Good Stewardship Has Many Rewards
If you are the average family in America, the combined income of the family is around $60,000 per year or $5000 per month. In order to avoid robbing God, you should have a minimum tithe of $500 per month. Some, including this author, base the tithe on what's left after taxes. I won't try to justify that by scripture or secular reasoning for this post, but given the average income in this example, let's say that your taxes eat up $750 per month, leaving you with $4250 after tax. Now the tithe would be $425.
Again, if you are anything like the average family in America, you don't pay anywhere close to that amount in tithe. This post is also not going to spend any time beating you up over your decision to pay more for Starbucks than you do for spreading the Gospel. Instead, I'm going to offer you 5 very simple, almost pain free ways to save $250 a month in spending. Then I hope that you will use the savings to up your contributions. Would it be better for you to have enough faith to pay the tithe without these cuts. Sure. But we are also called to be good stewards of God's provision. So here are five ways to do that:
- Call your cable TV provider. Tell them you are considering going off grid or switching to satellite. If you have satellite, call the provider and tell them you are thinking of switching to cable. Watch the dance begin. You are very likely to end up with at least $20 or more in savings. Now call the competition with your new rate and see what they will do. You are likely to end up with the same or better rate and a $200 gift card for switching.
- Go off the grid on cable. Between Apple TV, On Demand, NetFlicks, RedBox, Amazon Prime, and other TV offers, it is hard to justify any upgrades to basic service on cable or satellite.
- On to your cell phone, internet, and land line providers. This gets a bit more complicated, but the cost of all of this is dropping fast. By changing providers, bundling, unbundling, and just shopping, you are very likely to end up saving another $30 a month and improving MBPS. Recently I tried to end my land line service, but the bundle cost less with it that without.
- Saving on your utilities. The water company (at least in California) will be happy to help you cut down your water use. Check with your supplier to find out how to get free or reduced costs products to reduce use in bathrooms and irrigation. Then check to see what the recommended water needs are for your yard. The electric company will help you with lighting and other wasy to save on electricity. LED lights are fantastic and save a huge amount of money. Switch appliances to natural gas to save even more.
- Budget. Keep a penny by penny ledger of all expenses for three months. There are many online tools that can help with this process. Once you see where the money is going, you will almost certainly be able to find ways to cut that won't hurt even a little bit.