I make a good salary but am unable to build my emergency savings beyond $1,000. It seems like unexpected things always prevent me from putting more away. My goal is to have 3 months set aside. Any tips?
Living on the Edge
Dear Living on the Edge,
Well first, congratulations on saving the $1,000! That’s more than almost half of the people in America. Setting a goal of 3 months of living expenses in this account is a great next step forward.
The problem most people in our society have is that they confuse their needs and their wants. Many people have not learned to exercise self-control and therefore give in to their own wants or those of their family and often forfeit having what they actually need, like an emergency savings account.
But, in Titus 2: 11-12 Paul wrote: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…
Developing the ability to say “No” to selfish desires helps us lead a disciplined lifestyle that avoids debt and has the margin necessary to save and invest.
Saying “No” to what we want today grants money for what we need tomorrow. You see, discipline is forward-looking. It is preparation for what we need in the future.
The lack of contentment, the fear of missing out (FOMO), and anxiety are so prevalent in our society. But we cannot be satisfied until we look to God as our provider. Recognizing His omnipotence and sufficiency is motivation to humbly steward what He provides. Learning to be content with what we have allows us the opportunity to spend less and save more.
Wasting money means lost opportunities for giving, saving or investing. Many people are mismanaging money without even knowing it. It’s easy to get comfortable in lifestyle choices and fail to recognize the lack of frugality.
For some, the burden of credit card debt may be preventing you from saving like you’d like to. If you’re experiencing the stress and strain of overwhelming credit card debt, get in touch with our trusted friends at Christian Credit Counselors. They’ve been serving God’s people for years and have helped over 300,000 families pay off their credit cards and can help you, too.
Simplify by choosing to live like you’re poor. This works! You can create margin and discover the joy of stewarding well all that God provides. Children, friends and colleagues will benefit from observing your disciplined lifestyle. It’s largely a matter of turning your back on worldly desires so you can live a self-controlled life. Don’t complain when changing your lifestyle but give thanks for every dollar you can save.
If you can save $1,000, you can save $2,000 and if you can save $2,000, you can save $10,000. It takes time, perseverance and the Lord’s help. Keep going! Let us know how we can help. We have great online classes you can explore at Crown.org.
Originally published on the Christian Post, August 30, 2019
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