Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#21 - Plan to Prosper

Good morning to all! Already taken down 2 cups of yummy coffee, and have done a lot this morning. It's amazing how much you can do when you wake up early!! Love it! Well... I am guessing that many of you that are reading this blog have been reading it on a somewhat regular basis. Would you consider "following" the blog? Or... when something really jumps out to you let your friends know about it... forward the link. (www.amyjmccart.blogspot.com) I'm excited about what God is doing & is going to do as I am in the process of writing a few books right now. "Blog followers" help when I do get to the point of talking to publishers. So only IF you feel these posts have added value to you and are beneficial, JOIN as a follower & invite your friends! :)  

Well, let's go ahead and get rolling. Yesterday's post really just floored me. To me, it was quite a revelation.  Quite a revelation that God truly wants us to get past having to "sacrifice" things in our life. That he wants to know He already has our Isaac, that He already has all of those things closest to our heart. And with Him already having ALL of those things it truly makes "sacrifice" a null thing. He already has it all. Then, it just gives us the opportunity to walk in the blessing, being directed by Him. I'm still getting stuff out of it! It's amazing how the written word can really make revelation jump out at you! Now today.... there was a TON of stuff in Proverbs 22... but, the Lord led me down a certain path.... it wasn't the "fun" path that "I" wanted to choose...but I guess He feels like it's an important one. So, if you have some steel-toed boots, you may want to get them out. I may be stepping on toes this morning! :( I guess ultimately it will be good. Let's get started...
Proverbs 22:7, 26-27 - The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Be not one of those who strike hands and pledge themselves, or of those who become security for another's debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take your bed from under you?
Proverbs 31:16b - ...with her savings she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
The American Way. That is a source of our conversation today. How "The American Way" is different from "The Biblical Way." So, as we read... we see how the borrower is servant to the lender. Or another plain way to put it is this.... the credit card owner who does not pay their balance off every month is a SLAVE to the credit card company. Here Martin Luther King went to great lengths for the Civil Rights movement... to bring about full freedom to the African American population and here we are, white & black alike, walking right back into the bondage of slavery. We have chosen to enslave ourselves. We have put the shackles on our wrists, the shackles on our ankles... we are marching in a straight line all the while typing quickly on our new iPhone, carrying our iPad or new NetBook. As we are walking in line, we turn around to see the person who is shackled behind us, and check it out... the lady behind us pushes up her Chanel sunglasses and slings her Kate Spade purse over her shoulder to show us her new Droid she is playing on. As she pulls out her Coach wallet, she says "Pick a Card, any card".... we see an array of credit cards, lots of pretty colors in lots of styles... Visa, MasterCard, Discover.... oooohhh and the pretty one..... American Express. She puts them back in her Kate Spade, and we all continue trudging along, chains clinking & dragging as we walk. 

As I was reading & listening to the Holy Spirit about this... hum.... what seems a bit of an "un-fun" topic, He revealed to me this: 
Amy, many people who have a $30,000 or $40,000 income will never have more. Not because I don't want to bless them with more, but because they can not manage what they have. They live beyond their means, not below their means. They seek to please themselves instead of pleasing Me. It takes having a plan. Most people do not have a plan so they will continue to live in the land of "not enough." I have laid out a plan for them. I have also laid out a plan through many men, many books. The resources are available. If people would become resourceful, I will lead them to what is right for them. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I am ready. Will My People ever decide to appear? 
If you know me or Tyler well, you know that we like quality things. I enjoy my Kate Spade diaper bag, Coach purse, Maui Jim sunglasses (and Coach sunglasses before they got lost in Las Vegas)... we enjoy quality things. We enjoy the best of life. And, I believe that the good things are made to enjoy. They are made especially for people like me (and you) who love the Lord, who are ministers of the Gospel (in our respective fields of work). I believe God WANTS us to have the best. Let me add this... those items above, we paid cash for. If it was on a credit card, it was paid off when the bill came in the mail. And for us.... most things are acquired after we have set and accomplished a goal. 

But let me be transparent... some of our mistakes..... maybe you can learn from & apply a solution now? Before resigning from my job in Corporate America, I made more than most people, more than the "average" income. When you added my income, my husbands income & the income of our business that we run.... that most definitely added up. Transparency: in retrospect, over the last 10 years if we could go back and do anything different, what could we have done differently during those years? It's one word, one plan, operating off a what? A BUDGET. 

Tyler was reading recently that out of a large selected group of millionaires, many of them brought home only between $70,000-$90,000/year. Well... obvious math, Tyler and I easily brought more than that home. What is different from these millionaires & Tyler & I? They had a plan. Yes... we were still living below our means, but without a true budget, without a true plan. As I was listening, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that many people have the ability and income to be millionaires, but never will be simply because they do not know how to handle the income they bring in now. They have NO plan. 

