3 things you gotta do with your money if you desire financial freedom
like most people, i've got dreams. those dreams are linked to where i'd like to be in x amount of years as it relates to my professional and personal life; and because of the way society is set up, i'll need money (and lots of it) to maintain the lifestyle i expect in the near future. now if you're like me, you may find yourself stressed out at times because your check seems to be spent before the direct deposit has even cleared -- which isn't cool. month after month, check after check, my happiness would increase as i anticipated the arrival of my check and decrease just as soon as my account began to dwindle back down. ultimately, i had to come to grips with the fact that i didn't have the best spending habits. it wasn't until my pastor taught on the fundamentals of what he referred to as "portion order", that i realized what i had to do to correct my financial burdens. the things discussed here are things that i was taught, and since implementing these aspects in my daily life-- it has truly made a noticeable difference in my life. things aren't exactly where i'd like them to be just yet, but i'm well on my way to financial freedom and i haven't been delinquent financially since.. so it's worth checking out. i mean... after all, what do you have to lose? if you really wanna get outta financial burden, this is what ya need to do.
3). pay God.
tithes and offering are so, so important. as a believer of Christ, this is like one of those main principles that all of us should be aware of. it's like..Jesus died for me (check), he took my transgressions with him on the cross (check), and i should be paying my tithes and offering (not so check). for some reason, many of us pick and choose when we want to pay our tithes and offering. now to my understanding, tithes are 10% of your earnings and your offering is everything else after that. commonly, we (Christians) refer to this as putting "seed" in the ground. the goal is to plant seed so that we can ultimately reap the benefits of a fruitful harvest. so basically, what you put in is reflected in what you get out, if that makes sense. now, many people feel as though they "can't afford" to pay their tithes and offering. but in reality, you cannot afford not to. understand this...the tithe is not optional, it's mandatory. it's what you owe God. you know how you feel when your direct deposit doesn't hit at the time you thought it would, but you know it was supposed to be there? that's how God feels when we rob him of what we owe him; cheated. and don't think that your tithes will go toward your seed in the ground either because that's not really the case (that's what offering is for). the offering is what you give in excess to what you already owe. once upon a time, i thought that one dollar was tithes (which is cool when i was a child). then, i got a little older and thought if i paid my tithes (no offering) i would be cool because the two were basically the same. and now that i'm a little older...i realize that the two are not the same. nowadays, each time i get paid for something, whether it's for my actual 9-5 or freelance work, i tithe 10% of it. i've trained myself to give back to God what he's given to me, which has ultimately made me more of a cheerful giver. ultimately, i got so tired of doing it my way because my way still resulted in me being broke, or not having enough. if you refuse to pay your tithes, you've already set yourself up to not have enough...
2). pay your bills.
now after you've taken care of the tithes and offering, you need to move to the necessities. you know... the car note, the mortgage payment, cell phone bill...things like that. sometimes, we may be inclined to wanna take care of these things first (because they seem more pressing than something minute like tithes and offering), but that's not the best way to go about trying to become financially free. you may also want to reevaluate the type of bills that you have and determine what you can do to minimize them. for instance, do you have a lot of credit card debt? then you probably shouldn't be using your credit card when you shop. it's not as simple as it may seem to some, but taking an honest inventory of yourself and your spending habits can help you to assess what you need to do to make sure you stay on top of your bills. and make sure the priorities are in check, too. don't be out here paying your cable bill before you pay your car note and now you gotta park in certain places in an attempt to hide your car from the repo man...who wants to do that? and if you feel overwhelmed with your bills...that's a clear sign that your output (what you spend) may be higher than your input (what you actually earn); which is another problem in and of itself.
1). pay yourself.
so after you've done the other two things, this is the time where you can reasonably splurge on yourself (keyword, reasonably). now, this doesn't mean go out and spend all the money you have left on flashy things that don't matter in the grand scheme of things. remember that there are several ways you can pay yourself. you can choose to put some money toward that savings account you haven't opened (or put money into) yet. or, maybe you could buy something that will allow you to advance in some area of your life; these are what i like to call "investments in self". spending all of your money at the mall is not "technically" an investment in self. it's a temporary investment in your ego. each time something new or better is out, you'll have a desire to get that as well (that's why you got the iphone for life plan). whenever possible, your investments in self should be tied to your purpose and your passion. so, if you aspire to be a renowned photographer, invest in a camera. if you aspire to be a music producer, invest in the proper equipment.. and so forth. and another thing, dont' feel compelled to spend all that you have. just because you have it, doesn't mean you need to spend it. get in the habit of getting your spending habits in order now...i truly believe it'll pay off for you in the future. you just have to be consistent, not conditional...we all know how that goes.