General Life Skills Self-Management

Investing and Spending

Let’s have a conversation about money and how we use it. Going back to the beginning in Genesis 1, the creation story, God took chaos and created order. We see throughout Scripture that God wants to bring order to chaos.

From My Own Experience
As a Certified Financial Planner, I talk with people from all walks of life about their money. I have seen many financial situations, some good some bad. The situations that always dishearten me the most are the ones where the person’s finances are in complete chaos. A person’s finances could be in chaos for a variety of reasons, but most often it is simply because they do not have a plan. Chaos is not the way of the warrior. A warrior may enter chaotic situations, but as a man of God he always wants to bring order to the chaos. Before I talk about giving order to your money, it is important to understand what I believe are the two basic ways money can be used: investing and spending.

Investing and Spending

Investing is a way of using money that creates additional options in the future. For example, when I invest $1 in the stock market, over time I hope it grows to $100. $100 gives me more options than does $1. Spending, on the other hand, is using your money in such a way that you lose all future use of that money. An example of spending is buying groceries. When I buy groceries, I make and eat a meal. Then the food is used up. It is no more. I have no more options as far as what I can do with the money or the food. Sometimes people think of all investing as good and all spending as bad, but as these examples illustrate, this is not the case. Furthermore sometimes use of money is both an investment and an expense.

My wife and I recently had our first child. Several months after our daughter was born, we left her with my in-laws, so my wife and I could go on our first date since having a child. We went to a nice restaurant and spent almost $100 on dinner, which is an expensive meal for us. Was this an investment or an expense? It was both. It was an investment because we had a plan and made a purposeful decision to spend time together and invest in our relationship. By spending quality time talking with my wife, I understand her better. Better understanding nearly always leads to more options in the future. However, this meal was an expense because we no longer have use of that money for other things and we ate our entire dinner (it was delicious).

Please hear me. Do not construe anything I have said as an excuse to not save in the good times. Proverbs 6:6-9 commends the ant for saving food during the harvest so he would have food during the winter. What I am exhorting you to do is be purposeful in your decisions and create a plan for your money.

Purpose and a Plan
So, what is my point? How does all of this connect? My point is that God is a God of order. He is purposeful in His decisions and He has a plan. As warriors we too must be purposeful in our decisions, especially about money. We create order and purpose by having a plan. Proverbs 13:16 says “Every prudent man acts with knowledge. But a fool displays folly.” One way we can be prudent is by planning. Luke 14:28-30 says “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” The message is clear: have a plan. A warrior does not rush out the door and run straight into battle. First he crafts a plan.

Creating a Financial Plan

Below are some steps for creating a plan:
1. First, make a budget for how you would like to spend your money. This could also be a      budget for how you think you are spending your money. A budget gets a bad rap sometimes for being controlling or restricting. But a budget is simply a plan for how you would like to spend your money. As we have already discussed, a warrior has a plan. There are many great resources online for doing this. I like Dave Ramsey’s system. is also a great resource.

2.  Next, determine how you are actually using your money. An easy way to do this is by going through and categorizing several months’ worth of receipts, credit card statements, and bank statements.

3. Third, compare how you are spending your money to what your ideal budget says (your budget from step 1). This may be convicting. It may show you that what you say you value is different from what your actions say you value. Matthew 6:21 says “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” According to Matthew, how you use your money, shows where your values are.

4.  Make changes as necessary.
a. This could mean you must make some difficult lifestyle choices. Perhaps you have an idol such as sports or alcohol or entertainment that is sucking your resources.

b. This may mean you contact a financial planner or a financial coach for advice on using your money. At a minimum, you need a mentor.

c.Perhaps you simply need to create a budget (plan) and be disciplined to stick to it.

To briefly recap. God is a God or order. He has a plan. As godly men and warriors we too should have a plan. As we are entering a new year, I encourage each of you to be purposeful in your decisions about how you use your money and make a plan.

Warrior On!

Jonathan Harner

Jonathan Harner is a Certified Financial Planner working for Wichita Wealth Management. As a warrior himself, Jonathan’s passion is giving order to chaos and bringing peace to fear in the financial lives of the those he works with.

Comments are closed.