Manland teaches us that real men do three things…love, serve and protect. Each of these has their obvious meaning.We know to “love” is to show compassion and care for those around us. Serving others means going out of your way to help others. Protect, in the obvious form of the word, means to guard someone against harm. When we think of harm, most of the time we think of physical harm. While these are some of the obvious ways of becoming a man, the words “love, serve, protect” can have so much more meaning to them. I believe one of the greatest ways we can work to protect others is by handling our money well. Now, you may be reading this and thinking “I don’t have any money”, and that may be true. What we as men need to understand is the way you handle a little bit of money is a reflection of how we will handle much more money. Your biggest source of income at this point may be that check grandma gives you each year at your birthday. That’s okay! It’s still something that God has entrusted to you. Before we can dive into how to manage your money well, we need to look at how it PROTECTS those around us. Learning to use that money well now will affect how you spend it in the future. As you continue to get older and move into “grown up” years, you begin to have all of these financial responsibilities. The rumor is true! The more money you get, the more responsibilities you get. Your first few years in college or with a job can mean a lot. At some point you’ll have roommates and shared financial responsibility with others. They depend on you to manage money well for their livelihood. It’s big deal. Later down the road, you’re going to have a family of your own. If you aren’t smart in those first few years, it could hurt your family in the future. Being a good steward is a clear way to protect the well being of those closest to you, even if you don’t know who they are yet! With that being said, here are three ways you can begin PROTECTING those around you by learning how to use your money well.
- GIVE GENEROUSLY: This sounds SUPER wrong. It’s close to the opposite of what you would think managing your money well means, but it’s where you have to start. Scripture teaches us a ton about money. As our founder Truett Cathy always said, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.” It was his life verse. One of the ways he lived out this verse was by giving. Start with 10% of every dollar you get. Give that in your church offering!
- SAVE UNWAVERINGLY: For me, the easiest thing to do with money as soon as I get it is to spend it. Whether it’s a milkshake or the newest Apple device, money begins burning right through my pockets. A few weeks later, there’s something else I want or a need that arises. Take 10% of every dollar and put it in savings. The biggest win for you before you graduate from high school is to have money in a college savings fund. College is a long time (especially for overachievers like me who take six years to finish). The money you put back now is the money that will allow you to enjoy your college experience with a little less stress. College debt is a REAL thing. Try and stay away from it. Your future family will be grateful.
- SEEK ADVICE: You literally have no ability to keep yourself accountable when it comes to spending money. Your mom and dad probably have a ton of advice from their experience. They want what’s best for you! Ask them to help you manage your money! Get their advice when you want to buy something really big and cool. See if they think you could use your money better!