Biblical Money Principles by Dave Ramsey
Updated: Jul 19
Save & Invest
"For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?"
It's the idea of prioritising. The story of putting in the big rocks in your life first. Because, once you know what it costs to achieve the big stones, only then you know what it costs, what it takes to accomplish them. If not, it will always be a big "MAYBE", a big "IF".
Read here the fantastic concept that first opened my mind to personal financial planning. Plus points is that this is also written by a Singaporean!
"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender."
Does that mean that borrowing money a sin?
Of course not!
Because in these days and age, with low-interest rates, it makes sense to take out a loan to buy a house and use the money and get interested that's more than what you're paying. However, on the flip side, what's wrong with just renting a house? In Singapore, there's a massive stigma that couples have to get a house after they get married. This culture came when Singapore started HDB and was affordable. My friend heard from his parents that it was reasonable and easy to get a house and a car in those days when Singapore was still growing as a nation and costs of living was not as expensive today.
However, in today's market and a developed Singapore, our population has since doubled in the last 40 years, which has increased demands, especially in housing and cars which has in turned inflated basic daily necessities. What I'm getting at over here is this. The climate both literally and figuratively is incredibly different forty years ago. And as millennials, we need to look deeper and calculate that cost of one of the most significant debts we get — a house.
1 Corinthians 15:33
"Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals.""
Here's a lesson for you.
You are the average of the 5 people you most hang out with.
An example would be, if the 5 people close to you are smokers, you're likely to be a smoker as well. Same goes if your 5 friends drink and party a lot, you're more likely to be doing that.
Thus, if you take the average income of the 5 friends you're with. That would be your average income.
This is crucial to take note as this factor would affect the other four factors we are learning about today. What is their spending habits? How much of debt are they in? Do they save their money? How generous are they? What do they value in life? Thing is, you got to know what you want first, then choose your friends.
However, this is by no means saying you ought to show basisness or judge to anyone by any means. Rather, to be really conscience on who you want to prioritise in your relationships.
4. Save & Invest
"Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it."
Matthew 25: 27-29
"Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming, I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
Along with saving, there's an idea to invest as well. Like in the parable, well, the idea has the concept of investing. However, I believe the bigger idea out there is the virtue of being responsible.
"For everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
Once you have decided that the virtue of being responsible as part of your identity, this would be the catalyst of change. This would kick start you in thinking on the big stones in your life that you want to achieve and to count the cost of it. To prioritise on what's important to you. Subsequently, to work on the habits, you want to develop, such as the habit of budgeting, saving and investing. To which, manage people you want to spend more time with and learn from them, as well as people who you want to share your life-changing habits with. Thus, the first thing you should start is not to cut down your spending by X% or save X% more or invest X% of your income. Though these are great habits to pick up. Like any other habits, starting a habit is challenging and getting to the "Why" is essential in creating a sustainable habit. So to begin, you have to dig deep and ask yourself, why do you want this identity and virtue of being responsible? Once you're able to answer this, the rest will naturally come. Even more, you'd be looking forward to it!
This habit also links back to point three, relationships, the people you spend time with. Do they splurge their money on luxury bags and clothes they moment they get their paycheck? I've heard my cousin telling me once his friend was clothed in LV from head to toe but was dead broke and couldn't even afford to take a bus. As his once-thriving business failed and didn't save anything for a rainy day.
Bottom line, it is for you to set aside for a rainy day and for it to last through your life so that you can live with dignity.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Generosity is a spirit that changes everything in life.
And God loves a cheerful giver.
Because we're made in His image and God is a cheerful giver. He gave His Son for us. Thus, we need to change our posture to be more like Him. Yes, it's awful tough to offer when you're broke when you're in debt, you haven't saved any money, you haven't got any plan, and not hanging out with givers. That's why change. You've got to decide today. The Scriptures will change your life, and it will change the trajectory of your life.
Note: This is by no means saying that by following these rules and principle you would eventually be rich. The Bible NEVER promised that. These are just mostly wise directives shared by prophets and kings for one to make wiser decisions. And would like to caveat that having wisdom doesn't lead to a better life. See the book of Ecclesiastes.
What do you think? Please share your opinions and comment! Constructive feedback is welcome!