The latest Consumer Price Index was released today, posting an 8.6% annual increase in May. That’s the highest increase the U.S. has seen since 1981. More importantly, it tells us that goods and services are becoming more and more out of reach. Reports have shown that these increases have already slowed discretionary purchases. Basically, that tells me there’s a lot less vacation and leisurely spending going on right now.
Our regular contributor and Compass Australia founding member, Gwenda, touched on saving the other day. And in times like this, I think it bears repeating: “The Bible encourages us to save and is loaded with great practical advice.”
That’s from the last time we heard from Gwenda. And as prices rise, we’re reminded of just how much wisdom God’s Word contains. Not everybody feels the effects, but many of us do. And one thing to weather it is to do exactly what the Bible says. As Gwenda mentioned, there’s a saying: “Save for a rainy day.” A step further, Proverbs 21:20 says that the wise save for the future, but the foolish spend whatever they get.
Sometimes, it can be hard for us to save when we don’t know what we’re saving for. But if the cost of just about everything is going up and it’s affecting you, this is the case in point for why the Bible tells us we must save. Having savings set aside right now would help weather rainy days like this.
If you’re asking how would you save, here are a few ways to get started:
- Make it automatic – Gwenda mentioned the automatic savings plan, as well. It’s an amount you decide and set up typically through your bank.
- Budget – Another recommendation by Gwenda. But don’t let this word scare you.
- Cut Back – I consider this separate from budgeting because the way I see it, just because I budget or plan for something, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary.
An automatic savings plan encourages you to save first, spend second. If you tithe and “pay yourself” first, you’re required to work with what’s left. A much better formula for putting more aside than if you were to spend first, save second. Saving whatever’s left over usually encourages more spending.
“Budget” is just a technical term for telling the money where to go, not the other way around. And when I say cutting back is separate from budgeting, here’s what I mean…
In our budget this month, my husband and I have planned to spend no more than $150 on dining. How much of that has to be spent, though? Well, the answer is $0.
We have to eat, but we don’t have to do that by going out to restaurants or taking out. This is my point: If you study your budget, chances are you’ll find one or two categories that either can be reduced or don’t need to be there at all.
The Building Your Finances God’s Way financial discipleship study dives even deeper into the concept of saving and much more. I encourage you to sign up for a study right here. Because it’s not just about weathering your storm.
Putting these three things into practice helps us become better financial disciples: One who can live in contentment, knowing no matter what, God provides; who can live life applying finances God’s way, giving cheerfully and with the assurance that it shall be given unto them, pressed down, shaken together, running over (Luke 6:38); and who shows others how to do the same and that there’s a reason why faith and love get us through anything and everything life throws our way.