Sorting out finances as newly wed students
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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WHO IS IN YOUR FAMILY | Me and my new spouse
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR WORK | I am a full-time student at a theological college.
WHAT IS THE ANNUAL INCOME FOR YOUR FAMILY | While studying I have been living off around $26,000 per year. This is comprised mainly of government support, savings, and some financial support from generous gospel partners. My spouse is in a similar situation to me, so not much changed for either of us upon getting married.
HOW MUCH DO YOU PAY IN HOUSING | $405/week
HOW THOUGHT OUT ARE YOU ABOUT MONEY | Very. We have spent a fair amount of time talking about money and we are careful about our budget.
The Heart of the Matter
How do you feel about being generous to God?
We get our model for generosity from God who was so generous to us in sending us Christ as the model for sacrificial giving. We can be generous because he was generous to us. This excites me, but it isn’t always easy.
The thing that helps me to be financially generous to God is to remember that our money is not our own but is a gift from him to be stewarded wisely. That will involve giving to others, spending and often saving. I also remind myself of my own sinful motives when it comes to money. The Bible warns us that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10) and that that we cannot serve both God as well as money (Matt 6:24). One of the big temptations for me is to save money to feel secure.
I think saving money is often a very wise thing for people, if it is possible, but I know I need to keep pulling myself up in this area and reminding myself that security is to be sought only in Christ. This helps me to be financially generous.
How do you choose what to do what to do with your money?
Our number one priority when working out our budget is our financial giving. That goes into the budget first. Something that was once modeled to me which I have put into practice was to apportion most of my giving to the church, some of it to gospel work elsewhere (both overseas and Australia), and some of it to the poor.
Our next priority is our basic needs, paying rent and food etc. If there is money left after that then we keep exercising wisdom about what will be the most God-honouring way to spend or save our money.
Bringing together two different ways of doing budgeting when we got married was a bit tricky, both of us had different systems in place, but we were both committed to being good stewards of our money.
We were both committed to giving generously, trying to be frugal as well as enjoying God's blessings to us.
So even though the logistics were a bit tricky, we had the same biblical principles and that made the discussion was easy. We were able to create a system that has been working well.