So yesterday Pastor Lon spoke about money and I just wanted to share my financial testimony with everyone because it’s a miracle I’m witnessing and want to encourage my friends with 🙂
Around February I was freaking out about my finances. I knew I had a lot of student loans but I had no idea how bad it was, and on top of trying to keep up I had my car insurance to pay the next month and was worried I would not be able to afford it. ENTER GOD.
I felt like God wanted me to get on top of my finances, not just because they were making me anxious, but because He is teaching me how to finish things and to be faithful, as I’ve talked about a lot in this blog. Finances are one area of your life where responsibility, faithfulness and wisdom can be easy to measured–then those principles bleed over into other areas of life!
So back to Feb:: I met with Pastor Lon and we went over what I spend, what my expenses were, and what my new budget would be. He taught me some principles that might help me get ahead and also laid out a spreadsheet for me where I could factor in everything every week and there were no surprises.
The best advice he gave me:
1) TITHE. It’s not my money, it’s God’s.
2) Look at my bank statement and see what I’m really prioritizing
3) A budget is not just “what’s leftover.” Factor in things like gifts and vacations. Stick to it.
4) Make a goal of paying off small debts, then bigger and bigger ones.
5) Make a goal of saving at least $1,000 of emergency money.
After that first meeting I was really scared. Even though I had a plan, we had determined that I would need a supplemental income at least to give me a financial bump to cover my car insurance in March. I was worried, but God told me not to be.
As I was faithful and still tithed and stuck to the plan, God provided: 3 freelance clients called out of the blue that month! I hadn’t even been advertising, they just remembered that I do freelance web/video/graphic design from conversations or friends! It was exactly what I needed.
The next month, my tax return was much higher than I thought and I was able to put that money right into savings! In May, by prioritizing it, I totally paid off my credit card debt! Last month my mom found an insurance check for a medical debt I’d been avoiding paying because it was so overwhelmingly high. That check covered 3/4 of the bill, and after negotiating a little the rest was manageable.
I went from avoiding phone calls and having zero savings to paying those bills from the crazy phone people and having over $1,000 in savings…within 3-4 months!
I still look at my overall finances and shudder a little sometimes (I’d taken out a lot of student loans in college), but when I see what God has done so far I can’t help but have faith that He will continue to provide in the future!
SO I just wanted to encourage everyone: give your worries to God and be wise with what you have.
Remember Matt 6:26