Before I was converted to Christ by His almighty grace, I worked for a large Scottish Mutual Fund, latterly in a consulting role. That was over twenty years ago, and yet last Sunday night, I found myself giving out financial advice again. This time my motive was not to make myself and others rich, but rather to help mid-late teens build a biblical foundation for handling money to the glory of God. And this time I could speak with the authority of God’s Word rather than the best computer forecasts and estimates. Here’s the outline I left with the young men and women:

Key Principles

1. God owns everything  (Ps. 24:11; 1 Chron. 29:11)

2. God loans us what we have (1 Chron. 29:12; James 1:17)

3. God says money is important (Jesus spoke more about money than anything else)

4. God will call us to account for how we use our money  (Matt. 25:19)

 Key Words

1. Study (Prov. 24:3,4)

  • No one is born a George Soros.
  • If someone gave you $2M today, you would buy a book on money management.
  • The average American family will earn $2M in working life
  • Consult with others who have a proven record of financial stewardship (Prov. 15:22)                 

2. Budget (Prov. 24:3,4; Luke 14:28)

  • If you aim at nothing you’ll always hit it.
  • 3% who had written goals achieve more financially than the other 97% combined
  • Give every dollar of income a name and every dollar of expenditure a name

3. Save (Prov. 21:10; 22:3; Matt. 25: 14-30)

  • Short-term (emergencies)
  • Medium-term (major purchases)
  • Long-term (retirement, college tuition)

4. Give (Prov. 3:9,10; Luke 6:38; 1 Cor. 16:2)

  • Start now, even if it is a very small amount
  • Church then chosen charity

5. Insure (Prov. 22:3)

  • “Foresee the evil and hide (“cover”) yourself
  • Number one cause of bankruptcy is medical bills  (#2 is credit cards)

6. Wait (Heb. 13:5; 2 Cor. 6:10; 1 Tim. 6:6)

  • Be content with what God has given you and learn to patiently wait until you can buy with cash
  • 19% of bankruptcies are filed by college students (usually caused by credit card debt)
  • People spend 47% more when using credit cards than when using cash
  • 88% of “Ninety days interest-free credit offers” are turned into high interest loans
  • Avoid get-rich-quick schemes (Prov. 13:11)

 7. Unite (Eph. 5:22-31)

  • “One flesh” means “one set of finances”
  • “If you are not working together it’s not going to work” (Dave Ramsey).
  • “Separate checking accounts mean one of two things, either ignorance or problems” (Dave Ramsey).

8. Repay (Prov. 6:5; 22:7)

  • Repay loans as fast as you can “like a gazelle escaping a hunter”

9. Work (Eccl. 9:10; 1 Tim. 5:8)

  • Choose a vocation in an area/interest you are passionate about and God has gifted you in, rather than something that will make you rich.

10. Audit (2 Cor.5:10)

  • Review, review, review.
  • Seek accountability (husband, wife, parent, friend) before you are called to account.


1. Above all seek the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8)

2. Lay up treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20)

  • Peter

    “Separate checking accounts mean one of two things, either ignorance or problems” (Dave Ramsey). This is one of Dave Ramsey’s more ignorant statements. Many couples have separate bank accounts and have been happily married for decades. My parents had separate accounts, and were happily married until they were separated by death. For the wealthy, this can be one means of protecting funds if one of the couple is in a high liability career. There are legal and financial implications that Mr. Ramsey may want to educate himself about before making such a preposterous statement.

  • Scott@fb

    I recommend for young people to follow current financial events BEFORE they have any money to invest. Go through a 5-year cycle of ups and downs in the market before you get a job and have your own money to invest. Follow stocks, interest rates, and financial news. Do like I did in spring 1987, invest an amount of pretend money in the stock market. (I won a contest making the most money that spring – guess what happened in October? That’s how you learn!) Nothing will surprise you later when you’re investing your own money. See what the market really does ……not what wishful thinking wants it to do. BTW, Dave Ramsey is AWFUL and should be AVOIDED. He gives nonsense advice (I saw a PDF of some of his stuff revised in 2000s that still had compound growth numbers based on returns from the 1980s.) He plays up affinity with Christians, but is just a showman. Do NOT, whatever you do, give him any of your money for his bad advice.