Biblical Principles of Money Management: Budgeting

by Jessica Sommerfield · 1 comment

You probably don’t think of the Bible as a resource for financial advice. Finance is, of course, not its main theme. But the truth is that the Bible contains many nuggets of wisdom for handling your finances, touching on a range of topics such as:

  • The importance of planning (budgeting & saving)
  • The dangers of materialism
  • Contentment
  • Lending and borrowing (debt)
  • Giving
  • Stewardship/diligence

When you consider the wisdom of many of these financial or finance-applicable concepts, you will realize they are definitely not too outdated for use in in the modern world; and, if they are practiced, can keep you from financial ruin.

The first financial topic I have listed is budgeting. Although budgeting isn’t a word you’ll find in the Bible, the concept of budgeting can be found throughout Scripture. The book of Proverbs, in particular, has a lot to say about the wisdom of planning and the careful use of resources.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms shall be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. – Proverbs 24:3-4

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenty; but the thoughts of everyone who is hasty only to poverty. – Prov. 21:5

There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spends it up. – Prov. 21:20

A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him. – Prov. 28:20

Go to the ant, sluggard; consider her ways and be wise; who having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest. – Prov. 6:6-8

As you can see, the concept of budgeting is not a modern one. Even in ancient times, before the time of spreadsheets, pie charts, and checking accounts, it was considered wise (and necessary) to carefully plan the use of one’s resources. In terms of the agrarian lifestyle, wise planners wouldn’t burn through the food or money they collected from the harvest of their crops. They would consider the reality that winter was coming, so they needed to plan ahead to avoid starvation.

Hastening after Riches

Few of us have to face starvation as result of our poor financial planning, but we do have to deal with unaffordable emergencies, missed opportunities, poor credit scores, or bankruptcy due to excessive spending and failing to save money. In our consumer-driven culture, it’s easy to get caught up in obtaining possessions rather than building wealth for the future. Countless stories exist of people who hastily spent their fortunes without planning for the future and now live in financial ruin and poverty.

Consider the Ant

Another application easily gleaned from these passages is that of planning for our retirement. Just as ants work hard while it’s still summer in preparation for the hibernation of winter, we are wise to work hard while we’re still young and able so we have plenty stored up when we are no longer able to earn a living. In practical terms, this means setting up a 401K, an IRA, and other investment accounts when we begin our careers and not touching them until we retire.

Budgeting, saving and retirement planning are modern terms for concepts that are as old as time. Taking a look at the ageless wisdom of Biblical concepts of money management is beneficial in examining our finances to ensure we are on the path to financial success.

Bonus Tip:

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Francis Rushman September 15, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I better read some scriptures from the bible… I agree that we shouldn’t let our money govern us and go for material things or else we would fail to notice that bankruptcy is at the door.

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