I was reading a book, Money: God or Gift, by Jamie Munson. In the book, he talks about five different approaches to budgeting.

  1. The Ignorance Is Bliss Plan
  2. The Parent Bailout Plan
  3. The Credit Card Plan
  4. The Hand-to-Mouth Plan
  5. The Real Plan

The first plan is based upon you going to your ATM and checking to see if there’s money in your account. If there is, then you withdraw money. He says, “No checkbook and no clue required.” While this might sound funny, it is sad to see that many people operate this way. They don’t have a clue about how much they are spending each month. They can incur overdraft fees because they used their ATM card earlier to buy something and the charge has not hit the bank yet.

You can guess what the second plan involves. It’s mommy or daddy to the rescue because they haven’t taught their kids how to handle money. They run out of money because the spend and spend on frivolous things. Then, when the bill comes there’s no money to pay it. This might work when you’re a child, but as an adult it is dumb.

How many people live by the third plan? The US probably has a large percentage of people living on this plan. Everything that is “bought” is put on a credit card. When that card is maxed out, get a new one and spend some more. Repeat until you don’t have anymore cards and you don’t qualify for another card. This is even dumber than plan 1 or 2.

The fourth plan involves spending all of your paycheck every month and nothing more. While you won’t fall behind on your bills with this plan, you will never get ahead. You aren’t tithing or saving .

The fifth plan he calls the real plan. Involves mastering your money. It involves having a plan, a Money Blueprint. You are honoring God with this plan. You know where the money is going. You are tithing. You are saving. You are being a good steward of God’s money. I hope that all of you are sticking to the real plan. You are living within your means. You are meeting your needs. If you are following any other plan than the real plan, it’s time to change and start the real plan.

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