We have all heard that actions speak louder than words. I recently heard it another way; “The way you treat people reflects who you are infinitely more than your bumper stickers and Facebook posts.” I think the actions that we take with our money paints a pretty clear picture of what’s important to us. So, if someone got a hold of your bank and credit card statements what kind of picture would they paint?
Self-absorbed, obsessive, spendthrift, wasteful, giving, balanced, focused, intentional, diligent – which adjective would be used to describe your money patterns? If your adjectives make you feel uncomfortable, remember I don’t care where you have been or how you have been acting. I simply want you to be aware so that you can change if you need to. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This is why how you spend and save your money is so important. Because where you send your money is where your heart goes and we must intensely guard our hearts!
To be clear, I am not just talking to the spendthrift here. In the last 10 years I have seen people become wealthy through diligently spending less than they make each year and saving money. Likewise, I have seen some of those same people get consumed by their savings accounts. The guy driving a Ferrari is no different from the guy that squanders money away in a saving account. 1 Timothy 6:7 reminds us that we brought nothing into this world and we will take nothing with us. I do not think leaving a handsome legacy should be our goal, nor do I believe that living on the edge and dying with a penny left should be the goal. My objective with this post is challenge you to take back your intentionality. Deciding how much money to spend, to give, and to keep for later should not be an easy decision to make! Stop, think, and pray before you make a decision that could ultimately change the condition of your soul!
Actions are important because ultimately, they paint a picture of who you are. Think about your actions with money – maybe it’s time to start painting a new picture. Execution and accountability are key to any change. Let us know if we can help.
Do you want your money now or later? Recently, I was introduced to a person writing an article about budgeting and they asked, “What is one thing that a person can do that would have a $300 per month impact on his budget?” That was a hard question for me because honestly most people don’t have single budget items, besides their house, car, or insurances that cost more than $300 per month. Take cable for instance; cutting out cable would have a positive impact on the budget, but I really, really hope you are not spending $300 per month on cable! So, cutting out the cable all together still wouldn’t swing the budget by $300. I thought about this for a while and came up with some ideas that all kept pointing back to taxes.
In 2016, the national average individual tax refund was $3050.00*. That means, on average, the American worker over paid their tax bill by $254.17 per month! Yes, I know it feels awesome when you finish your taxes and realize you are getting money back, but that is like your boss saying, “We are giving everyone a $3,000 bonus this year, but your monthly income is going down by $250.” Would it still feel like a bonus then? Simply put, adjusting your tax withholding could put $250 a month back into your budget! What could you do with that extra money?
Over paying your tax bill feels good only once per year. Adjusting your withholdings to increase your monthly take-home pay could have huge benefits on your long-term financial success. When you are trying to get out debt, build emergency funds, save for college, or prepare for retirement, an upswing in the monthly budget by that much could be huge. If you’re nervous about it I encourage you to talk to a professional – maybe start with the person that does your taxes and then make an adjustment. If you find that you really miss giving interest free loans to the government, then I’m sure they would be happy to have you over pay again later.
Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.