Breaking Free from Financial Fear

I used to worry about not having enough money. And it didn’t matter how much money I had, I worried that it would never be enough or I would lose it.

I wish this could be a post with 5 short steps to financial peace, but it’s not that easy. I can tell you how it happened for me.

bricks

I grew up with a desire to save money. I always had money in my savings account, because to me that was better than spending it on something short-lived. I based a lot of security in having money in the bank. I was also a bit stingy. (I wish I could think of a nicer word, but there it is.)

When I was in college, I started following Jesus, and each part of my life changed from that.  I began tithing, which is based on the belief that God gives us everything we have, so we give back ten percent to him. I felt a new freedom to give and not hold on to money so tightly.

One day I was sitting on the back steps of my apartment, and it occurred to me in that moment that I was perfectly and completely content. My small student budget was only a few hundred dollars a month at the time, and I realized that if I never had more, I could be content. Contentment isn’t based on circumstances the way happiness is. Contentment is bigger.

For me, the freedom I have now regarding money doesn’t come from our income or even an emergency savings account.

I find it in:

  • Trusting that God provides for us in every situation.
  • Living below our means.
  • Knowing that all our stuff is temporary anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I still follow good financial advice and plan for the future, but I no longer find my security there.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. So wise. I went from growing up on food stamps to being married to a man who made almost $200,000 one recent year, to being back on foodstamps during his unemployment. I, too, am learning to be content in whatever circumstance, and learning that GOD is my provider, not an employer.

  2. I just found your blog but I really appreciate your post. I totally agree that my motivation for saving money isn’t myself or my circumstance but God’s glory. Jesus Christ has been my only source of true contentment in this world!
    I’m looking forward to reading more from you!

  3. A most valuable and precious lesson to know that God is the provider and sustainer of us completely. Our heart towards money is an indicator of our heart towards God. In my life that truth has both convicted me–ouch! and encouraged me. Great post.

  4. I’m much more secular than you are – I found my peace in a Money Magazine article last year. When I realized that I’m in the top 90% of savers for my age and for my income, I stopped worrying so much.

  5. What a lovely blog! Thanks for all the ideas. I am working on cutting our grocery bill in half. It’s challenging and rewarding; I use a menu plan and a cash envelope. I’m baking more and planning a garden. I’m also trading with friends and neighbors. There is a whole wealth of resources out there is we are willing to share!

  6. I added your blog to my reader earlier this week, and I haven’t been disapointed. My wife is also starting to read your posts.

    This post is so very true. As a preacher, let me say that you are sharing something that is so basic, but so NEEDED, in our society with this post.

    Thank you.

    Adam

  7. wow…funny how this particular post in your blog came along today.

    Thank you. What you have written is very true.

  8. I recently started reading and love your blog. Amen as the Lord is our provider in which we can rest.

  9. I am baffled on how many times I have had a conversation this week about contentment. It started on Sunday when my husband proposed I write a book about it. (I found that idea to be humorous actually). We then went off to church where the message was on contentment. After church, to my moms where she explained to me that she has decided she is content with her home, clothes, etc after she spent some time with someone who had more than her.

    Contentment is deep and I think everyone arrives there in their own time. Once you find it, it is like a sigh of relief. Happiness comes and go. Real contentment or joy lasts forever.

  10. Thank you for this post, Rachel. I used to worship at a very affluent church, and then I moved to a church that has people of all income levels. I am more content now, but I will never be on the St. Paul level of contentment. At least I don’t think so.

  11. We earn more than we ever have before, yet I am more insecure than I’ve ever been.

    There is something so true about contentment. When you disengage from “the stuff”, you find the real “stuff”.

    I just started reading your blog and am hooked! Thanks for sharing your words and wisdom!

  12. We are so much alike! Thanks for sharing, it is so comforting to know that there are others just like me!

  13. Bert Loga says:

    Hello. I stumbled upon your blog via GRS and am so glad I did! I love your advice today and can so resonate with it, being Christian myself. I just listened to a sermon online yesterday that also spoke of Paul’s advice about being content in WHATEVER circumstance we find ourselves in. Quite the command, but doable through Him! I’ve added you to my RSS feed and look forward to exploring your blog!

  14. I needed to hear this today too. Thanks!

    Contentment is a prize that money can’t and doesn’t buy. I don’t know why I keep forgetting that. When I take the time to be thankful, contentment is easy and life is full.

  15. What a great post. The bible tells a great deal about money and I think that you hit three of the most important themes right on the head: a) We are to be responsible with what GOD has given us (Matthew 25), b) We are to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11), and c) We should enjoy what GOD has given us (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).

    This was such a pleasure to read. Thanks for posting.

    RDS
    http://financialvalues.blogspot.com/

  16. Amen. All three truths are so significant to our financial, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Thanks for the well-written reminder.

  17. Oh wow! you nailed it on the head when you wrote this:

    “Knowing that all our stuff is temporary anyway”

    That’s huge!

  18. Andrea, that link is incredible. Thanks for sharing it.

  19. I’m learning this right along with you. It is so beautiful to find contentment in the way you say. It feels much closer to how God intended us to live than the “have it all” lifestyle America promotes.

    Keep up the good work…I’m always so inspired here :)

  20. nursheikha says:

    The 10% idea of giving back to God really clicked just now for me and I’m muslim :P Thanks for the tip

  21. Great post; thanks for sharing. Something my mom says frequently is “God gives us everything we need.” Everything else are just wants.

  22. Stumbled onto your blog today. As I was reading I wondered if perhaps the author knew Jesus quite personally….then I found this post. Keep sharing simple wisdom.

    I work at a church and I am amazed every day at the sacrificial giving that pays my salary. Growing up my parents gave me an allowance and made this little pencil cup into a “tithe” container–teaching me to give 10% of my feeble $5 to God…it was His anyway. This simple act of faith was something I did for years until I achieved school debt. This year…I finally set up a regular direct debit of 10% of my church salary to go back to the church and God has kept me easily above water since and I know that it is no coincidence. He is faithful.

  23. Thank you, I have been struggling with this for quite some time as we find it hard to make ends meet, thank you for a new outlook on this for me.