Are you looking for a more ethical way to manage your money? Or not sure you want to risk you money being handled by a financial advisor you don't know much about. Then it might be time to consider a Christian perspective to managing your finances.
If you've read or watched any of the stories about Occupy Wall Street you realize that capitalism has gotten out of control. The American Dream still gives hope to any individual that they can be successful with enough hard work. But the world around us has sadly become more about greed than about success. And average people are frustrated with this situation. Especially since taxpayer money is involved.
These days people are looking for ethical alternatives for investing, saving, and getting out of debt. Christian financial planning is one of those alternatives.
Christian financial planning involves using ethical and honest principles when making financial choices. And despite what the Occupy Wall street stories have taught us, you can certainly still live your financial life making the right choices, and still live a comfortable life.
The basic principles of any type of financial planning still apply - making more than you spend should be the centerpiece of any financial plan or strategy. Sure, there are plenty of ways to get rich that involve taking serious risks. But for most people, those risks are not worth considering. Because for every potential windfall, there are several possible downfalls. In the end, we all get results based on our choices. And you can make ethical, honest choices regardless of your faith.
So, is Christian financial planning right for you?
Most financial advisors are honest and ethical, as are most bankers, debt relief companies, and credit repair services. But you do need to be careful these days as it is often hard to tell the difference between and honest, reliable financial professional, and an unethical, greedy, or just plain lazy one.
So whether you decide to handle your own finances, or use a professional advisor or service, make sure to do your homework and check them out carefully. If you decide to use the service that follows Christian principles (just do an online search for Christian financial planner, Christian debt relief, or similar service), here are 5 main financial principles that (and your advisor) you should follow:
1) Pay off all your debt as quickly as possible
Owing money to others is not horrible, especially in this day and age, but owing them for a long time, and keeping yourself stuck in debt at the same time, are not honorable. And they are not profitable for you. So make a serious effort to pay off your debts as soon as possible.
2) Embrace contentment not consumption
Contentment is an important part of any Christian lifestyle. And it is good financial advice as well. Once you start coveting more and more, you get yourself into trouble. Realize that there are millions of people on this planet without things like running water, safe drinking water, a well built home, enough food to eat - and then give thanks for what you have, even if it is not everything you want. Seek moderation in all areas of your life, and you are more likely to leave peacefully. And feel less financial stress.
3) Focus on spending less than you earn
This is a basic principle of any good financial plan, Christian or not. Those who keep buying more and more, and still keep needing more and more, are wrongly focusing on materialism, and over-consumption. And soon you will have financial problems that will be hard to overcome. So learn how to live within your means, and life will be much easier. Otherwise, greed will make it much more difficult financially.
4) Create a budget plan and follow it
Living life without a budget is like going on a trip without a map (or GPS). You don't know where you are, and you don't know where you are going. So if you end up in the wrong place financially, don't be surprised. Instead, create a plan, be organized, and prioritize your financial needs and goals.
5) Work really hard!
There is no substitute for hard work in order to become successful, however you define success! Work hard at your job. Work hard at saving money. Work hard at learning how to better manage your money. And work hard at being a good person and giving back to your community. The harder you work at all areas of life, the more you will get in return.