Over the last fifty years of giving financial advice, I am consistently grateful to be able to help people who are struggling with financial worries or decisions to simplify their understanding and their plan of action.
Years ago, in the early 1990s, I was asked to testify before a Senate Sub-committee that was meeting to discuss, “Solutions for the New Era – Jobs and Families.” I am not a man who runs in powerful political circles, and I was quite nervous as I took my seat at the table before the rows of Senators. If you’ve ever seen CSPAN, you can imagine the intimidation factor of facing Washington’s power brokers in that setting.
When my turn came, a Senator asked me what I thought the American family should do in the current economy. Internally, I was thinking, “when I say what I am about to say, he is going to kick me out of this room on the basis of over-simplification.” But, externally, I answered his question by saying, “Senator, I think American families could benefit from following a four-part financial plan: spend less than they make, avoid debt, build liquidity, and set long-term goals.” The Senate chamber room became very quiet. I fully expected them to laugh at me. Then, the committee chair, Christopher Dodd, furrowed his brow, looked at his notes, and repeated my four points back to me. Then he said, “It seems like this plan is not just for the family. It seems like it would work at any income level.” I replied, with relief, “Yes, Senator, including the U.S. government.”
The principles of wise money management found in God’s Word are truly transcendent. They apply to low income families, middle class families, high net worth families, small businesses, large corporations, third world governments, and first world superpowers.
Over the next few blog posts, I will go into some detail about those four points plus the all important fifth principle — give generously. Taken together, the five principles provide a solid roadmap to wise financial decisions, at any income level. So, my prayer for you is that you will find encouragement, relief, and a track to follow in your financial life as you begin to implement the five transcendent financial planning principles.