There’s more to managing money than just balancing your budget. To be successful in life, to helps to have good stewardship of what you have as well. It’s about giving back and managing what we have in a way that expresses gratitude for what we’ve been given while sharing with others in whatever ways we can. Here are some tips to help you improve your stewardship of what you’ve been given.
Look at what you truly need
The first step toward good stewardship is to look at the things you truly need. It’s nice to dream big, but managing your money requires you to start with a realistic view of what you actually need. You might even look at things in different spheres of needs, like the basic necessities, the things you need to be happy, and the things you would like to have but don’t necessarily need.
Once you have identified where your boundaries of need are, you can then look at what you’re earning and figure out how to allocate the funds you have. With good stewardship, you’ll spend your money wisely while looking for ways to give back to the world.
See if you need to cut back
Stewardship involves being wise about how and where you spend your money. It may involve cutting back on those $5 cups of coffee you enjoy so much and spending the money elsewhere or saving it and investing it. There may be other ways to cut back as well.
You might want to think about cutting back on anything that doesn’t provide good value for the money. Of course, this means different things to different people, and it doesn’t mean you can’t splurge once in
a while. However, stewardship does mean thinking about what you’re getting for the money you spend and whether it’s truly worth what you spend on it.
Think about saving and investing
One of the great things about cutting back on some things is that you will have more money to save and invest. This is money you would have spent otherwise, but now you can use it more wisely by saving and investing for the future. No matter how old or young you are, you should be thinking about retirement and how long you will remain in the workforce. To enjoy financial freedom when in retirement, it will take some planning.
One often-repeated idea is to spend 50% of your income on necessities like food and housing, 30% on discretionary spending and 20% for savings. This rule of them can make budgeting easier because it gives you something to shoot for if you’re not sure where to start.
Decide where and how to give back
After you’ve identified the things you want and need, it’s time to decide where to give back. Even if you don’t make enough money to donate to good causes, you can also be a good steward of your time by volunteering instead of donating. It’s all about looking at what you can give back, whether that’s time, money or some combination of the two.
If you decide to give money, you could set aside a percentage of your income, just as you do with your budget. One idea is to give 10% of your income to a worthy cause if you can afford to do so. Spend some time thinking about the causes that matter most to you, and then do some research to find organizations that would be good stewards of the money you entrust to them.
Once you’ve made a plan for how to spend and save your money, you’ll realize just how easy it is to be a good steward of the things you’ve been given.