Michel A Bell founded Managing God's Money to help folks tackle financial, time, and business issues by presenting authentic financial advice and trustworthy stewardship principles and practices to individuals, couples, and groups. Managing God's Money is not a charity, does not sell products, and does not seek funding. Authentic financial advice (lifestyle counselling) and trustworthy stewardship promote debt free lifestyles and effective working in available time that minimize daily stress.
God, the Creator of the universe, owns everything, and so we are stewards of everything we access and possess. Grasping this owner and steward relationship is essential to understanding proper handling of resources, especially the environment. Let's stop treating proper stewarding of the environment as a political football and act as resposible stewards in every situation at work, home, and elsewhere. Money is one resource, and it is unmanageable as described below.
Authentic financial advice is rooted in the GAS Principle, our values, beliefs, and lifestyles. It is our lifestyles that drives spending.
A vital cornerstone of authentic financial management is the Money Triangle. Understanding the Money Triangle will help you see more clearly an important principle of authentic financial management — money isn’t manageable. The money triangle points you to the key variable that needs managing — you!
In each financial transaction, we have three parts: a merchant, me, and money. The merchant produces stuff and tries to get me to buy his stuff, even if I don’t need them. The merchant uses advertising gimmicks such as no money down, sales, and deals, tricking me to think I save when I spend. Folks don’t realize they save only when they set aside funds at no risk. So, the merchant succeeds in convincing many to spend. He tell folks the more they spend the more they save, and then loans money to people who can’t afford to buy stuff. So, folks buy stuff they can’t afford and many people end deep in debt. The merchant’s strategy works, and so, he comes out on top.
The second item in the triangle is me. Long ago, to sell his stuff, the merchant focused on advertising products or services, but not today. Today, the merchant appeals to me with enticing financing schemes. Sales, deals, no money down, 50% off, zero percent financing are some tactics she uses. Folks succumb because they define affordable as ability to get merchant financing; not ability to accommodate the full item cost in their household budgets without stress and strain to the family.
Money completes the triangle. What is it? Merely a means to an end. It’s anything the merchant will accept in exchange for goods or services he provides. Which of the three M's, in the money triangle can I manage?
I can’t manage the merchant who tries constantly to get me to spend. I can’t manage money because it’s just the means, the bridge between me and the merchant. I can manage me only—my lifestyle, my needs, my wants, my greed. Before you spend, recall the money triangle. Look at how your lifestyle choices might affect spending. Look at your behavior and take your eyes off the merchant and money.