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How to Balance Saving and Spending

How to Balance Saving and Spending

If you’re a natural saver, you may have a hard time parting with your money. But did you know you have a responsibility to enjoy what God gives you?

Savings are important, but God didn’t shower you with blessings simply so you could pad your bank account. Remember the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12? Yes, a rainy day will come and it’s important—even biblical—to be prepared. But you don’t need to focus so much on saving that you never spend a dime—and feel guilty when you do.

Here are four practical steps to help you find balance in spending and saving.

1. Lose the guilt

Ecclesiastes 5:18–19 tell us it’s good to enjoy the fruits of our labor because it is our heritage and the gift of God. Did you catch that? The Bible doesn’t say we have the option to enjoy our wealth. It’s our responsibility. We see numerous examples of rich, and godly, men and women in the Bible—people like Abraham, David, Solomon and Lydia. God wants you to enjoy His blessings—so ditch the guilt.

A budget frees you to enjoy your money. Once you’ve spent every dollar on paper, the guilt is gone. This is great for savers because you choose how much to save and how much to spend. Challenge yourself to spend the money in your entertainment envelope this year. God wants you to enjoy today.

2. Don’t be anxious about the future

Philippians 4:6 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We’re commanded not to worry about the future; but that doesn’t mean we should avoid saving and investing. As stewards of God’s resources, we also have a responsibility to manage His blessings for kingdom work.

Once you’re out of debt and have a full emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of expenses, start investing 15% of your household income for retirement. If you aren’t there yet, don’t beat yourself up. Just get started now! You’ll be making progress before you know it.

3. Give thanks

James 1:17 (NIV) reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” When we come into wealth, it isn’t by our doing but by God’s grace. It’s a gift—not an entitlement. And we should be thankful for the gifts we receive!

Keeping a spirit of gratitude throughout your financial journey is important. It helps you remember wealth is not only from God, but also still belongs to Him. Your blessings are a gift, and you are a steward of that gift.

4. Practice generosity

Second Corinthians 9:11 (NIV) says, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.” Even if you have a hard time spending money, God calls you to use the resources He’s blessed you with to bless others. This is one of the many reasons it’s biblical, and honorable, for Christians to build wealth.

If you miss out on the opportunity to give, you’re missing out on the best part of having wealth. Giving money away is fun. Think back to a time you paid for someone else’s meal or filled up a stranger’s gas tank. Have you ever regretted being generous? We find incredible joy in generosity because we’re most like God, who gave His only Son, when we give to others.

There you have it: you have more to do with God’s resources than save. If He’s entrusted you with His wealth, you have a responsibility to save for the future, enjoy the present, and give generously to those in need. It’s a three-step process that will transform your life—and the lives of those around you.

Learn how to balance giving, saving, and spending with Dave Ramsey’s proven plan and most popular class, Financial Peace University. Learn more!

This article originally appeared on Used with permission.

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Publication date: May 17, 2017