We Ain’t Got Money
Van Walton

“She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard...” Proverbs 31:16 (NLT)

After dating for a couple of years my college sweetheart and I inevitably set our sights toward our future. Dreams of marriage increasingly consumed our conversations. We faced a major obstacle though. As full-time students, we had no money. After many discussions, we decided to marry anyway. Months later we found ourselves standing before the minister saying, “I do.”

My husband earned a scholarship and my dad agreed to pay for one more year of my college, laying a solid foundation for us. We had to make the rest work. Neither one of us is an accountant, or majored in finance, but our simple debt-free guidelines worked and they can be followed by anyone.

1. Stick to an agreed-upon budget. Entertainment, eating out, expensive vacations, “toys,” and gadgets, did not make it onto our financial plan. I remember having no cake pans to bake a birthday cake for my husband that first year. “Pans” did not appear on our budget. We did without.
2. Do not purchase anything on credit. Credit cards were not an option during those early years of our marriage! We had no choice: no cash, no purchase!
3. Tithe each month. At least a tenth of our income is given to the church.
4. Save a portion of the monthly income. Set aside a percentage that is never to be touched. It is the basis for interest-earning, long-term savings. Another percentage is set aside for large purchases like a washer, dryer, or pieces of furniture. It took us 6 years on dual income with no children to save the necessary cash for a comfortable down payment on a house.

We opted to do without many things, but we had peace of mind. We didn’t buy all the latest gadgets, but our lives were stress-free. We only drove one car for many years, saving on payments and car insurance, which forced us to communicate and cooperate and taught us the value of compromise. Those early years helped us to develop good financial habits.

Once our sons began to understand the power of money, we developed a few more guidelines.

1. Impulse buying is not allowed. We discussed what we would buy before shopping events. We practiced intentional buying, not wishful shopping. Once there, if something caught our eye, we could not purchase it. We had to go home and wait two weeks. If, at the end of two weeks, we could justify the purchase, then we could return and make that purchase.
2. Window shopping is not a family activity. Walking in the mall and other activities that can set one up for discontentment or temptation has never been a part of our family’s regular activities. Instead we play games, visit friends, participate in church programs, and enjoy local sights like museums or parks.
3. Regularly review and evaluate spending habits. One year we decided to forgo eating out. Another year we resolved to allow all our magazine subscriptions to lapse. We saved lots of money, dollars which we had pledged to our church’s building fund.

Americans have access to so much of the world’s money and, for some reason in our overwhelmingly self-absorbed state, we feel we have to spend, spend, spend, leading directly to a life of discontent and debt. This two-edged sword not only stresses relationships, it steals from evangelical progress. What would happen if we carefully evaluated our drive to splurge? Properly funded, possibly the church could make wide-spread changes on the face of the earth. We could reach out and change poverty, improve education, touch the suffering in meaningful ways, and ultimately enrich our very own souls.

Dear Lord, You've provided me with blessings far and above what most of the world experiences. Help me to be responsible with the gifts You have given me. I want to remain faithful to You and my neighbors, making wise choices with my finances. I ask for Your guidance and wisdom, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

For sound financial resources and advice, visit the Dave Ramsey website.

work@home: a Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work From Home by Glynnis Whitwer

Application Steps:
However painful and uncomfortable it might be, chart your spending for three months. Find areas where you can completely cut back. Either give that money away, use it to pay off a credit card, or set it aside until you have saved enough for your next big purchase.

Am I comfortable with my financial habits?

Does my family’s financial picture honor and glorify God?

Power Verses:
Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, “Those who love money will never have enough…. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers?” (NLT)

1Timothy 6:17-19, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God… Instruct them… to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future…” (NASB)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Our sons were small during our "lean" years and I struggle to get them to understand budgeting now that we've been blessed with greater financial means. I will print this one out for them to read and hopefully start a meaningful conversation on stewardship. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling us "We Ain't Got Money" :) I was just writing a cheque this morning to pay off my student loan debt. I know God is talking to me about money. LOL

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read the radio transcript,today's devotional afterbalancing my check book and
listing all expences that are known for the month and divided by expected number of paychecks.
I ain't got no margin for savings.
Father i need to be able to communicate with my husband about your view on our finances. Thankyou for always providing. I will trust You. Teach us Your ways!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that my family has not been good stewards with the money that GOd blessed us with ovetr the last few months. I want to ask for forgiveness for that and to help us continue on our new budget.

Dear God,

Please forgive us for our misuse of the money that you gave us over the last few months. WE went overboard and did not put ot good use the money that you gave us. Help us to stay strong on this new budget and to get better and better each month. Especially after vacation and school starts and we really settle in to the new schedule that we are going to have. It seems like there are always extra expenses and we want to be prepared for those. Help us to be wise with the money that you give us. I pray that you help us to make the money we need to pay our bills. Bring the clients that my husband needs to see in order to make private practice work. Increase our monthly monies to help us pay off debt. Thank you for your provision that i know that you will provide. You are a great GOd and thank you for an awakening. Help us stay with it. We want to honor you with our money.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, i enjoyed reading this post as it spoke directly to me. god has been working on me and my veiw of prosperity or financial gain. i was always trying to find ways to get more money from god and my husband but god being the good father that he is brought me to the conclusion that money does not satisfy. there was a part of todays post that expressed this point. thanks alot guys for your words that keep me going strong for the lord. god bless.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I read the devotion I knew God was speaking to me. I recently changed jobs with much less pay, but increased the time I have with my family. I knew then that certain lifestyle changes had to be made in order for the family to enjoy the "new found time" that mom had. With school right around the corner I needed reassurance that God will provide...HE ALWAYS DOES!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This particular devotion spoke to me and some family members who shall remain nameless. As for myself, I also took a cut in pay on a new job and am struggling more now than I did when I was unemployed. I tithed 10% of my unemployment check as soon as I received it. Now that I am working again, I need to try harder to get that 10% in no matter what bills are due and not spend frivolously like I have. Thank you Father for your forgiveness, grace and mercy. To you be all the honor and glory. Amen.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can completely relate! My husband and I have been irresponsible with our finances and we are now paying the price. I know we have not been a good steward of what the Lord has given us. Father please forgive us for our mistakes. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Please help my husband and me to be on the same page with our budget and paying off our debt.

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