“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” ~ James 1:17
Are you a good steward in this life? Ask yourself this question and give yourself a few minutes to reflect on your answer. Do you use your money, resources and talents in a way that brings honor and glory to God? Or do you see these things as your own—you worked for your money, you went to college to hone your skills?
When life happens, it can be far too easy to forget that God, the Creator of the universe, gave us our brains to think, endowed us with talents and resources, and blessed us with the opportunities that have provided us with our income. As James pointed out, every good thing we have “is from above”. As we study God’s Word, we find many verses about stewardship and we start to see that “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 24:1), meaning that everything in the earth belongs to God. This means that we are only temporary owners (or stewards) His belongings.
With this in mind, I am offering the following five suggestions to save your family money and help you to become a better steward of what God has given you.
1) Entertain for Free. What is one of the biggest ways Americans entertain themselves? By watching television. We pay huge monthly premiums for cable/satellite but how much of what you are watching do you really care about or pay attention to? Are you actively engaged in what you are watching or are you like the majority of viewers entering into a mindless morphing of programs?
Just because you cut the cable doesn’t mean you cannot participate in entertainment. Did you know there are still free methods of entertainment? Go to your local library to participate in a live program (mine has a soap making demonstration, board game night, book club, family movie day, craft day and seed starting classes all this week). While you are at the library, you can check out books (hard copies, audio, or ebook) or movies (tv series or box office movies).
2) Try Fast Food at home. What are some of the food that you like to eat at local fast food chains? In our house, we eat chicken wraps, chili, and French fries. With a little planning, I can copycat these items for mere pennies. Then I freeze them and all we have to do is heat them up whenever we’re in the mood for a little fast food. Bonus: It’s far better for your health too!
3) Save for Disasters. What is one unforeseen expense that you had to pay for last month? Each month, things pop up and each month you have to scramble to pay for those unexpected issues. A lot of times when there is no plan for disasters, people have to charge items (new tires, electric bills, etc.) to a credit card. High interest rates add to the initial cost of the item and by the time all is said and done, people have paid significantly more than the item cost. With this in mind, I recommend designating 5-10% of each check to cover disasters.
What are your tips for saving money? How do you cut corners at home?