Financial Regret #2: Wasting Money

Financial Regret #2: Wasting Money

There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up.
—Proverbs 21:20

Another regret people have about money is this: “I regret wasting so much money.” Do you come to the end of the month and wonder, “Where did all my money go?” You get your paycheck, and it seems to fly off like an eagle. That is what happens to most of our money.

The only thing worse than coming to the end of the month and asking, “Where did all the money go?” is coming to the end of your working life and asking, “Where did all the money go?” Let’s say you are forty years of age right now. You will work until age seventy, and your household income is $80,000 a year. Do you realize in thirty years, more than two and a half million dollars will pass through your hands? What happens to all of that money? For most of us, the problem is not with our earning—the problem is with our spending.

The key to financial prosperity is spending less than you earn over a long period of time. My grandfather used to say, “It does not matter how much you make; what matters is how much you keep.” The Bible says the same thing. In Proverbs 13:7 Solomon says, “There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.” (NASB) In Texas we call it people who are “all hat and no cattle.” They appear to have great wealth, but there is nothing to back it up.

How do you control your spending? Let me give you some practical ideas. One is to use a fifteen-year mortgage instead of a thirty-year mortgage. For relatively little more every month, you can cut your mortgage in half and save hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also, set your thermostat five degrees warmer in the summer or five degrees cooler in the winter. You will save hundreds of dollars in utility costs. Keep driving the car you have instead of purchasing a new car. The cheapest car to own is the one you are driving. Refuse to shop for groceries when you are hungry. Use a list when you shop for groceries to avoid impulse buying. Postpone your clothes purchases until major sales. We do this as a family. Split entrees when you eat out. You will be amazed at how much you will save. Finally, plan your travel ahead of time. Airlines and hotels penalize people who wait until the last minute to make travel arrangements.

Now, this is not to turn you into a miser but to help you come to the end of life without financial regrets. Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up.” The fool, God’s Word says, is someone who spends everything that he makes.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living without Financial Regrets” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.