generous. This can be with your time, finances or other resources. God put us on this earth to be His hands and feet. This means loving others and meeting needs they may have if they can’t, because God has blessed us and put us in a position to do so.

This may be seen as a present act.

  • Generate Residual Income

Residual income is something that can be earned many times over from having carried out the work once. A great example of this is interest on savings. As you put the money into a savings account once, it daily earns interest and once this is paid out at the end of the month, this interest also goes on to earn interest. If you are going to the trouble of saving your money regularly, make sure it’s earning interest!

Another example is creating a product that can be sold many times over. Digital products are a great example of this! Be it an electronic book, a fact sheet people can buy and download, a pattern for something or maybe a course, all of these can be created once and sold many times.

This may be seen as a future act.

How Does Your Generosity and Actions Prepare for the Future?

My husband and I are in a wonderful season of our lives. In short: God has blessed us. But I can see many habits and events that have led to our current comfortable life. We live in a home that we own, are saving for our future, are blessed with beautiful children that we can provide for and plan a trip overseas to visit my husband’s parents every other year with our expanding family.

How Does Your Generosity and Actions Prepare for the Future? | WealthintheBible.com

How Does Your Generosity and Actions Prepare for the Future? | WealthintheBible.com

These are things we can do because of others’ generosity and being good stewards of what we were blessed with from a young age. How so? Some examples:

  1. I didn’t start to work until 20 years of age; I finished high school, did a diploma course and was supported fully by my parents over this time. But as soon as I finished my course, I gained full time employment in a job I loved.
    1. I was earning what may have been considered minimum wage, but I lived where I worked, didn’t have to drive to work and I got to keep my horse on the property for free! So my needs were really only food, maintaining my horse’s health, travel on my weekends off and socialising as I saw fit.
    2. As a 20 year old, I consistently saved half of my wage because I could. I had plans to travel and study further and would invest my savings in these things.
    3. In my mid 20s I wanted to buy a house in a regional town an hour down the road. I was able to save half of my wage again for a 12 month period and have a deposit for a modest country home.
  2. A beautiful friend in that country town allowed me to live with her for six months or so rent free in a house she had bought. This allowed me to continue to save and be in the town where I wanted to buy, looking at houses that I could afford.
    1. Buying regionally meant houses were a lot cheaper than Melbourne where I’d previously lived. Also of importance to me were the church family that I had become attached to and the fact that the government provided greater financial incentives for first home buyers that bought in regional towns. Plus a rural town was important if I planned to have horses in the future!
    2. So I was given more money from our government to buy regionally which covered my associated house buying and legal fees; plus it meant I had some money left over.
      1. This I chose to put against my mortgage right from the start. It meant that for a 30 year loan, I had an extra $5,000 sitting against my debt, decreasing my overall interest greatly.
        Can you see how these different things helped to improve my financial situation? Also, that generous friend had the favour returned – she needed accommodation years later due to unforeseen circumstances and I could provide her with it rent free in the house that she’d inadvertently helped me to buy!
  3. My husband came to Australia the month I moved into my ‘new’ home. We wouldn’t meet for awhile, but he came with a strong work ethic and a desire to seek employment opportunities. He already had a mechanical engineers degree but to get into Australia needed to go on a student visa and studied a diploma for 2 years. Being an international student, he had to pay full fees (consider $20,000 for a diploma in 2009 when my parents paid $1400 for mine in 2003).
    1. My husband financed this himself, working full time during term holidays and saving every last penny possible. He was able to do this because his brother who was already in Australia provided him with accommodation and supported him with regards to rent and food.
    2. Once his diploma was complete he was already in a routine of working hard and saving, saving, saving.
  4. When the two of us married it became easier to combine two strong work ethics, wages and frugal minds.
    1. Whilst engaged I met with a financial planner for a complimentary session. The take home piece of advice I received was to set up an offset account with my mortgage. This resulted in a slightly higher interest rate, but it meant that any money I was able to save in this, offset the interest that was earned on my mortgage. Doing a few sums I worked out the exact amount needed in that account to bring my interest down to what it was at the lower interest rate – this became my husband’s and my first goal for saving as a married couple.
    2. Then there was joy in seeing how much we could put into savings alongside paying off the mortgage. The more we saved, the less interest we paid and the quicker we paid off our mortgage. It was an exciting challenge when we had no other debts – no credit card, car loans, etc.
  5. After a couple of years we had our first child; when she was about six months old we found out about a free community dinner hosted by another church. We attended for a bit but had other things interrupt this. Two years later – and with our second child – we made a conscious effort to attend these dinners each week. Our family of four receive a free meal and dessert each week which means we save on the cost of a meal regularly and can invest this money elsewhere.

