This post is written by Craig Ford, writer at Money Help for Christians.
With their 2.7 kids waving to everyone from the front door of their perfectly manicured lawn, we sometimes idealize the Joneses next door.
But if you had a chance to peek into the Jones’s window, you’d find there are unpaid bills in every corner. Sure, they’ve got a lot of stuff, but they just don’t own any of it. There’s the constant pressure to buy the newest and latest products. The Joneses would barely make it if they made $30,000 per year or $130,000. They rush to work. They rush to the mall. And others follow suit.
The Joneses pay the price for it, and we will too – if we try to keep up with them.
Pressure. Depression. Arguments. Stress. Unrealized expectations. Disappointments.
That’s why our family has kissed the Joneses goodbye. We’re not going to conform to the rampant pressure to earn more and buy more. Instead, I’d suggest that Christians should embrace a simple life where they live on less than they make.
The Benefits of Simple Living and Living Below Your Income
You are not dependent on a larger income.
When making big decisions, my wife and I often remind each other not to allow money to dictate our calling. As an example, we decided to work as missionaries before we knew what missionaries got paid. Yes, there are times when it is necessary to alter a course because of a money concern, but by living simply, money has less influence on our life decisions.
Some people feel ‘stuck’ in high income jobs because they can barely keep up with all the expenses already. The idea of following a calling and doing something that pays less is virtually impossible because they are dependent on that large income to support their lifestyle. As a result, they usually have to do a lot of things they don’t like to do because they can’t risk doing anything that might threaten their income.
Think of the possibilities that would open up if you learned to live off $30,000 – $55,000 per year regardless of your income. That means almost any profession is a possibility because of your lifestyle choice.
As an example, when a wife (or husband) is able to stay home, it is often because the family has learned how to afford living on one income, not by learning how to make more money. Many ministry-related occupations (missionaries, preachers, children’s home supervisors, Christian school teachers) are staffed by people who have embraced some form of simple living.
You have funds available to clean up any past financial mistakes.
None of us has a perfect financial past. However, those mistakes can be undone faster when you simplify your lifestyle.
As the gap between what you earn and what you spend gets wider, you will have more money to decide how it should be spent. The family making $60,000 but living off of $40,000 will get out of debt faster than the family making $60,000 but living off $59,999.
For many people, their fixed expenses chew up every last dollar. Get control of your spending so can have the ability to choose how you spend your money.
You’ll be able to actively serve people by giving to ministries, individuals, and charities.
This is the most exciting benefit.
First of all, it honors God. Secondly, it is an extremely satisfying way to use your resources.
Imagine a life with no debt, adequate savings, a plan for your future, and resources to help others. Wouldn’t life be a little more satisfying if you were spending your time finding the best children’s home to support instead of trying to find the credit card with the best balance transfer interest rate? Wouldn’t you make a greater contribution if you spent your money helping fund short term mission trips instead of paying credit card interest?
Simple living is a much healthier alternative to trying to keep up with the Joneses. Are you ready to pucker up and kiss the Joneses goodbye?
Craig has just finished writing an eBook called Transforming Your Financial Diet: 7 Steps to Simple Living and Generous Giving. The book is only on sale until March 9th. As a special thank you to Heavenly Homemakers readers you can get 15% off. At checkout enter the coupon code “homemakers”.
To learn more or get your copy, click here.
Be sure to visit Money Help for Christians where Craig promotes a frugal, simple, debt-free, and generous lifestyle so Christians can faithfully maximize their resources by putting them at the disposal of God’s Kingdom.