Almost 50, prioritising stablility, challenged to be sacrificial
Christians aren’t called to be fake or pretend we have everything together when we don’t. We are called to be open with each other in suffering and in our walks towards Godliness. By sharing about our finances, we hope to equip each other to glorify God in every area of our lives.
We are speaking to people from all walks of life about how they think about finances. We aren't looking for the best models or the people who are the most put together. We are speaking to real people from every life stage about their personal struggles with money and how they think about bringing glory to God.
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Age | Almost 50
Family | I live with my husband and our dog. My son and daughter moved out around 5 years ago.
Work | I work as an Account Manager in a medical equipment company. We get quite a high salary, and sometimes also get commission and bonuses. Of all the medical things, equipment is the thing everyone aspires to do.
Annual Income | My income is tricky in that it is based on commission. I generally earn between $120,000-$150,000. Combined with my husband, our income sits around $240,000.
Housing | I have a house in Annandale that I bought six years ago. I got it at a pretty good price, and am still paying off my mortgage. I also have three investment properties, The rental income from those pretty much balances out the mortgage and upkeep payments.
How thought out are you about money | Probably a 9/10. Every 6 months I sit down and reassess.
The Heart of the Matter
How do you feel about being generous to God?
It’s so hard to give to God what belongs to him in the first place. Which is really crummy. I have to resist the urge to give to get glory for myself. No, this is for God’s glory. When you have to give money to something, and you give it because you are obliged to or compelled to or whatever, I wouldn't call that generosity. I think generosity is when you give because you desire to see a better outcome for somebody
I got really challenged by a student minister who told me “giving is not about working out what you can afford, it’s about sacrifice.” That profoundly changed how I thought about giving. I am motivated by security. I like the security that I have a job. I do get a bit anxious when things are shaky at work I’ve been quite worried.
I always think to myself gosh I wish I had more money so I could give more. But I am challenged by that because why don’t I give more now?
Usually, I put a number down, and then just before I hand it in, I open the form back up again, and add a sacrificial amount. Then I hand it in really quickly.
God is so gracious. There was one year when I did a gift of about $2,500. I was a bit panicky about it. But two weeks later we got a random salary adjustment, and it was for $2,500. I thought “That’s creepy”. But it just showed me that God will look after you.
How do you choose what to do with your money?
When I got married, I knew my bills would halve. I could just spend that on lollies. But I could probably be wiser with it.
I have various organisations that I give to, because I believe in what they do. I give to CMS, and I give to them because I so believe in telling the world about Jesus. I give to my local church. I think that's important that we support our local church and help grow ministry there. I am confident that at my church the money is being stewarded well, and the money is being used to tell people about Jesus. I give to a couple who are both studying to go into full time ministry. Again, I think it’s not something I am doing, but I can support them. Two people studying, they could be in struggle street. I support three compassion children.
I think it’s important not to be stingy with the gospel. How much do I really love the people in my life if I don’t tell them the words of eternal life? That is the ultimate generosity.
I try to support my family. My daughter is a student and her husband is a low income earner. They don’t have a lot of money. Instead of buying an investment property somewhere sensible, like Enmore, I bought one for her to live in and have ownership of.
It’s a really good exercise to think through what is the best use of this money. How is it going to bring glory to God. How is it going to work in God’s Kingdom? I am always conscious of the fact that I could be giving so much more to God’s kingdom. I probably spend on meals and going out in 12 months then one years tuition at theological college. Am I going to stop doing the eating out? No.
I do wonder if I was going to save all my money would I give the full extent of that away? Or would I give away some, and save the rest.
If you balance up my savings and my giving, there’s a whole lot of money that has been eaten away. Where is it?