The actions that you take today and make regularly impact your financial future.  When others bless you, it can help you to get ahead.  And as you’re able to, you can bless others and help them to get ahead.

Work with What you Have

It’s early July whilst writing this post and I have just started reading the book of Ecclesiastes in the bible. I am now in the habit of reading the bible once in a year, working through a few pages each morning as I am able to. Ecclesiastes 1:15 caught my attention today:

‘What is crooked cannot be made straight, what is lacking cannot be counted.’

What struck me this morning was that it is so easy to say, ‘my situation will improve when…’
When? It’ll improve when:

  • that client/person/neighbour who owes me money pays me back
  • the government payment that I’m really hoping I’ll be approved for comes through
  • that overdue invoice is finally paid to me
  • I get paid next fortnight
Work with What you Have | WealthintheBible.com

Work with What you Have | WealthintheBible.com

As Solomon so wisely points out, if you don’t have it (it is lacking) it cannot be counted (relied upon). I guess that’s in line with the saying don’t count your chickens before they hatch. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring and as a Wealthy Christian; it should be a habit to only work with what you have. If you put this to good use, then in time it’ll grow and develop more.

There is no use waiting for expected, owed or even hoped for funds to turn up before you plan to improve your situation. This is meaningless and of no use to you. Work with what you have and make it work for you!

Poor or Investing Small Amounts?

Proverbs 13:11 – ‘Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.’

My husband and I live in an old commission home in the less affluent part of town.  It’s a regional town that we live in and we’re very comfortable in this old home that costs us less to own with a mortgage than a rental on the other side of town that is a few years old and offers greater conveniences.

Poor or Investing Small Amounts? | WealthintheBible.com

Poor or Investing Small Amounts? | WealthintheBible.com

I remember a couple of years ago having a visit from some interstate friends.  They are 10-15 years older than us.  When I was first engaged, my fiancée and I would meet with them and discuss our faith, relationship and future investing plans.  This couple was where I could picture myself aiming to be in a decade’s time.  They were strong in their faith, raising four young children and owned a home that they were renovating to sell on for a profit.

After four years of marriage my husband and I welcomed our second child into the world and they came to visit.  With their four girls they entered our home to meet the newborn boy.  I remember one of the older girls who was around 11 at the time, asking if we were poor.  When her mother clarified why she thought that, she said it was because our house was small.

I smiled and indicated that we weren’t.  How could we be poor when we had Christ, a growing family, a home that we could afford and food in our cupboards?  At that young age, she thought that their large, four bedroom, two bathroom home with a dining, living and outdoor room indicated riches.  I can understand the concept!

And yet, I also know that the bible says wealth is gained little by little in Proverbs.  I also know that it is unwise to look rich by what you have in your possession – a big house, an expensive car, jewellery, etc – if these are all financed by debt in loans and credit cards.

I purchased our home after saving half my wage for a year as a stud hand on a large horse property.  I had free accommodation and didn’t have to travel to work; it was the perfect environment to save consistently.  And 12 months later I had a reasonable deposit for a modest home, in spite of my small income.

Add in the government first home owner’s grant in Australia which was more for those buying in regional towns – and I had enough to cover my real estate related fees and then some.  This didn’t encourage me to seek out a more expensive house, but to instead decrease the debt that my mortgage started out at.

Don’t despise humble beginnings – they are a great way to get your foot in the door with regards to investing and to lessen your chances of a financial upset affecting your ability to keep your investment.  Investing in what you know you can comfortably afford is a wise way to build up your wealth over time.

Defining Success

As a Wealthy Christian, it’s important that you can define what success means for you.  This way, you will be able to identify it when you achieve it.  When defining success for yourself, is it earning a certain amount or saving a certain amount?  Is it earning more than you need?  Is it being able to give into particular causes?

