By Don Robb
Canada East Mission Center
My story is one of being a disciple who has learned to save wisely and share generously. From a young age I had attempted to share a portion of my finances with the mission of the church. I remember sharing my dimes to help the Auditorium Fund so the building could be completed. I tried to file my tithing statement.
Yet, I never could seem to keep up with what I appeared to owe. Eventually I just stopped trying.
In less than 12 months we went from worrying about money to being more financially secure.
It was not until having to live on a pension after retiring from a 33-year teaching career that suddenly the issue of money took on a new meaning. When I decided to retire, my wife made a similar decision.
We had to make some tough decisions. One was to move to a more-affordable community for a more-affordable home. Then we became leaders in sharing a new resource, Good Sense: Money Management. From that experience we began to assemble a better financial plan that included saving and planned giving. It was amazing!
In less than 12 months we went from worrying about money to being more financially secure. Amazingly, our true capacity to share increased. We set a plan to increase our giving, aiming for 10 percent of our income.
We are not 'rich' in that we have a lot of finances; but we are rich in that we finally have financial security, and we are able to share more abundantly toward Christ’s mission without guilt and anxiety.
We achieved that goal within five years. Also, we were living at a more-secure financial level, doing things we had only dreamed of. When we saved wisely and spent responsibly, we were able to respond generously to our true capacity.
I feel blessed that these principles turned around our lives and brought us much joy and peace. We are not “rich” in that we have a lot of finances; but we are rich in that we finally have financial security, and we are able to share more abundantly toward Christ’s mission without guilt and anxiety.
The Lord has enriched our lives through the Six Principles of a Disciple’s Generous Response. I encourage others to study these principles and discern what God may be calling you to do to become a generous responder to Christ’s mission.
These saving tips can help prepare for the future—our future, our families’ future, and the future of Community of Christ’s mission.
Set a Standard of Living
One method to increase saving is to set a sustainable standard of living at your current income level. Stick with it when income increases.
Make a Budget
Set a budget that determines how much you will share generously, save wisely, and spend responsibly. Monitor and live within that budget.
Build an Emergency Fund
Financial experts say you should set aside roughly six months of living expenses in an emergency fund. Doing this helps you stay financially independent, even during unexpected financial crises.
Debt takes a toll on those who carry it. Saving can help avoid unnecessary debt by putting aside funds that allow you to make larger purchases later.
Determine What Works
There are multiple ways to save, including setting aside part of your paycheck, using automatic withdrawal, or investing in employer-matched retirement plans. Choose something that works for you.
Create an Estate Plan
Saving creates a better tomorrow by extending love beyond this earthly life. An estate plan allows you to provide an inheritance to others. You can pass resources to your families, the church, and favorite causes.
Practice the Discipline of Waiting
Instant gratification through impulse purchases has become an addiction in some societies. We see something new that we “need.” Making the purchase often takes only one or two clicks.
When you see something you feel you just have to have, practice the discipline of waiting. Save the link to the item. The next day, ask yourself if you still want it. Then wait another day. Or maybe a whole week.
Often, if people force themselves to wait, they learn the desire for the item is not as strong as initially perceived.