5 Financial Principles to Live By

1. Put God First

It may sound strange and unrelated but it’s true. We give honor to people in various positions all the time without even realizing it. Our Supervisors, Pastors, Police Officers and the like, get our attention and cooperation fairly easily. Why not honor the God who created everything, including us. He only asks for a tenth. Give it to Him. What God gives you in return is so much more.

“Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.” Numbers 18:26

2. Put Yourself Next

You’ve paid your tithes, now what? Pay yourself next. You have given God portion now be sure to pay yourself at least 10 percent. Life is cyclical and in good times you need to be putting away at least a portion of your increase into a savings account for a rainy day. Use this 10 percent to build up a cushion that will cover all of your expenses for at least three months in the event of unexpected unemployment.

3. Be An Eagle Not An Ostrich

Never take an ostrich’s approach to your finances. They hide their head in the ground at the site of danger. Take the eagle’s approach. They soar high above their prey, and swoop down at just the right time to attack. Eagle’s act as aggressors in confrontation. I encourage you to be an eagle when creditors call. Be an eagle when you are behind on your mortgage. Be an eagle when you need to negotiate a payment plan with Visa. Hiding only helps interest to accrue against you. Don’t hide from your financial problems, face them.

4. Control Your Credit. Don’t Let Credit Your Credit Control You.

If you are standing at the register and you know that you don’t have the money to pay off what you are about to charge on your credit card by the time the bill arrives, PUT THE ITEM BACK. That is part of what it means to control your credit. Don’t let a desire of things and / or a lack of proper budgeting cause you to spend money you don’t have. It is very important that you remember that if you use your credit card and can’t pay it off, you are borrowing money from your future. You are spending money you haven’t earned yet and putting your financial future at risk.

5. Keep Your Word

For most of the monthly bills you have now you had to agree to pay a certain amount per month by a certain date in order to receive that service or product. I encourage you to keep your word by paying these obligations on time to the best of your ability. Just like with people, when you keep your word with vendors you build credibility with them. This opens the door for exclusive discounts and it will also help you to improve your credit. Late payments on your credit report can be very damaging. Being seen as a reliable customer has its benefits. Not to mention that you will be able to sleep better at night knowing your bills are paid.

If you can do these five things you will be well on your way to a better financial lifestyle. It is the little habits that we don’t think are very important that actually turn out to be crucial to living a healthy financial life. There are many more components to successfully managing your finances but let’s just take one step at a time.

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