The Bible teaches us that everything in creation belongs to God. Before I jump straight into money-saving tips, we must first understand that as Christians, we are simply stewards of our money, not owners. Everything you own is given to you by God to look after, and we must learn how to steward it well.
But that’s not often easy, right?
Whether we feel like we’re spending too much money, or not being generous enough, looking after what God has given us comes with its own challenges.
To help you get started, here are a few biblical ways to help you steward your money and save well. Saving for the future doesn’t have to be tedious or dull — read our 10 fun tips on managing your finances and budgeting well (yes that includes spending, too).
Giving back to God. This is probably the most important point when it comes to being a steward of our money. The Bible teaches that saving money is a wise practice for many different reasons. God is our source and provider for everything we need: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus,” – Philippians 4:19. Everything belongs to God anyway — your job, your income, your pocket money: it all comes from Him. Giving is an attitude of worship to God and a service to the body of Christ. We are stewards of our money, not owners. God simply allows us the privilege of caring for our money. When God can trust us with the little, he will gradually trust us with more so that we can be a blessing to those around us.
- Change your attitude
Saving money allows us to be prepared for the future, and being prepared for the future is good. It doesn’t have to be a challenge, but something enjoyable. I’ve been saving for a deposit on a house for the past two years and have loved making goals, plans, lists and watching my savings grow. We are accountable to God for how we use everything He gives us in this life, including money. Change your attitude about saving and you’ll soon find that it’s quite enjoyable.
- Make a saving plan
Work out your outgoings each month (train fare, phone bill, food costs) and how much you have left over afterwards. Whether it’s £10, £50 or £500, set yourself a goal of how much to save every month. There are great bank accounts designed for young people saving for the future that are worth looking into.
When making your plan, begin to make a list of everything you spend most of your money on. For me, it was coffee. £2.50 each day, meant over £50 a month just on coffee! I decided to make a filtered coffee at home to take with me every morning. Now I save nearly £600 a year just because I made one change. Take a look at what you spend most of your money on and where you can cut back. It takes sacrifice (I had to say goodbye to well-frothed flat whites), but in the end it will all be worth it.
- Learn to say no
“Sure, I’ll go out for another dinner,” we all say at times. But when most of your money has gone on Nandos or 3-course dinners maybe it’s time to say no. It may sound simple, but learning to do things with friends that don’t cost money is a great way to save. Home cooked meals, walks, free museums, pamper nights at home: they’re all free and fun.
- Remember to treat yourself, too
If we’re obedient and work with integrity, God will bless our work (Deuteronomy 28:8). And it’s important to buy yourself something nice once in a while, too. Whether it’s a lunch, coffee, that new coat from Zara, spa day, or the new Naked eyeshadow palette, don’t forget a treat whilst you save.
- Don’t buy what you don’t need
Another bag? Gucci loafers? A bigger TV? Do you really need those things? I really struggle with this, as buying new clothes is my weakness. Every so often I organise my wardrobe and sort out exactly what I have. This way if I do fancy a treat I know what I need so I don’t end up buying another pair of jeans/trainers/lipstick. I’ll buy carefully, and wisely. If you don’t need something and it’s not in your budget to afford it, then be bold enough not to buy it.
- Do give generously
Jesus was generous, giving of his time, words, money and love. As we choose to live like him we too should be generous. Just because we’re saving doesn’t mean we shouldn’t limit our generosity. Do pay for that person’s coffee. Buy your best friend flowers. What you’ll find that in your giving, God will give back to you. The more you give away, the more you’ll be blessed. The best way to be happy in this life is to be a blessing to other people. That’s true of how we spend our time and certainly true of how we spend our money.
- Look to the bible
When I began to make my house saving plan, I started to see what the bible said about saving and money stewardship. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” – Matthew 6:19-21. If we consider all of our money to be under God’s control, then we can seek and find help in every decision about our material possessions.
- Don’t forget to have fun
Most people don’t like to save as they see it as this dull, boring, limiting task. I see it as an opportunity to prepare for the future. The bible teaches about good stewardship (there are over 2000 verses on money alone). Saving doesn’t mean you’re being strict, or not allowing yourselves to have things.
The Bible teaches us that nothing is more important that our relationships, first with God, and then with each other. If we can maintain a balanced relationship with money and not let it get in the way of those more important relationships, then we will be able to live with joy and help a lot of people. This life on earth is short — don’t forget to have fun when saving!
- God is good and he wants to help you
I love that God cares about every tiny aspect of our lives. From our exams to getting a job and saving to buy a house, God cares. He is good and wonderful. I sometimes feel silly saying “my Lord Jesus, please help me to save well this month.” He is loving and kind and he cares. Keep praying and expecting big things because God is for us. He is good and gracious to us. Whatever you’re saving for, he wants to help you and give you wisdom.