It is no secret how to have more money: spend less than you earn.
The problem is not the consumerism we all fall into. It is when we constantly HAVE to buy more because we haven’t taken care of what we have.
There is no telling how much I have spent on lost phones, costly repairs, wasted wardrobe, poor investments, high interest, cancelled trips, ad nauseam.
The money is there.
If I can just stop losing it and wasting it, the money is there.
Here are some good ideas to “give yourself a big raise” on the same salary:
1. Wait at least 24 hours before you buy.
• This is not a mandate for everything (groceries, gas, etc.) It holds true for anything you are “tempted” to buy that you don’t truly need.
• It’s amazing what leaving the store or closing your computer will do to make that thing feel totally unnecessary.
2. Use a calendar software for maintenance.
• Routine maintenance is like going to the dentist. Years go by and you think it has been months! Use a calendar program with reminders and alarms.
• Put in oil changes, tire rotation, wax protection, gutter cleanout, and a host of recurring maintenance items. Your home, car, shoes, and many other things will double in longevity.
3. Don’t leave anywhere too quickly.
• The majority of my “left behind items” (costing hundreds of dollars) get lost when I suddenly jerk up and leave in a hurry to get elsewhere.
• I have learned to stop 30-40 seconds as I leave a restaurant, an airplane, or a hotel and carefully look at everything I have set down. You will be amazed how much longer you will hang on to your expensive smartphone!
4. Don’t “shop.”
• We all are guilty of bringing home a pair of shoes, a jacket, or even a suit that we actually did not need and don’t have room in our closet to store! I knew a lady who bought a WIG (which she did not even need) at K-Mart just because it was on sale as a “blue light special!”
• Go to the store only to get what you need. Bring a list and don’t look around! Oh, they told you it was the “last one?” I’m confident the American mercantile systems will always make “ONE MORE.”
5. Take pride in ownership.
• God put Adam and Eve in the Garden as “stewards.” Their job was to improve it forever. One of the secrets of stewardship is to cherish whatever God has given you and leave it better than when He gave it to you. After all, everything we have belongs to Him.
• I recall my mission field experience. I gave two pastors each a motorcycle. One had a “bucket of bolts” left after just a couple of years of abuse, wrecks, and no maintenance. The other pastor’s motorcycle looked practically new after he “babied” on it for 12-15 years. “Well done, good and faithful steward.”
Stewardship: “Using materials possessions as gifts from the Lord and holding them with respect and faithfulness.”
You just got yourself a raise.