June - Gift of Money
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Matthew 6:24
This month’s Gift letter topic is the Gift of Money. You’ve heard us say that the only value of money is in its use. How are you using your money? You’ve also heard us say that God owns, controls and provides it ALL and we are simply to be stewards of His resources. How are you stewarding His resources? If you haven’t taken time to stop and reflect on that recently we hope will take the opportunity to do so now and that you will implement some of the ideas in our June newsletter. We pray you are all having a wonderful summer!
The Team at Legacy Planning Advisors, LLC.
The Gift of Money
Money may indeed be the most misunderstood commodity in the world. If you think about it closely there are only five essential uses for money: giving, living expenses, debt repayment, taxes, and cash flow margin. With cash flow margin we plan for retirement, other investments, new business, other lifestyle desires, or education.
There is absolutely nothing that can replace money in the things that money does, but regarding the rest of the things in the world, money is useless. All the money in the world won’t buy you one more day of life. Yet, what we do with the money in this life, we believe, impacts our lives eternally. Many choose to live lives of affluence when a life of influence and impact is of greater significance. So, how we use money is very important.
In addition to money being a commodity, money is complicated, and it also complicates. Like many commodities, we often want more than what we really need. In this world, there is a fine line between having what we think we need versus what God wants us to have. Answering the question; “How much is enough?” - should be considered regularly.
We spend time trying to make more money, and then we complain because we have no time to enjoy the pleasures money can buy. We spend our money on material possessions looking forward to owning nice things, but it typically turns out that those things own us. When we don’t have money, we long for more. And when we finally have more of it, we spend too much of it and end up right back where we started. We need a certain amount of money just to satisfy our basic needs to stay warm, safe, and healthy. But too much money can become more of a burden than a blessing, especially when we expect it to solve all our problems and make us happy. Do you see how complicated it is?
In the movie, "The Ultimate Gift," one of the characters, Jason, had everything taken away from him. He was made destitute and required to live in a way he'd never experienced before. At the end of the movie, Jason does something significant because of his new experiences. This month we invite you to some new experiences by thinking about the role money plays in your life and how you can use the Gift of Money to help those less fortunate than you be safe, healthy and happy.
Experience The Gift of Money
“He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.” Proverbs 11:28
Pass It On
Get six envelopes and call them your “Pass It On” envelopes. Each member of your family can pass on some of his/her hard-earned money to someone in need. It doesn’t matter how much. Even little ones can place a quarter in an envelope and leave it on a gumball machine for an unsuspecting customer. Perhaps you know a family in the neighborhood that has experienced a serious illness, a friend at school whose father lost his job, or a co-worker who is recently divorced and can’t make ends meet. Anonymously pass them an envelope by leaving it under their doormat.
There are missionaries in other parts of the world doing great work and are greatly under-resourced. If you travel, try leaving some extra cash on the mattress to show gratitude to the person who cared for your room during your stay. Or, you can sit in the parking lot of a business where bills are paid (the gas, electric or telephone companies, for example) and watch the people as they arrive. You will notice some who are struggling to make ends meet.
Leave an envelope tucked under the door handle or wedged into the crack where the door opens and wait for them to return. Don’t let them see you. The best gifts are anonymous because the recipients are free to experience the joy of the gift without feeling ashamed of their predicament or obligated to return the favor.
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Spend, Share, Save
Sit down with your family and talk about a plan to achieve specific financial goals for each member of the family. This is a wonderful way to introduce children to the concept of a budget and the importance of saving for the future and sharing your wealth with those less fortunate. This should include a percentage of their income to be saved and a percentage of their income to be shared (set aside for charitable purposes).
Even little children who earn allowances for chores around the house can have a plan of their own. You can set specific percentages for the whole family (save 10% of what you earn each month and put aside 5% for charitable causes). Or you may choose to create different percentages that fit the special circumstances of everyone.
Just remember that we are always more committed to something we have decided for ourselves. Actual cash boxes and homemade deposit books make it fun and much more real for children.