These days we hear about inflation, recession, the price of oil, budget cutbacks, teacher layoffs, state deficits, the government possibly shutting down due to lack of funds and prices of food rising.
The issues seem to dominate the newspapers and newscasts. There are even cable channels dedicated to commentary and the discussion of money.
During this time, maybe we need to start just using some simple solutions right at home. I was visiting with a young married couple last week who shared with me an ingenious idea they had devised to curb their personal spending.
Last year when they received their income tax refund, they spent it a little each day without thinking about the long term consequences. So this year they have devised a new strategy and have a plan in place.
They received their refund for 2010 and the first move was to choose a new bank where the customer service (in their opinion) was not so good. They opened a savings account at this less than desirable bank so they would not be tempted to frequent the bank.
They opened the account and then received a debit card for their account. They also received deposit slips to add money to their account. On the drive home, they brainstormed about ways they could curtail making big purchases on a whim. The result was that the couple came up with a very creative plan. A big plastic cup fit their need as a safe holder for the card. Filling the plastic cup with water, the young couple deposited their debit card in that cup. Then they put the cup in the freezer.
Now the debit card sits frozen in a cup in their freezer. If they decide to make a purchase they will have several hours to think about it before that ice will melt and their debit card will become available for use. The idea is to make it more difficult to get that money. Not a bad idea to curtail emotional purchases that they will regret later.
The Bible is the best source of sound financial advice. The cup idea is not in the Bible, but it is interesting that the Bible has more scriptures on money than it has on prayer or on Bible reading. Actually there are 2,350 scripture verses in the Bible that speak of money. The book of Proverbs is the gold standard for managing one’s money, and Biblical money management is a proven success. Proverbs 21:20 is an example of the Bible’s approach by comparing and contrasting wise saving and foolish spending: “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”
Further our priceless and unchangeable inheritance in Heaven does not fluctuate with the economy, cannot be canceled or changed. 1 Peter 1:3-5 reads: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance-an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
Our inheritance is secure, safe and sound and not vulnerable. We can bank on the fact that our inheritance will be there. Those are thoughts to depend on in these times when it seems that everything is loosing value.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: