Following the US Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday comes “Black Friday” where consumers shop for great deals which is a great lead-up to the frantic shopping Christmas season. I’m sure you have received and have maybe even taken advantage of some of these deals.
The shopping frenzy typically goes through the weekend and even extends into “Cyber Monday” – more deals.
In response to all this spending comes “Giving Tuesday” which highlights the importance of not just spending our resources on ourselves or the people we love, but also on giving to those we may or may not even know.
We have to set our priorities because all of these uses for our money are calling to us everyday! Honestly, I wish “Giving Tuesday” was a week earlier, before the big sales weekend.
The sequence of these days speaks to what is priority for most. There are typically only five places that money is directed:
- Lifestyle – typically the top priority / when we get a raise or bonus we tend to increase our standard of living.
- Owe – when we are not able to pay immediately for large purchases (house or vehicle), we often borrow for it, so in essence, debt is an extension of our lifestyle.
- Owe – let’s not forget what else we owe – tax. Amounts for tax are deducted from our pay so the taxman makes tax our top priority since this deduction happens as we receive our pay.
- Grow – “Pay yourself first” is a tag line used by many financial advisors to motivate you to save for your financial future.
- Give – sadly, giving is often the lowest on the priority list.
Maybe it’s time we adjust our financial priorities: instead of focusing on our lifestyle first and giving out of what’s left, maybe we should adjust our priorities:
- Give – Let this become our top priority / When we get a raise or bonus let’s increase our standard of giving (instead of our standard of living).
- Owe – The bank and CRA sets this as a high priority for us anyway.
- Grow – The wise save for the future while the fool spends whatever is received.
- Live – Our lifestyle can be based on what remains which will mean some adjusting.
When we set the right priorities, our spending habits and our attitude toward money will change. Billy Graham believed that our thinking toward money has a profound impact on the areas of our life.
I didn’t realize Billy Graham shared so much wisdom about how to use money:
“God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.”
We would do well to “remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35 ESV).
During this weekend, remember your priorities! Will you give on Tuesday based on what’s left after Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Or is Giving Tuesday more of a priority?