A financial plan that works

Credit card bills are arriving in the mail. We didn't think that we had spent that much before Christmas. Well, we will just pay what we can and carry the balance over to next month or the month after. Does the fine print say 16.8 percent interest on the unpaid balance? Next year we have to be more careful. Honey, we said that last year. Does this sound familiar.?

My automobile broke down and I don't have the money to repair it. It has to be fixed so that I can get to work. Most of us have heard plenty of different scenarios in the past. Regrets, depression, divorce and many other bad situations take place as a result.

We all know that hard times can come despite our best efforts. Unemployment, illness, death in the family and the like can happen. The best that we can do is to do what we can. Basic necessities are what we need to survive. An inexpensive automobile that gets 25 to 35 miles to the gallon can get us to work. A friend that knows cars can help find a good used one. How many new clothes do we need? Maybe alternatives are the answer. We should not spend money on trips or vacations that are costly until we have significant balances in savings accounts.

A good recommendation is to give the first 10 percent tithes to your church or other charity. God tells us in Malachi 3:8-10 that we are robbing God if we don't do this. He also tells us that He will abundantly bless us if we do. Some will say that this was given by Moses in the Law. No, this was practiced long before Moses or the law. A good second practice is to put the next five percent aside for emergencies such as automobile repairs. Then buy only what you can afford. I have known people who have plenty of money and investments who buy their expensive clothes at second hand charity stores.

Finally, as the income and surplus starts to grow, give more and save more. Investments in the bank of eternity have never had a recession experience yet. The more we give the more we are blessed. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

For the 2013 Club, Feb. 10 takes us to Leviticus 12 and Matthew 26.

Do what is right and be blessed more.

Crist Langelett writes a twice-monthly column on faith. He is a chaplain for the North St. Paul city, police and fire departments, a chaplain at Washington County Jail, a past president of the North St. Paul Area Emergency Food Shelf and one of the founders of North St. Paul's Polar Arena. He is active in civic groups and his local church.