The book of Proverbs is full of financial wisdom. Focusing on just a few of these principles can really impact your perception about personal finance. We could list out many other principles, but these three are really the cornerstone of personal finance. I’m positive you’ve already heard these before, but I encourage you to read through them again with the Proverbs in mind. If you’re like me, sometimes you can reread scripture for the 100th time and see something you never noticed before.
Spend less than what you make.
It’s no surprise, but you cannot be financially successful if you’re spending more than you make. The Proverbs make this clear by referencing the importance of saving for the future, not spending all you have at once.
If it’s foolish to use up all you have, how much more foolish is it to use it all plus some!
The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.
Even more, over-consumption will result in no inheritance for your children. While it can be said that leaving an inheritance can be harmful, it’s even more harmful to teach the habits of over-consumption and leave debt to your family when you pass away.
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
Create a budget and plan your savings.
If you’re not tracking where your money goes, consider this verse in Proverbs:
Proverbs 27:23, 24
Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
You might not be much of a farmer, but the wisdom in this verse should be applied in our financial dealings too!
Whether you’re building your emergency fund or saving for retirement, the principle is the same. Our budget needs to include room to set aside money both for emergencies and non-emergencies that will eventually happen. One of the best example of saving and budgeting in Proverbs is the lesson from the ant.
Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
Invest your money wisely.
I don’t claim to be an expert investor, which is why I turn to people I trust for investment advice and tools for growing my money. If you’re the same way, don’t feel bad! Consulting others who are experts is wisdom at it’s finest!
Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.
The important thing to understand about being financially successful is that you are never too far off. Sure, you might feel like it’s too late, or a lost cause, but if you start with these principles, you can (and should) start to see your overall financial picture improve.
What’s been the most impactful personal finance principle that you’ve heard?
Tim is a personal finance writer at Faith and Finance a Christian financial help blog that provides financial insights for individuals, businesses, and churches. Outside of finance, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, playing the saxophone, reading economics books, and a good game of RISK or Catan. Find him on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to the Faith and Finance RSS feed.