This post continues the series ‘How to Move From Debt to Surplus’. The core message of this particular series is that to create surplus in your life, you need to spend less than you earn. I have already recommended that you stay below 80% of your income. No matter how much you earn, if you can’t keep enough of it to re-invest for more, your earning will never lead to real wealth.
I do not entirely agree with those who suggest that you focus on earning, rather than on saving. How much water can you keep if you keep pouring your water into a basket? The wisdom of God that we are learning in this series is that if you can have the discipline and self-control to spend less than you earn, you will create surplus.
In How to Move from Debt to Surplus II, I showed the very first key to spending less than you earn: Know What You Earn. There I focused on one aspect of cash-flow awareness: what you earn. I encouraged you to carefully monitor the channels through which money flows into your life — to know what you earn.
In the present post, we’ll examine the second key to spending less than you earn: Know What You Spend. Here, I’ll focus on another important aspect of cash-flow awareness: what you spend.
If you want to be successful in transforming your realities and dominating your environment, you need to have accurate data. Study the facts, and master them; then let your plans be guided by them. To win in life, your thinking must be predicated on correct data.
Most religious folks, particularly those in the so-called faith movement, tend not to think accurately because of misconceptions about spirituality and faith. They think that faith means that you are ignorant and in denial about the facts of your life. Yet, Abraham the father of the faith they claim to profess, never lived in denial. The bible writes that he confronted the fact that his body was as good as dead, and that his wife was past the age of child-bearing. He had the facts right there in front of him. He knew what they were. He was able to alter the facts by first of all being aware of them.
You see if you want to create wealth, you have to do more than wish for wealth. You must move beyond wishful thinking; then make plans that are predicated on accurate facts and data about your finances. This demands that you keep accurate and detailed records about where your money is coming from, and where it is going.
Record keeping: a divine virtue
The rule here is straightforward: Record every dime that you spend to see where your money is going. This demands discipline.
The Bible teaches us to ‘Observe the way the Maker does things and then fall in line’. Record keeping is a divine virtue. God keeps records.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
Jesus intimates us that God has a database that tracks everything that’s going on in His creation. He knows how many hairs there are on the heads of the billions of human beings on this planet. Not a single sparrow, though they are as cheap as two for a penny, will fall down without His knowledge. God knows everything that’s going on in His creation.
Do you have that kind of knowledge? Are you keeping detailed records of what’s going on in your life? Data is powerful. When you begin to mind the data in your life, you begin to gain power because awareness is power.
The value of keeping accurate records is that your thinking and plans become guided by accurate facts. This way you can reach better conclusions and make better decisions regarding your relationships, interactions, and transactions.
And nowhere is record keeping as critical to success as it is in the area of money. Cash-flow awareness — knowing how much money you have, plus how money flows in and out of your life — is essential to wealth creation.
Know what you spend
In order to move from debt to surplus, you must spend less than you earn. This should be a no brainer. Unfortunately it’s not. Similarly, it ought to be obvious that you can’t spend less than you earn if you have no idea on what you spend. Again, and unfortunately, it’s not.
In any case, to move from scarcity to abundance, you need to meticulously track your cash flow, and take control of your spending.
Except you are an exceptionally disciplined individual, this is not a very easy thing to do. But it can be done; and you need to do it if you want to take control of your money and create surplus. Believe me, it’s empowering to know where your money is being spent, and it will allow you to make necessary adjustments over time.
What are you spending your money on?
Meticulously monitor how you spend your money. This is a very important aspect of cash-flow awareness. Just as you did in the case of how money comes into your life, set up an expense monitor to track how money flows out of your life. Begin to record every dime that you spend to see where your money is going. This is important.