So, what did we decide to do? We decided to itemize our income & spending... as we looked through our bank statement, categorizing where money was going... we found what was not too surprising: $5.00 to fast food here, $15.00 to fast food there, $46.00 to a decent restaurant here, $35.00 to a decent restaurant there.... another $7.00 to Firehouse Sub here, a quick $8.00 to Chick-Fil-A there. Our money had quickly dwindled, disappeared with nothing much to show for it. Not much additional in savings. No "rocketing" investment portfolio. Not to mention our waistline increased as well. All due to one thing, Lack of Planning. Lack of a Budget. Lack of having groceries in the house, fruits & vegetables for a healthy snack, breads & meat for sandwiches.... healthy food for a good dinner. We were operating like the article said, and were indeed on our way to become a statistic. 

Resources are available. People that have been called by God to write anointed books & material in the realm of finances. They are there for you. 

We know that our Proverbs 31 friend was not a woman of the "World's Statistic." Not only did she buy land, own business'.... but we see in Proverbs 31:16 that she did have a SAVINGS. She did set money aside. Their is wisdom in setting money aside. Their is wisdom in preparing & planning. When the Lord does call you to complete your assignment, or brings you to the next position in life, will you have been prepared for it? If your assignment calls for money, He may not even move you to the next position in life until you are able to get your finances in order. 

I believe that the best of the best was made for Men & Women of God to have & use. But, I also believe that IF we are going to partake in these goods, we should be able to pay for it now. "The borrower is subject to the lender." I prefer not to put myself back in the shackles of bondage. I enjoy being out of debt. And I am excited to be on the path where we are responsible and diligent with what God has given us, so He is able to bless us with more. Like the servants who were given the "talents" (Matthew 25:14-30), the servant who buried his talent and did not increase it was called a "wicked & lazy servant." His master said: "...at least if you had put it on deposit with bankers I would have received it back with interest..."

I believe their are million dollar ideas, inventions, business', and books within the Men & Women of God. Money can do a lot of good thing. Will you be one that will be able to take care of more than just yourself. Will you be able to help others & bless others with your overflow? 

So... make a plan. Plan to take an inventory of your income. What comes in and what goes out. Make a budget. Use the "envelope system" if you need too.... put cash in an envelope... label them: "Groceries", "Date Night", "Bills", etc, until you get your finances under control. 

Make a plan. Set a budget. The best is there for you. Will you position yourself to have it? To stroke a check cash for that designer pocket book? For your next car? For your next house? Do you believe God can do it? I do.

Are you "planning" in order that you may prosper?


A few books that have helped us:

  • Richest Man in Babylon
  • Become a Millionaire God's Way
  • Trust God with your Finances


Renee said...

Wooooooooow... So true.. I understand why all things are happening... woooow...

jburton said...

Awesome blog today! I wish more people could read this AND apply this to their lives...including ME!

Amy J. McCart said...

Good!! We want you prospering! Those books are definitely some great tools that can help! (Can purchase through: www.myxswellness.com - via partner store: Barnes & Nobles)

Thanks for all you do for JW! We certainly appreciate it and know you are an extreme blessing to him!!

xoxo! :)

Amy J. McCart said...

JT & Sara,
Thanks! Glad you liked it. It still speaks volumes to us as well, as we are not YET millionaires in the physical. :) YET! ;) It's coming though!

see ya'll tonight!

Jo Ann said...

If your assignment calls for money, He may not even move you to the next position in life until you are able to get your finances in order.
Amy J. McCart

I have read that line over and over. Why is it that when I (we) know that we have "control" of our money that I (we) don't "take control"? Today is the day for money to stop being "in control".

Thank you Amy for your insights and wisdom. I look forward each day to your blog. I pray Gods' continual blessings on you for sharing your insights of your precious time with Him. It certainly blesses me to have a friend that is seeking God to be a Proverbs 31 woman!

Anonymous said...

Very Good insight!! I will have to agree that any form of success in your life is a PLANNED EVENT!! I heard this from a millionaire, Larry Winters. You have to intentionally plan for your success.

Also, what Jo Ann said is true! God will never promote you beyond what you can manage.

Lastly, in regards to money, from the book "The Millionaire Next Door," people tend to have a great offensive strategy for make money ie. job or business income. Yet they play very poor defense ie budgeting and planning. You need to plan once a week, once a month and then once a year.

Great post!!

Twitter: @TylerMcCart

Amy J. McCart said...

JoAnn - Great to hear your thoughts! I know finances is a great area of a lot of importance. I believe I once heard it is in the top few subjects in the Bible that is talked about, so I guess it's an important one!! But, true... time for us to "TAKE CONTROL" as you said! Instead of having the tail wagging the dog, time for us to wag the tail and take control, and take the lead!

Blessing to you this day! :) Now... as we enjoy our DOR, we are off to the pool. :)


Amy J. McCart said...

Tyler - Amen & Amen. So true about offense & defense! I'm so glad that I get to live with you to always hear your thoughts! Thanks for sharing yourself with others too! :)


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