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Money Matters – Financial Tips February 17, 2010

Posted by Henry in Money & Finance.
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Following on from my two-part article titled “Money Matters – Even to Christians”, which can be found under the category of “Money & Finance”, I have decided to create this space where fellow Christians can share or exchange money making ideas or money saving tips. This is perhaps unprecedented on this type of Christian blog but Jesus did not just impart the word to the 5’000 but he also took cognisance of the fact that they also needed physical food and fed them using the 5 barley loaves and two fishes. I am therefore looking for legitimate ideas which may be of benefit to those who are struggling financially.  It could be ideas of how to make one’s salary stretch a bit further; an idea to generate a new income stream to supplement one’s salary; or a working from home idea that could help a stay at home mother or a mother on maternity leave after giving birth, etc. Please do share whatever ideas you have. I will start however by offering a few money savings idea of my own:

  1.  Plan your spending by budgeting your money. Keep your receipts and on a weekly or monthly basis calculate how much you are spending against how much you earn. If you find you are paying out more than you actually receive then you will have to borrow to make up the difference.
  2.  Compare the prices of goods and services that you pay for and always look for cheaper alternatives. Shop around for a bargain. Most times there is always cheaper on the market. As the saying goes here in Britain, “take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”. So it doesn’t matter how small and insignificant the savings appear to be take advantage of it as the pennies do add up over time.  
  3. If you get discount vouchers in newspapers or magazine, take advantage of them and don’t be ashamed to use them. Take advantage of any discounts and also store loyalty cards as you can get back a bit of money here.
  4.  Avoid eating out too often as it is cheaper to prepare meals at home from supermarket bought products. For example, the price you pay for a glass of wine at a restaurant would get you a whole bottle in the supermarket (not that I am encouraging drinking mind you). Remember you might be able to get restaurant discounts online also (at least here in the UK you can). Prepare pack lunches for work. You can save a fortune this way instead of buying lunches. 
  5. Travelling to and from work can be quite costly. Look for alternative routes which can sometimes be cheaper and if you are able and the way is not too far, walk. You could also break up your journey and go some of the way by walking. This also promotes a healthier lifestyle especially if you sit at a desk for most of the day.  
  6. If you own a car use it only for essential journeys as you can be paying out a fortune on petrol. Also depending on where you are going check if it is cheaper by public transport. A car can be high maintenance therefore when you purchase a car, use the review sites online to see the fuel consumption, insurance grouping, servicing etc. Bigger engine cars usually cost more to service, consume more petrol and attract a higher insurance cost. If you are struggling financially you might need to downgrade by selling the existing car and buying a much cheaper one to run. If you cannot afford a brand new car outright, buy a used one and avoid the car financing/leasing schemes as they will cost you in the long term. 
  7. Avoid name-brand clothing if you cannot afford them. Remember the Nike shoes you pay £60 (or the equivalent) only cost the equivalent of 0.50p to make in Pakistan or India. It is a scam!! These things only give one a false perception of esteem but all we are doing is making the corporation owners and shareholders richer and making ourselves poorer. We should not be buying our identity off the shelves. Give your children what you have, your love! Don’t try to please them with the latest gadget which you cannot afford. 
  8. Don’t fall in the debt trap. Avoid using the credit cards or pay-day loans where possible. If you need to buy something and you can’t afford it right now, make small sacrifices and save up for it. You won’t die without it if you don’t have it now. Half the time people can’t wait to purchase a particular thing and after a few days the novelty wears off and they no longer want it. Remember to also exercise prudence and save for a rainy day.

This is not an exhaustive list but I am appealing to readers to feel free to share what they have. But please, no get rich quick schemes. Thank you.

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Comments»

1. hibasme - February 17, 2010

Some very sensible advice, Henry. Any of these would serve a believer in helping to get their finances under control.

At least for a while. Thing is, most of us already know more than what we’re doing — in every area of life, not just finances. So the problem is not whether there is enough sound advice, but why we keep stumbling out of a better way. Raw effort and discipline will work for a while, but it’s hard isn’t it?

I believe we need to get beneath the surface and to the roots of our real problems. It’s like I say in my book, “There’s no such thing as ‘money problems’, it’s just that your real problems are turning up in your finances.” Deal with those, and you’ll see what pushes and pulls us, creating stress and worry, will give way to the kind of financial health that Paul walked in: being content with little and/or much.

Yours in Him,
David Hicks
http://hyfs.wordpress.com/

Henry - February 17, 2010

Hi Hibasme,
Thanks for dropping by. I think you are right and I agree with you in that the problems faced by many people goes far deeper than simple financial management techniques, which might be hard to follow. I think the problems are ingrained in people’s psyche and that is where the battle needs to be won. In reference to Paul, I guess perhaps in his time the the lust of the eyes and the pride of life weren’t on TV then and on posters on literally every street corner, beaconing “come”. Not that those challenges didn’t exist but the world we live in today am sure is far different from that world then. Everything now is driven by materialistic capitalism under the guise that the things of the world will make us happy, whilst we sink further into debt and make those who are already rich, richer. It is a spiritual battle as the flesh desires to be satisfied. We need to reach that spiritual maturity therefore where we like Paul can say I have learnt to abound in little and in much, possessing all things and possessing nothing.


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