When you think about it, shouldn’t saving money be easy? After all, isn’t it just the practice of not doing something, namely, spending? Well, if only it were that simple! The real challenge to saving, of course, is overcoming the temptation to spend money. There are steps you can take to make it easier and we’ll talk about those first, today, on MoneyWise. A recent Bank rate survey showed that only 40% of Americans had enough cash in their bank accounts to cover an unexpected expense of $1,000. Considering the range of financial calamities that can strike when we least expect it, it’s no wonder so many people go into debt to cover money emergencies. It’s also no wonder that the Bible tells us that saving is wise. In Proverbs 10 we find, "Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son." And while it’s wise to save, we also have to be careful not to put too much trust in our bank accounts. Those can never replace our ultimate trust in God as our source and provider. Why is it so hard for some people to save money? For some, it can’t be avoided. There are people whose income is far lower than their out-go: those people below the poverty level. And while that’s a real concern and not one to be taken lightly, most people we hear from make enough money to save. In their case, self-discipline is the main issue. It’s about living within your means. God wants us to enjoy His bounty; but Christians are also supposed to take care of their families and come to the aid of others in the church from time to time who may have needs. That’s difficult to do if you have no savings. Here are some steps you can take to start the process: (1) You need a plan. Without one, you’re just spinning your wheels with no idea where you’re heading or when you get there. Your plan should reflect your values and priorities. Be specific, and make sure you connect meaning to the money you save. The sacrifice it requires will be difficult unless the goal is something meaningful to you. (2) Realize that you can’t go it alone. If you’re married, you’ll never be able to save if your spouse isn’t on board. It has to be a team effort. Make sure you have common goals and to celebrate milestones of progress along the way. (3) Make a resolution that you’ll save something from every paycheck. In the beginning, establishing that habit is more important than reaching the ultimate goal. Develop the discipline of saving. As time goes on and you successfully put something away each payday you can begin to increase your savings. (4) Pray earnestly that God will give you self-control and a contented heart. Developing the habit of saving will dramatically improve your life, your relationships, and your ability to be used by God. You’ll probably sleep a lot better, too. On today’s program we also answer your questions: --I’m a recent widow and want to know how to make my money work for me for the rest of my life. What do you think about setting up an annuity? However, I don’t want to tie up the money in case I need it. --I’m trying to determine whether or not I should refinance my home. Can you guide me? --I’m working on a reciprocal retirement and I may have some money left over. Would it be best to invest in a Roth or money market or, what would you recommend? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, purchase books, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for videos and the very latest discussion! Remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.