Giving Meaning to Money® Devotional
EDITOR — JON C. WIEBE
WRITER — MATT BELL
Matt Bell is Sound Mind Investing's Associate Editor. He is the author of three personal finance books published by NavPress, leads workshops at churches and universities throughout the country, and has been quoted in USA TODAY, U.S. News & World Report, and many other media outlets. To read his blog and learn more about his work, visit www.soundmindinvesting.com.
7 Steps to Prepare Your Finances for COVID-19’s Economic Impact
August 1, 2020
If you have been hit hard by COVID-19 – by the loss of a job, by the impact of a house full of anxious kids – you’re not alone. 72% of Americans are reporting financial stress.
Like you, so many of us are anxious about what the future holds. With near-constant news of product scarcity, job losses, and economic downturns, hear this: the world is not in danger of running out of resources, it is in danger of running out of faithful stewards.
To help you navigate the economic impact of the pandemic, we want to share with you 7 Steps to Prepare Your Finances for COVID-19’s Economic Impact.
Step 1: Cut expenses by 25% for the next 90 days.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11
Cutting back your expenses for the next 90 days by 25% will help you be prepared for the uncertainty in the market. Perhaps you can save on gas by staying home and on food by eating in, and little by little, you’ll have built up more margin in your account to provide for you and your family no matter what happens.
Step 2: Increase savings as quickly as possible.
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. – Proverbs 21:20
Look for ways to grow your savings. If you receive a stimulus check from the government, consider starting or adding to your emergency savings fund. We recommend an initial goal of $1,000, then building up to 3-6 months of living expenses.
Step 3: Be sacrificially generous.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. – Hebrews 13:16
It may seem uncomfortable right now to think about giving, but it is in these times where we are able to truly show our faith and trust in the Lord. Share the resources you have with neighbors and friends. Are you able to give more to your church when others might be holding back? Do you know someone furloughed or out of work that can use some help? Find a way to share.
Step 4: Advise your children to change financial habits.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Your children will remember this event in a different way from you. This is a golden opportunity for them to learn about reality with money and how to honor the Lord with their finances.
Step 5: If you lose your job, be flexible.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:12-13
Seek new income opportunities. Great ideas are often formed out of necessity. Take account of your personal gifts and talents, and pray for work that aligns with your design.
Step 6: Invite God to help you.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Invite God to help you with your stress, your fear and your financial challenges. He knows more about money than me, you, or all the financial gurus combined.
Step 7: Invest your time learning God’s financial principles.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6
If you have never studied God’s word about money, now’s a good time to start! Did you know there are over 2,300 verses in the Bible about money and possessions? He has a lot to say about how we spend our resources. So skip your next Netflix binge and check out our Championing Stewardship resources. What you sow today, you will reap in your future.
My thanks to crown.org for sharing these best practices with us!