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Midweek Stewardship: Savings the Foundation

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Get Started, It’s Biblical You Know

This week’s edition of Midweek Stewardship is a focus on savings, the building block of all successful financial stewardship.  There are many tools and strategies to achieve a sensible spending plan and save money as a result.  The first thing you need is a commitment.  It is kind of like going on a diet.  You may not always stick exactly to the plan, but just having a plan will very likely get you to spend less.  There is also an innate human tendency to respond to those things that are being measured, even if you are the one measuring yourself.  This works to your advantage in generating a workable plan that will then generate savings for you.

All this has biblical support.  Here are some biblical money facts:

  •  There are 2350 verses in the Bible concerning money.
  • Over 15% of the verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke are about material goods.
  • Almost half of the parables that Jesus taught concern possessions.
  • Jesus talked more about money and its uses than heaven and hell combined.

Just because we are focusing on savings does not mean that we are encouraging hoarding.  The two are separate, and it goes to what is in your heart, which of course God knows.  So do not fear to engage in basic good stewardship practices, like saving money.  Saving money in and of itself will not make you a miser ala Ebeneezer Scrooge (early Ebeneezer that is).

A good passage to keep in mind can be found in Proverbs 6:6-8, “Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise. Without having any chief or officer or ruler, it prepares its food in summer, and gathers its sustenance in harvest”.  With that in mind let’s looks at some facets of saving money. 

Back to Basics

Any successful financial stewardship begins with savings.  In fact, savings is the foundation of all material civilization.  Yes, it is true that labor is a critical component in our material advancement, and there is dignity in any honest labor.

What then makes labor possible? Initially our brawn, simple manual effort. As we know from history that does not get us far by way of a standard of living. To raise humanity’s condition labor needs to be more productive. In fact, increased productivity is the only means by which humanity can increase its standard of living and become materially wealthier. As a species, we can only consume what we produce, so we must produce more to become wealthier, that is raise our level of productivity. We must produce more with the same or less effort to do this. How then, given the same 168 hours in a week and humanity’s physical abilities capped, can we produce more?

Tools are the answer, of course. If we have more and better tools, then we can produce more and better things. Economics gives a fancy name to these tools, capital. The more capital we have the more we can produce. The more we produce the more we can consume. Voila, the wealthier we are.

So, where does the capital come from? Savings, that’s where. We must defer some of our consumption to build tools that will allow us to produce more later. The foundation, then, of all material wealth is savings.  So, as we can logically see, the wellsprings of wealth come from savings which produces more and better tools which allows us to produce more and therefore consume more.

This is true for each of us as individuals.  The first thing we must do to save is to understand what we spend, and to control that spending in an intentional way.  To that end there is an array of resources below to help you get ahold of your spending.  There are differing tactics, and formats available.  No one is the right way; it depends upon what is most comfortable for you.  The common denominator is that every tactic entails spending less than you earn.

Tools & Strategies

Here are some tools and strategies to assist in this process:

Crown Financial Ministries

This is my favorite Christian financial ministry.  They have a variety of resources, some free, some for a reasonable price, to help you in all areas of your financial life.  They have great tools for budgeting and gaining control of your spending.

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is probably the best known Christian financial figure in the country.  His site offers a variety of tools and resources, mostly for sale, that can assist you in all areas of your financial life.  Best known among these is “Financial Peace University”


Mint, which is owned by Intuit (Turbo tax).  Mint may be the most well-known of the internet and smartphone-based budgeting applications, and it offers comprehensive services at no cost.

Mint users can link multiple financial accounts to the service, which then tracks and categorizes spending. It includes a payment tracker with bill reminders, and its calculators allow people to see how their decisions may impact progress toward goals.

SoFi Relay

SoFi Relay is another free budgeting app. It allows users to link accounts, review balances and set spending targets. It aggregates accounts and makes it easy to review spending by category.  The app also provides access to VantageScore 3.0 credit scores and makes it simple to connect with a professional to discuss financial goals and strategies.

Good Budget

This budgeting software is intended for those who like the idea of an envelope cash management system but don’t want the hassle of carrying physical envelopes.  Instead, Goodbudget lets users fund virtual envelopes that are used to track expenses and sync and share budget information across devices. The free version includes 10 regular envelopes.  The pay version gets you 10 more envelopes, one year of account history and access to community support forums.

Banking Tools

Free budgeting tools may be as close as your bank’s website. Bank of America, Chase and even local credit unions are among the institutions to provide customers budgeting resources that can track expenses, run spending reports, and export data to spreadsheets or computer software.

Budgeting Software

Here is an article from Investopedia that reviews several budgeting software solutions.


Don’t forget old fashioned desktop applications like spreadsheets.  Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers have templates for budgets that you can customize for your personal situation.

You Belong to Jesus, You Got This

These are but suggestions.  As stated previously, there is no one right way.  Whatever way works for you is the best way.  The cool thing is you can see immediate results.  You will see the balance in your savings/checking account go up.  You will see the spending totals go down.  The positive feedback is practically instantaneous.  This early success will encourage you to continue on, just like losing that first 5-10 pounds gets you stoked to lose more.  None of this need come at the price of living a comfortable life.  It will take an attitude adjustment and the “sacrifice” of some things you now think you need.  You will find that after a time without some (just some) of these frivolities you really do not miss them after all.

Of course, when deciding whether to spend money or not the first question to ask is “should I be buying this?”.  I mean, just because you have room in the budget that does not mean that you should download a terabyte of porn.  The next question should be “Do I really need this?”.  If you don’t absolutely need it, then decide whether it is a thing you would like to have or is it truly a luxury.  Nothing wrong with a “nice to have” item.  Luxuries we can probably live without.  The “nice to have” and luxury category should not really be contemplated until you have met your giving goals, which we will discuss in a later post.  These are just guidelines which hopefully provide food for thought.

So, take heart and be of good cheer.  You have the ability to do this.  If you are struggling, seek help.  If it is assistance from a food pantry, go see them.  If it is advice from a trusted person in your life, then seek out that advice.  If it is a double check from your partner about whether to buy something or not, then by all means reach out to them.  There is never any shame about admitting that you are a human being and in need of help.  Jesus knows this.  Seek Him out as well.  Prayer for strength is a time-honored thing to ask God.  Always keep in mind as you journey that this is about doing something for those important people in your life by doing His will.  Jesus will save your soul, but He know that you can save the money in your life.

Praise Be to God

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