One of the most rewarding feelings is when I set my problems aside to help someone else. Helping others is what our forefathers so graciously did while providing for their own families. The spirit of helping a neighbor has always been prevalent in American culture. There was a sense of community pride that resonated with the notion that a healthy community was one that was compassionate and caring. The notion that we should care for each other is as old as humanity.

However, a notion about helping others becomes somewhat foggy in our desire to do good if we don’t abide by five basic but valuable financial disciplines. To achieve financial stability, I believe you should practice the following:

  1. Think long term–You will make better financial decisions when your planning is long term. Write down your goals for the future. Invest for the long term and worry less about short term ups and downs.
  2. Spend less than you earn–Let me say this again…spend less than you earn. To accomplish this, you need to know what you are earning and what you are spending. Make a spending plan or budget. When one of these tools is in place, you are able to more easily monitor what’s going out and what’s coming in.
  3. Develop self-control to not overspend–If you consistently spend less than you earn over a long period of time, you will do well financially, putting you in a position of feeling good about helping someone else who has a need.
  4. Discipline yourself to maintain emergency savings–A reserve set aside will help you ride out the surprises life throws at you. When you spend less than you earn, you will build savings. Savings will then help you avoid debt.
  5. Minimize the use of debt–Debt increases risk. It may allow you to do more and have more now, but it will reduce your ability to have more in the future.

These five financial disciplines are so simple that they may easily be overlooked, yet they have stood the test of time. So, the next time that you feel the urge to purchase another pair of shoes or another set of golf clubs, ask yourself “How is my financial situation?”

Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net

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