To say our family has been blessed by the principles in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University would be an understatement.
Reading Andy Stanley’s How to Be Rich was also a game changer for me. In his book he reminds most of us living in the first world that if we work 5 days and can eat for 7, by the world’s standards we are rich.
All this money thinking and practice has also been a spiritual journey for me. It has caused me to become more grateful to God who provides more than enough for me and my family. It has also led me to ask two questions of the resources that have been entrusted to me:
What do we do with what we have?
What do we do with the excess?
First: What do we do with what we have? After some prayer and reflection on Scripture, it is our plan to live the 70-20-10 rule: Live on 70% of our income. Save (invest) 20% of our income for the future. Give 10% of our income to our local congregation.
In case you’re curious how I arrived at these numbers, 10% is the biblical tithe that appears as early as the book of Genesis (14:20). The 20% figure was discerned through prayer after reflecting on the Joseph story at the end of the book of Genesis where he prepares for years of famine by saving 1/5 of everything during the years of plenty (Genesis 41:34).
Second: What do we do with the excess? This one is a new challenge for us. Stanley writes that most of us presume any “excess” income is for us for us: for our pleasure and enjoyment. But what if that’s not what God intends? So we’re praying more these days about what to do with extra income that comes our way. We give 10% no matter what. But what if we’re called to give 50% of the excess? 80%? 100%? It’s excess. We weren’t counting on it. Who is to say we should spend it on ourselves?
How is God leading you to think (and act) differently about money?