You Put Wages into Bags with Holes
BYU Women’s Conference 2009: Joy Beyond Measure
Angie Winchester and Bryan Sudweeks
Money matters, and money matters are spiritual them. Don’t set yourself up for failure--budget in a little
matters. The Old Testament prophet Haggai 1 was “mad money” that you can save or spend as you choose
concerned that the Jews had become more concerned for your own personal wants. Use the “cash envelope
with what they wanted, i.e., building their own houses, system” for expenses that are hard to keep within budget.
that they failed to do the things that the Lord wanted, Review your budget compared to actual expenses
which was to build His temple. The Jews put the Lord frequently and determine habits that could be changed.
second. How do we make sure that doesn’t happen in The key is to make spending hard and saving easy.
3. Build a reserve and start building food storage.
The Lord has said there are no temporal laws. 2 As Gradually build a financial reserve of 3 to 6 months
such, the commandments to live within our means, get income, and use it for emergencies only. “If you save a
out of debt, build a reserve, etc., are not temporal, but little money regularly, you will be surprised how much
spiritual commandments. Obeying these accumulates over time.” 6 Increase food storage by
commandments are not problems of money, as some purchasing a few items at the store each time you go.
suppose, but of faith. Following are 10 important steps
that will help ensure that we put the Lord first and have 4. Be modest in your expenditures. Have the courage to
the faith to do what He commands, and a website with say those four most caring words ‘We can’t afford it.’ 7
tools to help us as we become more financially-self Don’t purchase larger items on first glance--give yourself
reliant and as we strive to help and teach others. a week or longer to think about it before making your
decision. Remember Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s
1. Pay a full tithe and a generous fast offering. Elder comments that: “All too often a family’s spending is
Robert D. Hales stated: “The foundation of provident governed by their yearning than by their earning.” 8
living is the law of the tithe.” 3 Tithing can help us Develop a love for simple pleasures or find a fulfilling
focus on eternal things and show where are hearts are. hobby that can be done at home with little or no expense.
The Lord has promised to open the windows of heaven Stop justifying purchases you don’t need.
and pour out great blessings on those who pay tithes
and offerings faithfully. 4 5. Pay off consumer debt. President Gordon B. Hinckley
counseled: “One has neither independence nor freedom
2. Develop and live on a budget. President Spencer from bondage when he is obligated to others.” 9 Develop
W. Kimball said: “Every family should have a budget. and use a debt reduction plan (see Learning Tools, TT20
Why, we would not think of going one day without a as an example).
budget in this Church or our businesses. . . And one of
the successes of the Church would have to be that the 6. Have a financial plan for retirement. Start as early
Brethren watch these things very carefully, and we do as possible to save for retirement. Aim to save 10-15%
not spend that which we do not have.” 5 Determine of income. If you are behind, rearrange your spending to
your short and long term goals. Depending on your save even more. Start today.
needs, choose a format for your budget, from the
simple to the complex (see Learning Tools, TT31 as an 7. Pay off your home mortgage as soon as you can.
option or use other software programs). Identify your Take advantage of low interest rates now and perhaps
resources, net of taxes, and expenses. Use a short term refinance. If possible, use a 15 year mortgage or pay
savings account for large annual expenses, such as extra principal monthly to pay down principal faster.
property taxes, Christmas, vacations, insurance, etc.
Add up these large annual expenses, divide by 12 and 8. Save for children’s education and missions (if you
deposit that amount each month into a separate savings desire to). Look into state run 529 plans and Coverdell
account for that purpose, then withdraw when the Education IRA plans to save for education with tax
expense arises. Save for expenses—don’t borrow for
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advantages. Begin planning and saving for your Beginning Courses: 1. Personal Finance for High
children’s missions. School Students, 2. Personal Finance for Freshman
9. Pay yourself second. After you pay the Lord first, Intermediate Courses: 3. Intermediate Course on
pay yourself second. Elder L. Tom Perry said: “After Investing, 4. Personal Finance for Returned
paying your tithing of 10 percent to the Lord, you pay Missionaries, 5. Personal Finance for Young
yourself a predetermined amount directly into savings. Married/Single Adults;
That leaves you a balance of your income to budget for Advanced Courses: 6. Advanced Course on Retirement
taxes, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. It is Planning, 7. Advanced Complete College Course, 8.
amazing to me that so many people work all of their Advanced Course on Investing; and
lives for the grocer, the landlord, the power company, Other Courses: 9. Introductory Course: 8 Basic
the automobile salesman, and the bank, and yet think Lessons on Personal Finance based on the LDS
so little of their own efforts that they pay themselves pamphlet All is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances.
nothing.” 10 Pay the Lord first and yourself second.
The website also includes Learning Tools, Readings,
10. Develop good financial habits and teach them to Lesson Plans, Spreadsheets, Family Home Evening
your children. Focus your life back on the things that Lessons and other materials used in teaching this material
matter most rather than the acquisition of things that which may be helpful as individuals work towards
really do not matter. Teach these things to your financial self-reliance. These tools include documents
children. If you don’t teach them, who will? and spreadsheets to aid in budgeting, debt reduction,
investing, insurance planning, tax planning, retirement
Tools to Aid in Teaching Money Matters planning, and home mortgage calculations. The website
BYU Marriott School of Management’s also includes PowerPoint presentations from last
Personal Finance: Another Perspective Website at semester’s Personal Finance classes which may be
http://personalfinance.byu.edu helpful as individuals and families work towards
financial self-reliance. Finally, the website includes a
The BYU Marriott School of Management has put number of important readings from the general
together a free website on Personal Finance to provide authorities of the Church and others which can help us in
members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day becoming more financially self-reliant.
Saints and others about personal financial management
from another perspective—an eternal perspective. It A special thanks to the hundreds of people, especially the
provides a wealth of information on personal finance many talented professors, centers 11 , and students at
with a goal to help the reader learn to become better Brigham Young University who have so generously
stewards. As a help, it includes statements from the given of their time and talents in the planning and
scriptures, leaders of the Church and others to help development of this personal finance website project.
readers help develop the commitment and motivation
to doing what we need to do financially to accomplish Haggai, Chapter 1.
our goals. D&C 29:34.
Robert D. Hales, “Becoming Provident Providers Temporally
and spiritually” April 2009 General Conference.
This website is a collection of various lessons 4
categorized by education and ability, i.e. beginning 5
Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, April 1975, pp. 166-
lessons, intermediate lessons and advanced lessons. 167.
Lessons include topics such as understanding wealth, 6
All Is Safely Gathered In, Family Finance booklet, p. 3.
setting goals, budgeting, credit, buying a home, buying 7
a car, insurance, investing, retirement planning, taxes, Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts,” Ensign,
etc. These lessons can be viewed individually or as May 2004, 40.
part of pre-established courses. Nine courses for Gordon B. Hinckley, “To the Boys and to the Men,” Ensign,
individuals and families have been developed. In Nov. 1998, 51
addition, included on the web site are the PDF versions L. Tom Perry, “Becoming Self-Reliant,” Ensign, Nov. 1991,
of the personal finance manuals that go with each 11
The H. Taylor Peery Institute of Financial Services and the
course. Courses on the web site include: Rollins eBusiness Center
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