It’s that time of the year for filing your taxes, performance evaluations, and appraisals. Some of you may be expecting a promotion or salary raise. We all want an increase. But sometimes before we can go up that career ladder or pay scale, we need to be wise in handling what is being entrusted to us right now.
Especially money. This is a topic I’ve never really taken as seriously as I needed to until recently. Until a few days ago… I was trying to withdraw from my payroll ATM when the machine said I have insufficient funds. 😱😱😱 This is the first time it happened in my 3 years of working and trying to budget. I’ve always tried to leave some money in my account even if it’s just a few days before payday. That moment made me realize that sometimes trying isn’t enough. You need to be intentional. You need to plan. You need discipline. After that I had to evaluate how I handle my resources…
Why didn’t I foresee that insufficiency?
Where did my last paycheck go?
How can I bless the people around me if I don’t wisely manage the blessings God gives?
I needed to reassess my habits, especially in my spending. I’m not even renting a place in Makati anymore, which means I should have more than my usual balance in the last year. (I just stopped renting a place last January.) So what really happened? First thing that came to mind is carelessness. My careless spending lead to that moment of disappointment. The thing is I’ve never really budgeted since I’ve never felt the need for it. Until *~insufficient funds~* happened. I didn’t have a discipline when it came to saving. I didn’t ask questions whenever I’m deciding if I should buy something. I would buy things out of impulse, instead of need.
Then God led me to the parable of the shrewd manager. (See Luke 16)
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
Luke 16:10-11, ESV
This verse hit me hard.
I have not been faithful in managing the blessings He is giving. Yes, I was using money for my welfare… but I wasn’t using it well. I wasn’t maximizing what He is giving. His Word cut through my heart. Then His grace, overflowing, tells us that it’s never too late to turn from what we’re doing wrong and start right. He gives us room to start better habits. And that’s what I did.
I started researching about budgeting and found this helpful course in kickstarting funds for your passion. I downloaded an app that helps me track my expenses. I made a list of freelance projects I can initiate in order to earn more. I’m also reading Chinkee Tan‘s book, Till Debt Do Us Part: Practical Steps to Financial Freedom.
These are just the first steps. The road to better stewardship of money won’t be easy. But with discipline, wise counsel of others, and by always looking to The Ultimate Source of everything good, we can move. Move towards better financial habits that can lead to a better standard of living and giving.
Prayer point: Lord, thank You for all the blessings You give. I want to honor You with the wealth You give me. Give me the wisdom in handling my money. Lord, ultimately, it’s You I depend on—not money. You are Jehovah Jireh. You will provide. Thank You!
In Jesus’ name, amen!