From Slavery to Freedom: How Budgeting In the Bible Can Help You Break Free from Financial Bondage

Budgeting is not a new concept, and it is something that has been around for centuries. The Bible contains many references to money and how it should be managed. In Proverbs, we are told to “save for the future,” and in Matthew, we are told to “lay up treasures in heaven.” These verses show that budgeting is a biblical principle we should all follow.

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Budgeting As A Matter Of Biblical Principles

The Bible contains many examples, principles, and direct statements regarding budgeting, planning, and living within your means. However, most people and families have some control over their financial situation. We all can make decisions that will impact those circumstances.

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Nothing is more important in these situations than having a household budget and sticking to it. This is the advice of almost all professional money advisors and, even more important, the Bible.

Budgeting is about many spiritual principles, including avoiding covetousness and having self-control. Faith, patience, and thankfulness are all important.

Budgeting, as it is defined in this article, refers to four things:

  1. To accurately estimate the resources needed to complete a project.
  2. To determine the resources required for the project.
  3. Only undertake the project if the available resources are, at minimum, equal to the required resources.
  4. Follow the steps necessary to ensure the project is completed within the allowed time.

This applies to all projects, from daily living to pursuing an education to acquiring specific assets. Budgeting involves an honest assessment of one’s financial resources and consideration of the timing. (Some of our future needs may be met in the future.) This requires the discipline not to spend everything now but to save some for the future.

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Biblical examples

The Bible contains examples, principles, and direct statements regarding budgeting, planning, and living within one’s means. Here are some:

  • Joseph saved and planned some of the resources available in the “fat years” to ensure enough food for the people in the “lean years” (Genesis 41).
  • The necessary building materials were unavailable and had to be acquired when the tabernacle (Moses) and temple (David and Solomon( were built (in the time of Moses) (Exodus 35, 1 Chronicles 29).
  • A wise and generous man will leave some of his wealth to his grandchildren. This suggests that he has managed his money well and saved wisely. (Proverbs 13:22)
  • God created the ant so He could instinctively teach us to do what He says: set aside abundant resources for use in more limited circumstances ( Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:25).
  • Jesus instructed anyone who wanted to follow Him to “count their cost.” To do this, you need to accurately estimate the cost of being His disciple and determine beforehand if the resources you have (spiritually) are sufficient to complete the project. Jesus made this point by pointing out the foolishness of not budgeting for secular matters ( Luke14:28-31).
  • The Bible pronounces the harshest judgment–“worse than an infidel” –on anyone who, through willful negligence or laziness, does not provide for the essential physical needs of those who depend upon him–his” “household” (1 Timothy 5:8 ). This irresponsible behavior is common when no thought is given to budgeting, planning, or managing family resources. It is usually characterized by a consuming attitude driven by selfishness and covetousness.
  • Faith and work are often required to create and stick to a budget. Sometimes even the best plans can result in a budget that isn’t feasible. That’s okay. It’s okay to do our best. We perform our works and trust God in faith to make any difference. When we see the loaves and fishes multiply, it can strengthen our faith.
  • We should also remember that we all fall short of perfection and can only do our best. God knows this, and He constantly reminds us. Even though we can budget realistically for the future, we cannot control it. It is true that “man proposes but God disposes.” (see Proverbs 19:21, James 4:13-15, Ecclesiastes 9:11).
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Making an annual budget with God, “Caesar,” and yourself in mind

I recommend a family or personal budget for each year. A family may have large or substantial expenses due once a year. Examples include property taxes and insurance. It is possible to forecast the required resources for a full year, which can ensure that these payments are not overlooked.

First, estimate the cash flow of the household over the next year. This will include wages, salary, and earnings from self-employment. Do not count the amount that is likely to be received. Bonuses should only be included if they have a proven track record of being received. For the obvious reason that “Iffy” bonuses and other unlikely amounts should not be counted, even if they were received to balance the budget, actual expenditures will surpass income.

Next, estimate the annual household expenses in three categories: God, (Caesar), and self. God must be considered first, as in all aspects of life. Mandatory tithes and voluntary offerings should be the first expenditures budgeted for a Christian (Proverbs 3, 9, Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 12,17-18; 16;16; Matthew 23,23).

Jesus stated that we should give God all God’s things ( Matthew 22:21). Jesus said in the same verse, “Render therefore Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.” Christians must pay their taxes to governments with jurisdiction over them (Romans 13.6-7).

A Christian household can save money or spend it on their own after fulfilling their financial obligations to God and the government.

These are the major types of the third category of godly, appropriate expenditures.

  • Housing (mortgage, rent, property taxes, and upkeep), ).
  • Utilities.
  • Food.
  • Clothing.
  • Transportation.
  • Insurance (various types).
  • Health care.
  • Savings (emergency funds, college funds, retirement funds, etc.). If possible, save at least a portion each year. This is a way of developing self-discipline and fighting covetousness, materialism, and responsible provision for future needs.
  • Debt payments.
  • Entertainment/recreation (if possible, even though modest amounts).
  • If you don’t need it, help the less fortunate. Giving is a noble principle.
  • Miscellaneous (you have probably not thought of everything).

You can control your spending weekly and monthly by comparing your budget to any amount you are about to spend. Now, compare these totals (inflows/outflows of cash), to determine if they match. If outflows exceed inputs, you can go back to the drawing board. Look at ways to increase income or decrease expenses. This is the only way to eliminate deficits.

Ask God for wisdom and His help in all things. Follow His lead. Trust Him.

After you have created a balanced budget, there’s another important step. You need to monitor your spending week by week and month by month. This involves comparing the amount you plan on spending with your budget. Don’t spend money if it is a budget breaker!

Start now!

Budgeting is a matter of spiritual principles. These include contentment, faith, and self-control. Budgeting is best done early in your life. Budgeting can be difficult and takes more patience if you wait, especially if your finances are already tight.

It is possible to remain faithful even when you have the least resources if you are determined to do the right things, and have faith in God and patience. It’s worth it ( Luke 16;10-12).

Conclusion

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In conclusion, budgeting is an important aspect of life that is often overlooked. However, budgeting is biblical and can help individuals lead more financially responsible lives. By following budgeting principles, individuals can save money, pay off debt, become better stewards of their resources, and live in freedom.

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