Money Matters: An Introduction

I mentioned a while ago that I’d be blogging about some more practical stuff, particularly around the areas of debt and budgeting. I think debt is both more serious and more prevalent than we like to admit. It’s probably top of everyone’s ‘worry’ lists, and yet hardly anybody talks about it. If you want to get an idea of how prevalent and serious debt can be, head on over to’s forums and read people’s stories of how debt has taken over their lives.

Moreover, I think debt is a spiritual thing. There’s an oft quoted statistic that the bible talks about money and possessions more than most other things, be it prayer, healing, or heaven and hell. I tend to think that if you read that to mean God is obsessed with your finances and possessions then you’re missing the point. Rather, I think God is interested in you, and knows that one of the main things that you will be concerned with is money. For instance, check out these verses:

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Matthew 6:24 

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6 7-10 

Debt is an antithetical manifestation to freedom. It’s a blocker, a clot in our lives that can stop us from living in the fullness of God. Baker of the brilliant site Man Vs Debt (I love his tagline: Sell Your Crap…  Pay Off Your Debt…  Do What You Love…), puts it this way:

The first step to living a life of passion and purpose is to remove the barriers that hold you back.

From talking to those around me, in work, in church, in university, I know that most people are tackling finances on some level. I have very little training in personal finance, but over the last year or two Kat and I have learnt a lot of life lessons that hopefully will be of help to others. So from time to time I’ll be looking at everything from selling stuff on the internet to budgeting to furnishing your house on the cheap, under the ‘Money Matters’ topic. Hopefully it’ll be useful and of interest.


~ by jgebrown on 11 February 2011.

7 Responses to “Money Matters: An Introduction”

  1. Good words, Josh.

    Money lessons are learned early, I think. There’s nothing wrong, at all, about being cautious, not taking risks, and saving for a rainy day. If you have to save up for something, often, by the time you’ve saved up, you realise you don’t need it! Getting your debt to zero, and living within your earnings, is, I think, something worth pursuing with vigour. Getting (medium term) interest payments down is the easiest measurement, reducing spending the simplest way to correct the aberrance but the hardest to stick to.

    It’s the same problem for everyone, individual and business alike. Low debt, sensible working capital, spending controls. Most people know the answer; finding the commitment is the tough bit.

    • Thanks – great advice. The commitment is indeed the tough bit. Thankfully there are more ways to track spending than ever before – I’ll be looking at one of those in my next post. Great point about saving for stuff then realising you don’t need it – how true!

  2. Thanks for highlighting the problem of debt – it’s so often a silent problem, with connotations of shame or blame. I had an internship with a charity called Christians Against Poverty, who are a debt counselling charity. They opened my eyes to the problems of debt and the realities that some people have to live through. The more we can support people in debt, the better.

    • Thanks Emily – I totally agree. The reality is that nearly everyone is in debt of some sort, whether it be mortgage, credit cards, loans, overdrafts, hire purchase etc. But not many people are talking about it. CAP are doing great work, thanks for highlighting them.

  3. Good stuff Josh. I’m having to re-assess everything at the moment with weddings and houses and joining together two sets of finances. I agree that it is not something that is talked about enough – probably because money is a bit of a taboo. I also think debt is going to become a bigger issue in the next couple of years, with everything getting more expensive and unemployment set to be a problem for many.
    In the midst of all this, we have a God who has made great promises that we do not need to worry. We need to learn to walk in this freedom… and we desperately need guidance, so that it goes deeper than glib pleasantries.

    • Thanks for the comment Meado. You may not realise it but there’s a lot of discussion even within the Christian community about whether married couples should have joint or separate finances. I know we have both represented in CV. It sounds like you have gone with joining them up – Kat and I do this and I couldn’t imagine it any other way – just wondering why you made that decision?

      If you are right about debt becoming a bigger issue, which I suspect you might be, you’re very right that we need guidance and sensibility. I think the first step is drawing awareness both to the problems of debt, and the benefits of freedom from it. Having read yours and the other comments I realise I’ve probably only skimmed the surface of looking into it, so along with practical stuff I’ll look into it deeper.

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