Do You Have a Blessing Budget?
I've struggled to write about financial matters lately because Russia invaded Ukraine. It doesn't feel appropriate to discuss wealth or investing while Ukraine is under attack, but I found some inspiration at my church this past Sunday.
Our church recently finished a sermon series called: Are You Ready? Senior Pastor Will Davis led the series. Pastor Will is an avid mountain climber, and this past weekend he talked about carrying extra supplies in your backpack to help other climbers in need. If you have hiked or climbed a mountain, you know things can change quickly, and if you're not ready for an emergency, it could end badly. One of his topics during these troubling times was creating a blessing budget to help and bless those in need. He added it's in our DNA to be generous. It was a timely message.
Creating a budget is a crucial ingredient of financial planning. A well-constructed budget can help you save and spend with confidence because it will give you a roadmap of where your money is going. Typical budget line items include groceries, personal care, travel, dining, debt payments, mortgage payments, rent, etc. Budgeting forms include a section for gifts but not giving, but I've yet to see one containing a category for blessings.
Giving includes a combination of tithes and offerings. A tithe is 10% of your income, your first fruits, and an offering is an amount you give above and beyond your tithe.
If you include blessings in your budget, you can pay it forward. When you're getting coffee, pay for the person in line behind you, or leave a big tip for your server after breakfast, lunch, or dinner. A group of men at my church will dine at a restaurant together, where each one leaves a $100 tip. The amount given to the server is about $1,500 to $2,000. Can you help a student with a tuition payment or a neighbor with a medical bill? How about buying a car for someone who relies on public transportation? There is no shortage of serving opportunities to help those in need.
How much should you allocate to your blessing budget? As much as you can. It can be a percentage of your income or a flat dollar amount. Will said, and I agree, that the person who benefits the most from giving is you, and If you're a giver, you know the joy it brings by blessing others.
But when you give to someone, do not expect anything in return; it's not a quid pro quo transaction. Don't anticipate praise or recognition, and do not wait for a thank you note because it probably won't come. If your sole reason for donating money is to get a tax deduction, you're missing the point. Give because you want to help others.
People are hurting and need your help. If you own stocks are bonds, you're in a position to lend a hand. Stocks will eventually recover, so don't worry if your account bounces around for a bit. It's a first-world problem. Giving a few dollars to others won't ruin your financial future, but it could change someone's life.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. ~ 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Here is a link to Will's message. https://www.acfellowship.org/sermon/are-you-ready-carrying-extra/
March 2, 2022
Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management, located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM's custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.
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