The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil according to 1 Timothy 6:10 (NKJV). Also the lack of money is the root of bitterness and the cause of most marital squabbles. Love it or hate it, we need Money to enjoy life to the fullest and make our unique contribution. Money becomes very important when we don’t have enough of it. It then dictates what job we take, where we live, what clothes we wear or cars we drive, what schools our children attend, and if we allow it, who we marry. Money then becomes a master rather than the slave it ought to be. The lack of money can push a good man or woman to do something they never imagined under normal circumstances.
Many, in an attempt to appear spiritual, avoid the subject of money. Rather than learn sound money management principles, we resort to prayer, hope and expectation of a financial breakthrough. Rather than back our prayers and faith with wisdom, understanding and hard work, we do whatever comes to our minds whenever money gets into our hand, and pray for increase. The result has been that there is lack in the house. When it comes to financial matters, we seem to be the tail, not the head. We consume our seed and pray for open heavens and a bumper harvest.
Money is just a tool to have our needs met, give to others and make a difference in our world. We are simply stewards of God’s resources. Like the parable of 5 talents in Matt 25:14-30, we are supposed to invest and multiply what comes into our hands, so that there will be enough and to spare. When we align ourselves with financial principles, we get the right results. These principles are no respecter of persons no matter how holy or committed we are.
The principles or laws of financial independence can be summed into 2.
1) Pay yourself first
2) Spend less than you earn
Paying yourself first means saving before spending. This savings is not simply to sit in a savings account and stare at you. It is to be invested for returns, the simplest being simple interest from fixed deposits, treasury bills, bonds etc. This means you decide how much you want to save each month, come rain or shine and just do it. By spending less than you earn, you make do with what you have left – cut your coat according to your cloth. When you save every month, you become richer every month and move closer to your financial goals. If you save nothing every month (eating with 10 fingers), you will be left with nothing at the end of the year, each year. So the question is; do you want to become richer every month, or keep marking time at the same spot?
If you master your finances, money becomes your slave. Rather than keep working hard for money, your money starts working hard for you. At a point, your interest income will grow to exceed your monthly expenses. At this point, you have achieved financial independence – you can do without your salary. You can decide to keep working or go do something else with your life. You now have a choice, something very few employees have. You are no longer afraid of being fired or laid off.
There are two types of money problems:
1) Not enough money (most are used to this)
2) Too much money (where you ought to be)
When you get to the point of more than enough (mentally and physically), money ceases to be an issue in your life. You are free of financial worry and anxiety. You can do what you want to do, how you want to do it, when you want to do it. You can spend without being scared if your cheque will bounce. It starts with financial education and financial intelligence – learning how to use what you have to create the abundance you desire. It will not happen overnight. It takes prayer, hope, learning, wisdom, hard work, focus and never giving up.
-Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .