Managing God’s Money™ Tool Kit To Build Relationships And Avoid Debt

Managing God’s Money™ tool kit will help you stay debt free. We built this tool kit on the solid base of God’s ownership of everything. More than 20 years ago, we developed it to promote effective stewardship to encourage and facilitate a debt free lifestyle.

Managing God's Money™ tool kit built on the Gas Principle™
Gas Principle™ Foundation

The GAS Principle™, three key trustworthy money truths, is the foundation for everything we do at Managing God’s Money™. It’s the essence of our mission as we apply trustworthy stewardship of God’s resources.

God the Creator owns everything – we are stewards

Accept who you are, what you have, where you are as the foundation to grow

Seek the truth always and love others as you love you

 

The three GAS Principle™ truths are not subjective, evolving principles, but life principles to follow as we interact with others. God, the creator of the universe, owns everything. Think about this: When the first humans appeared on earth, who owned the land and everything it contained? Creator, God. We are and will be stewards of possessions. Living the GAS Principle™ will change our lives, change our views, and change our role from owners clinging to possessions to managers stewarding them. It might cancel the need to borrow, except to buy a home. Then we will:

    1. Be more alert making lifestyle choice affecting spending.
    2. Reflect on likely consequences and the opportunity cost (what we must give up) before spending.
    3. Accept we own nothing but are stewards of everything we use here on earth.
    4. Realize we must account for our decisions.

Managing God’s money™ is about attitudes and behaviors that result in consequences (ABCs), To help develop and apply the right attitude in different situations, we designed six tools that complement the GAS Principle™. These tools start by helping you understand what you believe, and by highlighting how you decide to spend. They continue by assisting you to build and work with spending plans. A quick spending analysis to decide affordability, and a credit card alternative, follow. The final tool provides a systematic review mechanism to see how you are doing, so you get back on track if you deviated.

Managing God’s Money™ Tool Kit

Here are the seven Managing God’s Money™ essential tool kit items with brief comments and links to more details on each:

  1. Money Triangle
  2. ABC Principle™
  3. Spending Fast
  4. PEACE budgetary Control (GPS spending guide)
  5. PLANE Analysis and Affordability Index
  6. Capital Fund
  7. Family Council

ABC Principle™

The ABC Principle™ is an equation A+B=C, pointing out links between a person’s attitude (A) and behavior (B) and resulting consequences (C). The wider appeal stresses managing specific inputs (A & B) to give reliable outcomes (C). That’s why it’s crucial we figure out our attitude (beliefs, worldviews) before deciding, as often, our behavior aligns with our attitude and leads to consequences. This simple, obvious truism (A+B=C) is profound and ignoring it causes major issues.

Society gets us to look at credit scores, and stay in debt. The credit score is C in the ABC Principle™; an outcome that he cannot manage. We need to understand is like a hockey score. After the hockey game, the coach and players don’t manage the score (5-3, 2-0). Instead, they watch films to learn (A + B) what happened so they can change for the next game. Likewise, individuals should know their beliefs (A) about money and how it influences their actions (B). My Mum handled finances in our home and through her behavior, I learned to hate debt and save to buy stuff, so I pay my credit card balances every month.

The ABC Principle™ applies whenever we must decide on an issue. Start by asking what’s the desired outcome and what’s the controllable variables? If I have a meeting at 9:00 AM, that’s C, it’s the outcome. I am the variable. I tell my students on time means five minutes ahead of the scheduled time, so we can start at the appointed time. Using silly phrases to validate our lateness like I don’t have time or I was busy is a great way to deflect from our lack of planning.

Money Triangle

These three parts of each money transactions — me (you), a merchant, and money — show clearly you can’t manage the merchant, whose role is to sell; you can’t manage money — its sole purpose is a means of exchange, or a bridge between buyer and seller; you can manage only you.

Once you get this idea, you will see how crucial is the ABC Principle™ in every spending transactions: our attitude (A) decides how we behave (B), resulting in consequences (C); it is our lifestyles that drives spending.  We can’t manage the consequences, that’s too late. We must manage what we control, our attitudes and behaviors. So, we must stop deflecting consequences of our behavior to time, money and others. Time is fixed. We can manage only ourselves in available time. 

Spending Fast

To get a grip on your finances, you must understand the process you follow before you spend, and things and feelings that influence your spending. The spending fast allows you to track spending for a specific period, not less than a month, your spending drivers, and pre-spending decision procedure. Your spending fast will give you vital information to help adjust your lifestyle and become a better steward.

PEACE Budgetary Control

This plan, do, review process is crucial for daily activities. Before starting a project or before you spend, understand your goal, and do a plan, identifying steps to achieve the goal, and prepare an estimate showing costs in time, talents, and money that the plan needs. Once you start the process, regularly, compare where you are with where you planned to be, and execute changes to get back on plan to meet the goal.

PLANE Spending Analysis and Affordability Index

I developed these questions based on similar questions raised in business before major spending.

  1. Is contemplated spending in my plan?
  2. Will my loans rise?
  3. Do you have an alternative?
  4. Is spending for this purpose needed now?
  5. Is this the most effective use of funds at this time based on other goals and plans?

While not a panacea, if you follow the Affordability Index in context of the GAS Principle, you will not fall in debt.

Capital Fund

The Capital Fund is another tool I took from business. It is a systematic approach to saving for targeting expenses to prevent you from falling in debt. You will need to replace major appliances and equipment; the timing of each is unpredictable, but effective stewardship means planning under God’s direction to replace each item.

Family Council

The Family Council is the family’s board of directors. It’s where couples talk about goals and plan alone and with children. Everyone is rushing about or on social media. We need a time out weekly, two weekly or monthly for the family to get together to talk about issues. Each family will be different, but items I see often include personal schedules that might affect others, encouraging each other, financial challenges and budgets, vacations, to play games, and to talk.

It is a great venue for regular family fun time. Over the years, Michel found it indispensable to get caught up on what’s happening with family members. Bottom line: Families should try to spend time together, to listen and help one another. Besides, it works well to help develop budgets and plans, and understand financial challenges and how to overcome them. The Family Council is a great decompressor and excellent for our mental health.

Summary

This managing God’s money™ tool kit is not a panacea, but a great reminder that we are stewards and we must manage our attitudes that drive spending and other behaviors causing consequences, some good and others not so good.

© 2014, 2023 Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell is a former senior business executive, author of seven books — including his first children's book published in 2022 — speaker, and adjunct professor of business administration at Briercrest College and Seminary. Michel is a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (UK), holds a Masters of Science in management degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Doctor of Business Administration honoris causa from Briercrest College and Seminary. He is founder and president of Managing God's Money™ and Stewarding God's Resources.

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