Summary: We have a tendency of doing stupid things with our money. Here are just a few.
Stupid Mistakes People Make With Their Money
Hope for the Financially Challenged - Part 1
For those of you that have been at our church for some time, there is no need to make this disclaimer, its really for those who are not regular attenders here. Whenever we talk about money at our church, we do so without apology, without embarrassment, but we also do it without guilt and shame. I just want you to know that in the coming weeks you have nothing to be afraid of—we’re just going to talk honestly about what God’s Word says.
Also, just as freely as I admit my strengths, I will equally admit to you my weaknesses. I am not perfect; I am still learning about God and His Word along with you, and I also struggle, just like all of you do, with stewardship issues.
Know this: what separates us, what makes us unique are our talents and abilities. What we all hold in common is our pain. What we share are our vulnerabilities and our failures. We may not be able to relate to one another in the areas that we are strong, because that sets us apart. But where we are weak, we find agreeance. I hope that sharing my weaknesses and failures in this area that not only will you find identification, but you will find that God is the best source of grace and comfort.
You’ll find that there is a verse I put in your notes from Proverbs 23:4.
“... riches can disappear as though they had the wings of a bird!”
Proverbs 23.4 (Living Bible)
More than half of all Americans are struggling to get by, even though, on average, we make more money than most people than any other country around the world. That should really tell us something about the nature of our problems. Typically our problems are not as a result of how little money we’re making. Most often, they are a result of how we’re spending our money.
I believe that most people long to be financially free. But succeeding with your money is one of life’s most greatest challenges. And there are a lot of ways to blow it. Everything from little hiccups that cost us the delay of a goal, to major fiascos that cost us our dreams. They are stupid mistakes, most often (not that we are stupid people), there just dumb mistakes. Maybe we haven’t been trained, maybe this is what we learned from our parents, or its just what we see in our culture. These are very common mistakes that most of us make.
The first and biggest mistake that people make with their money is…
1. Counting on the Illusive “Someday”
“Dreaming all the time instead of working is foolishness..”
Now we probably all have said it: “Someday, I’m going to get out of debt. When I get my next raise, I am going to start giving. After Christmas, I am going to start saving for an emergency fund.”
Procrastination is easily the number one most common damaging mistakes that you can make with your money. Like someone has said, there is no date on the calendar called someday.
Have you ever been guilty of Someday thinking? I will give you some red flags that indicates whether this is a problem for you:
• If you have ever found yourself counting on a raise in order to break even
• If you find yourself hoping that your mom and dad will leave you a nice inheritance.
• If you thought, “If only I made more money.”
• You play the lotto, or otherwise hope that your ship will come in.
Parkinson’s Second Law
Back in 1960, there was a book that was a best seller entitled The Law and the Profits. The author, named C.
Parkinson, is widely quoted today largely by his very first principle. Here it is:
• “Work expands to fill the time available.”
No matter how much time you are able to save on the job, your workload will always increase to fill the time you saved. Isn’t that true? You get a labor-saving device, something that gives you more discretionary time during the day, and what happens? The work flows into that void, and pretty soon, you are working as hard as you ever, your just getting more work done than ever before.
That truth made Parkinson famous, but he had a second truth in this book that is ever bit as true:
• “Expenditures rise to meet income.”
Have you ever promised yourself that after your next raise, I am going to start paying off my bills and start saving more money? Only to be surprised that after a couple of months after the raise, the money is all gone! You have no idea where it went. Well, take heart. You’re not weird, and your not alone.