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Living Paycheck To Paycheck

MoneyWise

Christian talk radio with Rob West

July 8, 2022

It’s not how much money you make, it’s how you manage it that makes all the difference in this world. We’ll discuss that today on MoneyWise. A recent survey by Lending Club showed that more than a third of Americans earning at least $250, 000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck. That’s roughly five times the average salary in the U. S. It means those high earners are spending everything they earn and saving nothing and it really brings to mind Proverbs 21: 20, Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. But mishandling money certainly isn’t limited to those in high-income brackets. The survey showed that: Sixty-four percent of Americans earning $50, 000 to $100, 000 a year live paycheck to paycheck. As do 46% of those making 100, 000 to 150, 000 per year. And 41% earning 150, 000 to 200, 000 live paycheck to paycheck along with 36% of those who make between 200, 000 and 250, 000. So the problem really has little to do with how much a person makes. It’s what our friend Ron Blue calls a consumptive lifestyle. That’s when you’ve given in to the world’s view of money and possessions, thinking they can make you happy. Sadly, many Christians fall into this trap, and it can harm our relationship with God. 1 John 2: 16 warns, For all that is in the worldthe desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessionsis not from the Father but is from the world. When you begin to live by the Bible’s financial principles, being productive, living on less than you earn, saving for emergencies, investing for when you can no longer work, and giving generously to God’s Kingdom, you begin to grasp the lesson of delayed gratification. Looking at just one of those principles saving. You can see what a blessing it is to have money on hand for emergencies so you don’t have to borrow. We all need a financial safety net, no matter how much money we make. Almost no one goes through their working years without losing a job, at least temporarily. Not having an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months’ living expenses is just asking for trouble. When you live that way, it’s inevitable that you’re going to run up debt. Cars break down, companies have layoffs. If you’re not prepared, you’ll have to borrow to meet your expenses. There’s no income limit for being in debt. Some very wealthy people are up to their chins in it. Now, a lot of folks will say they just don’t make enough to save anything, and that’s certainly true in some cases, but not for most people. You know, we also hear from people with very small incomes who wouldn’t dream of living paycheck to paycheck, and they do everything they can to live within their means but also to have an emergency fund. Two things will help you break the cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck. First, you need to have a spending plan. It’s the only way you can get control of your finances and create a little margin with your discretionary income. Without a budget, it’s almost impossible to save anything. Download the free MoneyWise app to get started. It has three ways to set up your spending plan and you can choose the one that works best for you. You can also sign up at MoneyWise.org to work with one of our volunteer coaches. They can walk you through, step-by-step, on how to develop a spending plan. They’ve been where you are, and now they want to help others manage God’s resources wisely. And they’re really good at finding ways to cut your spending so you can meet your necessary expenses and still have money left over at the end of the month. You know who would have been a great MoneyWise coach if we’d been around back then? The Apostle Paul. In Philippians 4: 11-13 he says, Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. You see, the other way to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck is to learn to be content with God’s provision. Everything you have, even your ability to earn a living, comes from God. He’s promised to provide for your needs and He’s always faithful. So pray for a spirit of contentment. And as you do these things, be generous with your giving to God’s kingdom. It’ill break the power that money and possessions can have over you. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is it best to keep your savings in a bank account? ● How can you minimize your tax burden as you begin drawing Social Security? ● If your adult child is a free spender, how can you help them without enabling them? ● What is the best way to manage life insurance proceeds after the passing of a spouse?

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