To become financially responsible and experience God’s blessing in this area, you must recognize God as your provider, give the first 10 percent of your income back to him, keep good records, save for the future, and repay what you owe. Then, you need to plan your spending. This is the spiritual habit of budgeting.

A budget is simply planned spending. It’s telling your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went. The only way to meet your financial goals is to determine how you want to use your money and then making a plan for it to happen that way.

Financial freedom does not come from making more. It comes from spending less. Financial freedom is not based on how much you make. It’s based on how you spend what you make. You can be financially free at any level of income.

If you don’t know how to manage money at your current level, you aren’t going to know how to manage more. You have to learn how to plan your spending.

Proverbs 21:5 says, “Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough” (GNT). “Acting too quickly” today equates to impulse buying. It’s spontaneous, unplanned spending—you see it and you want it so you get it.

How do you break the habit of impulse buying? You nip it in the budget! You tell your money where you want it to go. You set up a plan.

Then, you shop less. If you’re in debt, the last place you need to go to relax is the mall. If you don’t want to get stung, stay away from the bees! Study after study has shown that if you shop less, you spend less.

These are not deep, new insights. But they are certainly hard to follow. When it gets tough to change your spending habits and sit down and write out your budget and stick to it, remember that God is watching. He wants to see your faithfulness in money management, and he will help you to take all the necessary steps to become a responsible steward of what he’s given you.

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