Defining Success | WealthintheBible.com

Defining Success | WealthintheBible.com

I have many things that I feel relate to my wealth journey, that constitute success:

  • I am paid well to do a job that I’d do for free
  • My husband and I earn more than we need to live on and so can save and invest
  • I have developed a passive income and although it may be deemed ‘small’ by many, annually it is more than the meagre $1-2 a day that many of the poorest live on in third world countries
  • My husband and I are able to tithe and support Christian causes we are passionate about

Whatever you deem as financial success as a Wealthy Christian, be sure to acknowledge what you are achieving whilst also working towards what you want to be achieving.  Although I am so thankful for the above points, I am aiming higher.  I want to earn more so that I can give more; I want to be able to invest more for my family’s future.  But that doesn’t stop me from being thankful for where things are sitting right now.

What can You Afford to Save on?

I remember many years ago when I was working on a thoroughbred stud.  I was going with one of the workers to pick up some hay from a neighbouring farm.  My colleague told me how this man had scrimped and saved for years to be able to afford his property that was at that point worth $1,000,000.

What can You Afford to Save on? | WealthintheBible.com

What can You Afford to Save on? | WealthintheBible.com

He commented how the man and his wife had accepted hand outs from locals, bought second hand clothes and saved in whatever way they could.  It seemed that once he had the funds saved to purchase the property, people were then criticising him for accepting handouts that he didn’t ‘need’.  It’s an interesting concept; people are happy to be generous to others, but only if they see a need.

Likewise, some people may choose to not receive freebies because they feel they don’t ‘need’ it.  Perhaps this is a question of pride.  Have you considered the areas you could be saving on and how this could improve your overall financial situation – and financial future?

My husband and I weekly attend a free community dinner; yes we could afford to eat at home – or even out.  But instead, we choose to accept what is on offer locally and benefit from a great meal that feeds our family of four.  Plus we get to socialise and connect with the local community.  We also tell people that we know of who are in need (they may not have enough funds for food each week) about the dinner.  And yet, many of these choose not to come.

What you have access to – and what you choose to benefit from – really are up to you.  If a resource or service is available to all, don’t restrict yourself because you feel you don’t ‘need’ it.  If it can benefit your situation – even through allowing you to save more and donate this to a worthy cause – then why would you not do it?

Use Automation to Build Your Wealth Slowly

Proverbs 13:11 – ‘Wealth gained quickly will dwindle away, but the one who gathers it little by little will become rich.’

I’ve been reading advice from an entrepreneur Ramit Sethi recently.  He talks about the power of automation and setting up systems that save you time – and earn you money.  And once they’re set up, it’s a done deal!  You don’t have to do it again.  And I think this can also be true for our finances as Wealthy Christians.  I honestly believe you can use automation to build your wealth slowly.

Wealth Gained Little by Little: Use Automation to Build Your Wealth Slowly | WealthintheBible.com

Wealth Gained Little by Little: Use Automation to Build Your Wealth Slowly | WealthintheBible.com

How?  Let’s start with a savings plan.  Many people save if they have anything left over at the end of the week, fortnight or month.  This isn’t prioritising your financial future.  I learned about the concept of pay yourself first years ago whilst reading a Robert Kiyosaki book.  I think as Christians we need to do this.  As soon as your pay is received in your bank account, put some money aside into savings.  It can be as little as $1/day or $7/week if you’re paid weekly or $14 per pay packet if you’re paid fortnightly – you get the picture.

Whatever your amount, set up an automatic savings plan.  Have the money transferred out of your main account into a savings account where it will earn interest.  Do this as soon as you know you have funds available in your account – like the day after you receive your pay.  If you get paid in cash, be sure to deposit this amount each pay into a savings account.  If you prioritise saving, then you will see the benefit of it.

If things get tight at the end of the pay bracket, then learn to make do or cut back on other things that you may want but not necessarily need.  If you didn’t save and fell short, you’d still have to make do.  A dollar a day into savings at the start of receiving your pay won’t affect your budget too much – but it will greatly benefit your financial future if you get into a habit of saving this and earning interest!  Think about it.  Then act on it.

