Note: Thanks for reading Money Habits! Unlike most books, this one is in beta so there are ideas still being worked out. If you notice anything confusing, please email me at [email protected].
Have you ever felt like managing money was a losing battle? That no matter how many spreadsheets you put together, you still feel like your finances are just a bit out of control. We asked 100 people and 58 of them said they worry about money, so the odds are good that you do, too. Since literally everyone has to manage money at one point or another, I made it my personal mission to help as many people as I can find confidence with their finances. My name is Stephen Bateman and in 36 months my wife and I paid off $107,000 of student loans. Over the past decade, we’ve learned a lot about what it feels like to be deep in debt and how to make a long-term sustainable plan.
If you’re reading this book, you probably know that most people live paycheck-to-paycheck, including a large percentage of people who earn more than $100,000 per year. The default American path starts with greed, leads to worry, and ends with debt.
I believe there is a better way.
This book and the accompanying Money Habits app is all about how to stop worrying about money and how to start managing it. By the end, you will be unreasonably confident in your plan for this month and the next 100 months. We’ll start by examining how our beliefs about money drive our purchase decisions in order to line them up with the teaching of Jesus. As the Bible says, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Healthy money management is a spiritual commitment long before it is a technical challenge.
Then, we will focus on how to manage your monthly income and expenses in How to Make a Budget and The Habits. This section is chock full of specific tactics so you know exactly what to do in order to avoid accidental overspending.
Third, we’ll explore how to buy and build long-term assets and plan for the future, which will eventually replace our need for a conventional job as we move toward retirement.
But before we learn the tactics of setting targets or starting a Roth IRA, I want to share a reminder – regardless of how much or how little money you have, God cares for you. Talking about money can really stir up shame and fear in us. If this all makes you a little uncomfortable, read the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:
“...I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (ESV)
Your “net worth” is “loved by God.” I pray you will become both strong and wise with your money, able to live a life free from greed and full of generosity toward God and his people until Christ returns and restores all things to himself.
Next, I’d like to tell you my story.