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September 23, 2007


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Sounds like it's hard for a poor man to not be foolish.

@Minimum Wage

I disagree, the Bible says that if he who is faithful in a small thing, will be faithful with much. I think this applies to giving just as much as spending less than we earn.
Don't get me wrong, I am sure it is difficult for someone below the poverty level to spend less than they are bringing in, but if you ask anyone (regardless of salary) who is currently spending more than they earn - they will say it is difficult as well. The fact is that it is NOT EASY to do it, but it is the only way to lasting wealth. What is the net worth of someone who makes a Mil each year, but spends 1.1 mil?

An interesting slant to use part of the bible. It does amazes me that people manage to spend more than they earn, regardless of their income. They feel that getting that next promotion will solve the problem, but all it does is create more spending for them. Ultimately, most people need to know how to budget better before they gain financial independence.

I find it amazing that common sense exists in so few people!

Minimum Wage,
I had to read your reply several times and I'm still not sure what specifics FMF mentioned you disagree on. Please correct me if I'm understanding you incorrectly. FMF is stating: "Spend less then what you make"; reinforced by Proverbs 21:20. While you seem to be indicating with Luke 16:10 "Give Sacrificially".

Here's where I see a dividing line in two interpretations of giving sacrificially.
1) Giving at the expense of sacrificing your own food, shelter, clothing.
2) Giving at the expense of paying your debt owed to others.

The first sacrifices out of the pool of your needs. The second sacrifices out of the debt you owe others.

While sacrificial giving is an act of faith; giving what is not rightfully yours; or giving what you do not have to give isn't. Looking at it another way; the common tithe is measured as a % of income, but isn't measured in addition to your debts. Take a look at this passage:

Mathew 5:23, 24: "...Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. ..."

While I agree with FMF in regards with spending less then you earn; the dilemma does exist when there does not seem to be enough income earned to cover the expenses. This is where I depart from some other Christians interpretations of the Bible in using "sweat equity" as opposed to monetary givings. (but I don't want to depart too far from FMF's topic.)

All of us are human with our own unique "issues." I've spent more than I earn and I look back at the reasons. One, I wanted to provide my children with certain things right then at that moment. I didn't have the salary or the time to buy the basics for day-to-day life plus "save" for the big ticket items like a used car. Other times I just made some impulsive moves that were bad. I've learned a lot and I don't want to put myself in that position again. Anyway, I'm one of those that is not perfect and I hope to learn more.

Spend less than you earn is simply saying produce more than you consume or put it bluntly live below your means is the surest way to accumulating wealth. When a person spends less than he earns it will afford him the venue to save amounts and when it turns to become huge he can then go to the next plain which is investment. The simple logic on this is simply because when one would allot a portion of his earning for him to keep it will enable him to engage in productive toils which will afford him multiple streams or passive incomes. There are so many households now complaining on the economic crisis that a certain country is experiencing, the reality is simple household families could even hardly cope both ends meet such that this kind of principle becomes obsolete but that is only during times of economic crisis. The best practice then when the reality creeps in where both ends meet could not even be met is to go on a break even point between your income versus your expenses. During economic downturns it will already be of sound practice to go on a break even between incomes and expenses. As the economy normalizes that means prices will then again go lower it will be best to follow the principle of spending less than we earn. Spending less than we earn could easily be attained by simply controlling our variable expenses - these are expenses which could be controlled and they are not fixed in nature. Examples of variable expenses are expensive clothings, frequent dinning in hotels and restaurants, going to movies every day, buying two or three new Mercedez Benz when one would do. Perhaps on the middle income families putting off the lights when not using it, buying second hand cars instead of the new SUVs or even perhaps going to nearby Hawaii for a vacation instead of touring in Europe where the cost will be higher. The Bible would say for those who have more more will be given to them, hence in order to have more the best way is to spend less than what we earn. I would like to attribute what the Richest man in Babylon once said: " Part of what you earn is yours. to keep."

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