Our family loves to hike. We live in southern Nevada, so we have hundreds of beautiful hiking trails available to us. I recently told my husband that I would love to hike farther but was nervous to do so. We have four adventurous kids, and I didn’t want to go beyond the range of our cell phone’s map app. The thought of our family getting lost while on a long hike terrified me. To help settle my fears, my husband found a hiking app that works beyond normal cell phone range with the help of satellites. This app essentially turns our phones into GPS trackers. We can now plan our hiking routes in advance and track our progress in real time, no matter how far we go off the beaten path.
At Compass Catholic, we teach Biblical principles of how God intends for us to handle money and possessions. You wouldn’t leave on a long hike without planning your route. Similarly, you need to know where your money is going as well. That is called a spending plan. There is a common misconception that spending plans are only helpful for those who are experiencing a financial hardship or crisis, but nothing could be further from the truth. Spending plans are vital for everyone because they are a necessary part of financial discipleship.
A spending plan is simply a tool that gives you information about where your money is going. If you know where your money is going, you can decide if you want it to continue going there. Just like our new hiking app, a spending plan can give you peace of mind. You can effectively be moving towards your destination while tracking your progress.
In James 4:13, we learn that we can’t predict our future and that our plans for the future can change in an instant. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit’ – you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.” Using a spending plan, knowing where you are spending, and discerning the difference between wants and needs are key to surviving and thriving when those plans of yours aren’t exactly what God had in mind for you. There have been times while hiking our family realized we needed to take a different route to our destination. Maybe the terrain wasn’t what we were anticipating or one of our kids took a spill and needed a bandage. In a similar way, your spending plan can show you where the pitfalls are located and will allow you to adjust to unexpected events.
In any circumstance, a spending plan can help you determine exactly where your money is going and if it is really going to the places that are important to you, and more importantly, to God. To learn how to create and implement a spending plan, we recommend you participate in a Faith & Money Matters Bible study. You can take this study individually, in a small group, or at your parish. To learn more about Compass Catholic Ministries, visit us online at: http://www.compasscatholic.org