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Affluent Investor | April 30, 2017

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Money Advice for the Poor

(Photo by 401kcalculator) (CC BY) (Resized/Cropped)

(Photo by 401kcalculator) (CC BY) (Resized/Cropped)

Those with little must budget the same way as those with much: Diligently!

Simply track your income and expenses: that is the money you bring in and the money that goes out.  Account for every single penny. Write down your non-variable costs – things that are the same every month like rent or mortgage. Then, estimate your variable costs like groceries, utilities and entertainment. Subtract your expenses from your income and see where you can adjust those variable costs.

To avoid borrowing and begin saving, you must earn more money, cut your expenses, or possibly both.

You may temporarily need a second job. Cut all expenses that are not necessary to survive until you can save $1,000 in an emergency fund. Sacrifices must be made to experience a reward.

Think creatively to cut your costs. Barter for what you need, carpool, use public transportation or a bicycle.

Shop for groceries with coupons and a list. Ask someone with experience to teach you to make nutritious meals from scratch at very little cost. Skip cereal, processed food, sodas, alcohol and cigarettes. Pray for self-control.

Shop garage sales, Goodwill or thrift shops. Plan ahead. Ask for hand-me-downs. Only buy what you need or will need in the near future.

Use the library, read, attend free education classes, museums, parks, and concerts.

Avoid check-cashing stores, pre-debit cards, rent-a-centers, payday loans, or tax shops pushing refund anticipation loans.

Rather, humble yourself and let your church or small group know your needs. Seek community – DO NOT isolate yourself.

Finally, keep your eyes on the Good Shepherd. Ask Him for strength and provision. As David wrote in the 23rd Psalm: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

 

Article originally published on Handwriting on the Wall.

 

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown, a non-profit business and personal finance policy and educational organization, and author of “The S.A.L.T. Plan. How to Prepare for an Economic Crisis of Biblical Proportions” and “Root of Riches, What if everything you think about money is wrong?”

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