April is National Financial Literacy Month! So that made me ask myself the question, “Are YOU Financially Fit?” God desires that we prosper and be in good health even as our soul prospers. The Fit Faith Life is about so much more than just our physical fitness. It is also about the rest of our life lining up with God so that we are spiritually, emotionally and yes, even financially fit! Let’s be real. When our money is not right, it affects so many other areas of our lives. It makes it hard to pray, it makes it hard to give, it make it hard to exercise and ultimately can lead to stress that can affect our physical health. This month I am partnering with my friend Shehara Smallwood of Your Story Financial to share financially literacy tips. We hope that by the end of this month you will be well on your way to living your financial dreams.
So, what exactly is “financial literacy”? Financial literacy is “the ability to understand how money works in the world, how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he or she invests it and how that person donates it to help others.” More specifically it refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed decisions with all of their financial resources. I would like to add that financial literacy is also how you steward all that God has provided you with including your financial resources. Here are three tips to help you as you look at your financial fitness.
- God Wants You to Be a Good Steward: Our goal is to live free. The bible says to owe no man anything but to love them. (Romans 13:8) It also says that we are to be lenders and not borrowers. (Deuteronomy 28) God has given us this freedom. However, it is up to us to make wise decisions that will keep us from being entangled and trapped in debt. It is up to us to manage what God has given us and allow Him to increase it.
- Your Story is Not My Story: It is so easy in our social media driven world to get caught up in what someone else is doing. First and foremost, you have to understand that what you see could just be a shadow. It could be that that person is living a debt driven life. Keeping up with the Joneses is not a viable plan for living the life of your dreams. You have to write your own story and live the life that God has intended for you to live.
- Be Honest and Make the First Move: Facing our finances can one of the hardest things we ever do. Especially if we are not managing them well. We have to be honest about our choices and our motivations. Finances, similarly to fitness is a heart issue. It deals with who we are at our core. What you spend your money on is an indication of where your heart is. If you are living from paycheck to paycheck there are some things that you have to be honest about in your life. Could it be that you are living above your means, you are underemployed or you are wasteful? It can be a challenge to really face yourself and change. It’s ok, we are here to encourage you and support you as you move ahead towards financially freedom.
This month we will discuss various aspects of financial literacy, including how to save 3-6 months of your expenses, how to plan for retirement, how to plan and pay for college and we will also have several Facebook Live chats to take your questions. Join us as we get “Financially Fit” together!!