[ The Trumans - The Importance of Saving Money ]

All of us know how to spend money, but how many of us know how to save it? Spending is easy and sometimes can be an almost drug-like high! Saving, on the other hand, requires discipline and foresight and the ability to delay gratification for a benefit at some future date.

Well, in case you’re wondering, Matt got the job he applied for in the last story. And now he’s about to be faced with another defining moment in his life. Let’s join him now as we see how he faces this next hurdle.

The Importance of Saving Money

“Wow, that’s what I’m talking about,” hollered Matt, as he opened up his first paycheck from his new job, “Six hundred bucks! This is the most money I’ve ever made in one shot. Now I’ll finally be able to save some money for college instead of being broke after gas and insurance.”

Matt stopped by the bank on the way home to cash his check. As he left the bank, he passed by the local electronics store. He had some time, so he decided to stop in to see if there were any cool new gadgets available.

As he walked into the store he was greeted with a huge display of the latest car stereo systems. The shelves were jammed with all the subwoofers and tweeters and everything you could jam pack into a car. And of course… it was playing his favorite band…. LOUD! A big sign in front of the display read: REGULAR PRICE $629.99 ON SALE TODAY ONLY $450.00!!

“Whoa, that is so awesome,” Matt thought as he looked over the display, “I would just love to be able to buy that! The one I have now has nowhere near that power and clarity.”

Then he remembered the money in his pocket.

“Hey, I’ve got my paycheck,” he thought to himself, “After I take out my tithes, I’ll have more than enough for this system. A great deal like this doesn’t come around very often, and I can just save for college out of my next checks. Hmm… what should I do?”

What do you think Matt should do? This is his first paycheck. He had decided to save his money for college and the supplies he would need while at school. He had told his dad and mom he was going to save it for his education. But… it’s only one paycheck and there will be others. Should he buy the stereo system, or should he hang onto his money for college? What would you do? Let’s find out Matt’s decision.

“That will be $460 with tax, please,” said the sales clerk at the checkout counter.

As Matt handed the clerk his money he smiled and thought to himself excitedly, “Yes! I now own a better stereo system than anybody I know! MY friends are gonna FREAK!!”

As Matt drove home he was thrilled about his purchase. He hoped that his mom and dad wouldn’t be real upset about it. But hey, it was his money, so they shouldn’t be able to tell him how to spend it… right?

“Hi, everybody, I’m home,” yelled Matt as he closed the front door.

“Oh, hi, Matt,” replied his dad, “How was work?”

“It was awesome! I got my first paycheck today, and boy it was great!”

“That’s wonderful,” said his dad, “Now just watch your college savings grow.”

“Yeah, about that Dad… I’m going to start to save with my next paycheck. I found a fantastic deal and decided to buy a really nice stereo system today. A $630 system for only $450 dollars, and I figured…”

“You what!” exclaimed his dad, “What made you do that?”

“Well, it was on sale today only, and I’ll never find a better deal than this was, and I just... I just had to get it!”

“Matthew Bryan, you know better than that; you’re supposed to be saving for college.”

“But Dad…! It was MY money that I worked hard for. I just wanted a new stereo,” Matt pleaded.

“Matthew, I’m disappointed in your decision. Not so much for the money, but for the decision you made and broke. Let’s get our Bibles out, and I’ll show you what Yahweh says in His Word.

King Solomon wrote some great words of wisdom about saving,” his dad said as they opened their Scriptures. “In Proverbs 21:20 he wrote, ‘In the house of the wise are stores of choice foods and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.’ You see Matt; the decisions we make with respect to our blessings from Yahweh can have profound and lasting effects. If you spend all you have before saving and preparing for your future, then you may be in trouble when lean times come. What if, for some reason, you had to leave that job? Then you’d have a great stereo in a car you couldn’t afford to drive! And you may have saved $180 dollars... but you had to spend almost a whole paycheck to do it!

“Matt, I realize that this is just one time, but let’s take a moment to see where this can lead.

Let’s turn to Proverbs 22:7 ‘The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.’ The right way to handle money is to save and make sure we have provided for our anticipated needs FIRST! Then we must make sure we have a reserve for emergencies or periods of un-employment. When trials come along, and we know they will, we MUST have done all we can to be prepared. If we don’t, we risk going into debt and that is what makes us a servant or slave to the lender. All our effort goes into repaying a loan with interest.

“Today, some debt is almost unavoidable such as a mortgage, sometimes a car note, even sometimes a personal loan if it arose because of an emergency. But they should be a last resort and be repaid immediately. Most of us have been there at one time or another. But these must be rare and thought out completely and prayerfully before taking them on and never done on impulse for an unnecessary luxury.

“Now let’s turn to Proverbs 13:7, Matt. Read it out loud,” Dad said, as Matt turned to the passage.

“One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth,” Matt read.

“Do you understand what is being said here, Matt?” asked Dad.

“I think so Dad,” he replied. “I think Solomon is saying that when one buys expensive things that he really can’t afford, he is just pretending to be rich, and that’s wrong. A person should save and live within his means and that is great wealth.”

“That’s right, Matt,” said Dad. “There is also an important spiritual lesson here but we’ll save that for another time. The car stereo you bought, Matt, was nice, and it was on sale, but did you really need it? Doesn’t the one you already have still work just fine? Wouldn’t it have been better to save for your education or for emergencies than buying something expensive that you don’t really need?”

“You’re right, Dad,” replied Matt, “I should have been more responsible with my money.”

“It’s okay, as long as you learned your lesson. Remember, it is Yahweh that has blessed you with that job so you should try to be a good steward of the income he has provided.”

“Thanks Dad,” said Matt, “And first thing Sunday morning, I’m returning that stereo for a refund and putting the money in my account.”

Yahshua said in the Evangel of John that, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Let these truths set us free from the financial burdens that oppress so many of us. Then we will be able to use our income wisely, the way Yahweh intended.

Exercise: Can you think of other Scripture passages that might apply here? If you can, send them in a letter or an e-mail to us along with a short note explaining how you think they pertain to the story. We’ll print some of your passages and thoughts to help others (and the Trumans) in the future. May Yahweh bless and guide you every day!