It has to be a Habit; become Second Nature

You can’t expect to change your financial situation if you’re going to keep letting things slide.  Wisdom and riches are a habit.  I recently read a statement about getting into the habit of putting your keys in a particular spot – on a little table inside your door, hanging on the wall, etc.  The place is irrelevant, the habit is the point.

Being Wise with our Finances: has to be a Habit; become Second Nature | WealthintheBible.com

Being Wise with our Finances: has to be a Habit; become Second Nature | WealthintheBible.com

Where you place the keys regularly becomes a habit – you don’t even need to think to do it; you do it automatically.  Making wise financial choices and acting on them should also be something you do automatically.  And they should be founded in God’s word.

I remember reading that it takes 21 days to form a habit. And if it takes longer, don’t worry!  Be committed to prioritising a particular action relating to your finances every day you have the opportunity to, until it no longer requires you to think about it.

This may relate to tithes and offerings and doing it each week at church.  Your habit may be saving a portion of your pay packet each week, fortnight or month.  Maybe you need to cut back from buying 2 coffees each work day to only 1 and saving this money by putting it into an interest earning account.

Start a habit and be intentional about carrying it out at every opportunity.  In time it’ll become second nature and you can go on to establish another habit that will improve your financial situation on a regular basis.

Giving and Lending without Expecting

Ezekiel 22:12 – ‘They take bribes within you to shed blood.  You engage in usury and charge interest; you extort money from your neighbours.  You have forgotten me, declares the sovereign Lord.’

Whenever we give, it should never be with an ulterior motive.  It isn’t about what we can get out of the situation, but instead how our abundance – or even sacrifice – can benefit another.  And especially, how it can shine God’s light and love into a situation.

Giving and Lending without Expecting | WealthintheBible.com - Click the Image to Download your Free Wealthy Christians Devotional!

Giving and Lending without Expecting | WealthintheBible.com – Click the Image to Download your Free Wealthy Christians Devotional!

The bible talks against usury in the book of Ezekiel.  Usury is exorbitant interest.  Exorbitant may otherwise be explained as:

  • excessive
  • very expensive
  • very high
  • inflated
  • steep
  • ridiculous or overpriced

If we look at verse 12 of chapter 22 in Ezekiel, forgetting God and charging interest are put together.  When our motive to give to someone isn’t about helping them, but is instead about looking after our own interests – maybe even turning a profit – then we are indeed not putting God first.

Whenever you choose to be generous, do it knowing God loves this.  Do it knowing you can live without whatever you’ve given away.  Give, not expecting something in return.  Lend to others without the proviso that they have to give back under certain terms / within a particular time frame.

Maintaining and Adding

At the moment we are being blessed with some beautiful autumn days after a lovely weekend of soaking rain.  That’s here in North East Victoria, Australia.  With these glorious days I am in the process of working to maintain/get on top of our garden.  This requires weeding, a little bit of watering and pruning.  The day that I wrote this post, I was thanking God for the opportunity to maintain a little (some weeding, some watering) but to also add to our garden by propagating and planting elsewhere in a bare patch or two. In time I know this will make our garden even nicer to look at – and there’ll be less room for weeds!  And I got to thinking: do I take this approach with my finances?

Maintaining and Adding | WealthintheBible.com

Maintaining and Adding | WealthintheBible.com

I think I do.  Maintaining my finances, I try to stick to a budget (or at least to simply week in and week out live within my means by spending less than I earn).  But I also add to my finances by having a consistent savings plan.  Now in time, this could be seen as maintaining and adding.  I am maintaining a good habit of saving regularly whilst also adding to my income by the interest that is earned daily and paid out monthly.

Can I challenge you to focus on this simple idea of maintaining and adding when it comes to your own finances?

It is very important to maintain things – to stick within a budget, to pay bills, to decrease debt.  But alongside this we really need to be adding.  If we don’t establish processes that will improve our financial situation, then we’ll only ever be maintaining and not looking at a wonderful abundance, the chance to give or even consider early retirement!

You can add to your financial situation by saving and putting this money in an account that earns interest.  You can add to your situation by picking up a second job and using this money to save more or invest.  You can add to your situation by developing products that can earn you passive income over time.  Think about what you can regularly do (weekly, monthly or even seasonally) that will add to your financial situation regularly, over time.  It’s worth investing in now.

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