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Real Answers™
Copyright: ©2008 Jan Merop
620 words


By: Jan Merop

Dad stored the 7” x 7” metal box carefully in his desk.  Every week on payday, he pulled it out of safe-keeping.  He divided the cash money into categories and stored it into one of the designated compartments. 

As a child, I watched him do this religiously.

Gradually, he taught me the principles of managing whatever money came into my hands.  I learned to have a spending plan by giving each dollar a name and having a special envelope designated for the purpose intended.  He also stressed the importance of developing the habit of saving regularly.

“Even it is only $1, put it in the bank and form the good habit of saving,” he would say.

Various answers to our nation's economic plight are being tossed about; many of those with the intent of benefiting # 1.  For example, hand-outs (oops! bail-outs) for the Big 3 of GM, Chrysler, and Ford to the tune of dollars that make our heads spin.  Whose hand will be out next if this request is granted?  

How about another way?

Let’s re-examine Dad’s simple principles and apply them to our own personal finances as well as the government and big business.  Too simple, you may say.  Perhaps not.

Dad had a way with common sense.  But, his Christian principles directed him.

There are over 2,000 verses in the Bible that have something to say about money.  By studying the Bible, we can avoid two misconceptions:  1.) Money is evil or 2.) It is the key to happiness.  It is neither.

Money is neutral.  It is how we use it that matters.  The verse in I Timothy 6:10a, KJV, says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

When we attach love to this neutral legal tender, greed takes over whether in our personal finances, government, or business.  It is a heart issue. 

Secondly, in Ecclesiastes 5 we’re reminded that those who love money never have enough; and, in Luke 12 that a person’s life is not measured by the abundance of his possessions.

We should love people and use money.  But, when you start loving money, you’ll use people.  

Isn’t that what we’ve seen happening?  The love of money has trickled down to the use of people – downsizing, layoffs, foreclosures, depleted retirement accounts and our children’s futures jeopardized and loaded with trillions of dollars in debt. 

But, imagine if we applied biblical truth to money admitting that everything we have has been entrusted to us from God.  We’d manage money well instead of it owning us.  By dedicating it to him, planning our spending, giving to the needy, saving for the future while repaying and avoiding debt…we can enjoy what we have without repercussion.

However, if we set out to acquire what we want and enjoy it without any thought to the consequences, we will be in bondage before we know it.  And we’ll identify with the truth in Proverbs 22: 7b, NIV, which says, “The borrower is slave to the lender.”

Family finances and the government finances aren’t exactly alike. Yet, there are enough similarities.  Had these principles been applied, we may have avoided the fall-out of overspending on government programs which lacked sufficient funds to support them.    

Integrity in our finances begins at home and should flow into government and business.  Accountability is crucial.  Lack of it is costly, sometimes beyond repair.

The simple ‘budget box’ principle works.

Don’t let the word ‘budget’ strike fear into your soul.  It is not a straightjacket.  It’s a spending plan that provides greater financial freedom than any credit card.  There’s plenty of financial help available – whether on-line or a simple envelope system at home.

The budget box.  It’s worth a try.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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