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Every day, we are faced with making financial decisions that will either help us reach our goals or push us away from our goals.
These decisions are sometimes small ones that add up over time like “Should I bring my lunch or go out with co-workers today?” or “Should I hire someone for yard work or do it myself?”.
Other times, these decisions are major, life-altering decisions that can keep us awake in agony night after night.
Financial questions like “Should I accept this job with a higher salary in another state” or “Which house should we buy” or “Can we afford to have more children or not” are big, important, and have the potential to be intimidating.
As you’re navigating your financial journey, I have no doubt you’ll find yourself at a financial crossroads.
That’s why it’s important to have a list of financial principles for your household that can help you make these large decisions quickly and confidently.
Each major financial decision for us has to be in alignment with the following 3 principles or the answer is a very easy no for us.
We Use Our Resources to Honor God
That’s our top priority with everything we have from our income, to our home, to our time, to this platform we’ve built, and so much more.
As a Christian family, we believe everything we have was given to us to manage by God and, as a result, everything we do should bring honor to God.
For that reason, any job offer that takes away time from us worshipping together as a family on a consistent basis is an automatic no regardless of how it looks on paper.
If buying a new car or new house would keep us from paying our tithes faithfully, we won’t even give it a second thought.
Also, if we are presented with an investment opportunity that isn’t ethical or in alignment with what we believe spiritually, we pass on it regardless of how great of an opportunity it seems to be.
When we were deep in debt, one of the things that pained me the most was not having the ability to give to local missionaries like we really wanted to. Now that we have done a great job managing our resources well, we have the flexibility to give whatever God places on our hearts and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Another way we use our wealth to honor God is by continuing to build wealth with integrity.
In order to build wealth with integrity, you have to operate with a spirit of excellence and diligence in your career field- both of which are pleasing to God.
Too many people misquote 1 Timothy 6:10 by saying “money is the root of all evil”, when, in fact, the scripture actually says “the love of money is the root of all evil”.
There is nothing spiritually wrong with building wealth. So long as it’s done with a pure heart and motivation to honor God by using it to do His will.
We Use Our Resources To Create Memories With Family
A few years ago, my aunt was diagnosed with a really bad case of lymphoma. Her doctor gave her days to live.
My wife and I spent hundreds of dollars travelling to visit almost every single weekend for that first month.
We also were able to help other family members with travel and lodging expenses so that they could come say their good-byes as well.
We just wanted the last thing on anyone’s mind during that time to be a lack of money. Everyone was able to just focus on being present together in what could have been my aunt’s last days.
As a result of that, we witnessed fractured relationships between family members who hadn’t spoken in years be restored. It was such a beautiful thing. And not only that, my aunt is still here with us today and cancer-free.
It doesn’t always have to be that dramatic though.
From vacationing all over the world together, to spending time on the couch watching a movie, to having the flexibility to attend events like donuts with dad at my daughters school. It all matters to me.
Building passive income from our investments gives us the freedom to not depend on income from a traditional 8-5 job. And that is the key to creating even more opportunities to spend time together as a family.
Had we still been deep in consumer debt, we probably wouldn’t have been able to help other family members visit my aunt. Maybe we wouldn’t have been able to travel up to visit as much as we were able to or even help out with some of the things she needed.
I’ve never been more grateful for the financial sacrifices we made to get to this point than I was during that time.
We Use Our Resources To Help Others
Mandy Hale says, “There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.”
One of the critical moments of my life came when I was suspended during my sophomore year of high school.
Being new to the city and school, I just wasn’t in a great place mentally or spiritually at the time and I made some bad decisions as a result.
During the suspension, one of my school administrators really took me under his wing and gave me a lot of guidance and wisdom.
One of the ways he did this was by giving up a day out of his weekend to drive me to Downtown Houston so that I could volunteer to feed the homeless on Saturday mornings.
Those trips and the talks we would have on the way really helped put life into proper perspective for me and a lot of who I am today is because he volunteered his time and resources to serve not only me but others in front of me.
Since we’ve been married, Taylor and I have used our resources to serve people by welcoming them into our home to live for a season, giving up our time to volunteer for causes that matter to us, helping meet financial needs after natural disasters, and so much more.
Serving others is extremely important to us and any financial decision that would diminish our ability to serve other people is another automatic no.
It’s a priority we have as parents to model servanthood for our daughter as she grows and starts to build her own legacy.
Serving others with your time becomes more challenging when you’re working at a job for 80 hours per week.
Being a blessing financially is much more difficult when you’ve bought too much house and are now living paycheck to paycheck.
That’s the value of having principles to guide your financial decisions.
One of the key missions for Winning To Wealth is to teach others how to not just manage their money, but to do so with confidence.
When you find yourself stuck at a financial crossroad, having principles to fall back on gives you that confidence in whatever you decide to do.
Solid financial principles can also be the difference in you reaching your goals quickly or being set back for years.
So how do you create a list for your household?
The first thing you have to do is create a list of priorities you have with your money.
Once you’ve done that, you have to really discern why they are important to you.
Do you want to tithe because you feel guilty at church every Sunday or is it because you truly desire to bring honor to God?
Are you wanting to travel just to post amazing Instagram photos or is the time away with family really the most important part?
Spoiler Alert: If your motivation is shallow, your results will be too.
If our top priority was to just have fun with money, I’d be totally comfortable going out to buy my dream car right now.
But once the initial satisfaction and new car smell disappears, what’s next?
Now I know to stop and ask myself does this purchase align with our values as a family? Sure a Corvette would be a fun drive, but could those resources be better used in this season we’re in right now?
That’s the key.
If you already have solid financial principles in place, I’d love to read them in the comments below. Also, if this inspired you to create principles to live by, feel free to share those as well.