Volume 6 of Your Money Answers – Tough Decisions, Many Options
June 22, 2011
Volume 8 of Your Money Answers – How high is your debt ceiling?
August 19, 2011

The meaning of sacrifice is to surrender of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. Sacrifice is good. Sacrifice will not benefit you in the short term; it will benefit you later. Once you start sacrificing in your budget, you will see a greater move of God in your finances. My family began to experience increase in our finances once we started to sacrifice our finances for the greater good.

Question – Cedric, I am 82 years old, retired, and enjoying life. What is the best option for people like me to handle finances? My family needs are not as great as they were before. We do what we can and we serve in the church faithfully. We enjoy sharing with others.

Answer – Congratulations on being retried. Many of us would like to be in that position. I cannot tell you much more except to keep living. You said that you are enjoying life. Obviously, you have done something right with your money. Proverbs 10:22 says the blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.  You are rich in more ways than one. You are rich in the eyes of God not in the eyes of man or Wall Street. Being rich is ensuring that all of your needs are met, meeting other needs, and having some left over to do what you like.

My first suggestion is to ensure all of your financial information is update. Don’t let anything lapse, policies included. Continue to do what you are doing. If it is not broke, leave it alone. This is your time to reap your harvest because you sacrificed many years ago. Secondly, continue to witness and teach the grace of God to others in the area of your finances. We need to hear your testimony. It is not often that we see people live this long and enjoying life.

Question – Deacon Cedric, I need help with my budget. I have a 1 year old son; we receive government assistance. I am currently staying with my aunt in which she takes care all of the expenses. I am attending school part-time to become a dental hygienist and I don’t work. I have a few expenses with some outstanding student loan debt.  How should I handle my budget?

Answer – Thanks for sharing, I applaud you for taking control of your finances. It seems that you are getting the necessary help. Before you start a budget, my suggestion is to sit down to decide your goals. Your goals will really fuel what you need. If you desire to have more than you have now, you have to make some tough decisions. What are you willing to sacrifice? Habakkuk 2:2 says Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. When you have a goal in mind you tend to run toward it. You have already started by going to school. At this time, you are not in the position to create a budget because you have no income. The only way to get there is to start working.  Secondly, you can address your school loans by calling the loan department and ask them to defer your loans until you finish school.  Again, write your goals, find a job, budget, then save money.

Update from reader since question – Cedric, I have now finished school and have the opportunity to work as a dental hygienist. Until I am able to find a job in this area, I have secured another position working full time. Thanks for your help!

Question – Deacon Dukes, we have a family business and we want to pay tithes. Some of us want to pay them from a net income meaning after taxes and others want to pay them as gross. What should we do?

Answer – Thanks for the question. I have a few questions:  Do you have a legal contract/agreement on how distributions are given; also what does your contract say in terms of giving your tithes – gross or net? If you don’t have this language right now, my suggestion is not to sweat it. Once everyone gets their distribution, you can decide on how you want to pay it.  The Bible does not specifically mention gross or net tithing. It says give your best as stated in Proverbs 3: 9-10. The promise of that scripture is that God will ensure that your barns will be filled with plenty.

Remember, sacrifice is good because it will pay off later. Have a good day.

P.S. Encourage your friends and family by sharing this column and invite others to ask questions about their money. Send questions to Twitter @CDDukes, cedricdukes@gmail.com or visit the contact page at www.cedricdukes.com. Cedric Dukes, speaker and columnist, is the author of Hostile Takeover – Manifesting God’s Plan and Purpose for Your Finances.

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