He Said It! I Did It! Lesson 4: Live Below Your Means

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In 2005, Georgia United Methodist Foundation former board of trustee Charles W. Buffington Jr. and his son, Charles W. Buffington III, did what many aspire to do: They co-authored and published a book. “He Said It! I Did It!” takes readers on a journey to financial freedom that results in a life of abundance that honors God.

In this fourth lesson of their ten-part series, the Buffingtons encourage readers to create a budget that includes tithing and living below your means. They note that the proven way to gain prosperity is by gaining control over your spending through budgeting. Although the following practices require discipline and sacrifice, especially if you are living beyond your means today, you can achieve financial health, prosperity, and abundance.

Lesson 4: Live Below Your Means

  1. Live below your means. You can only live on borrowed money for so long until you have to pay the price.
     
  2. Budget = Income – Planned Spending + Savings.
     
  3. Commit to making a budget and following it.
     
  4. Get a journal and write down all of your expenditures. It will open your eyes to how much you spend and what you spend it on. It will also prevent you from spending.
     
  5. Find ways to reduce your expenses in all areas.
     
  6. You can pay me now or pay me later. There is an opportunity cost to living beyond your means. Your decision to live beyond your means will cost you several years of your financial life.


Study these Scriptures to learn what God says about budgeting and debt:

SAVING

Proverbs 30:25: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.

Proverbs 6:6-8: Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

SACRIFICE

Proverbs 10:4-5: Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

DISCIPLINE

Proverbs 21:5: The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.