Manage Your Money God’s Way: How to be a Good Steward and the Do’s and Don’ts of Credit Card Use

February 18, 2017

First Half – Being a Good Steward

Stewardship—perception is not reality. How many of you think that Stewardship is the pastor is asking for money or some other form of fundraising? In reality, stewardship is a way of life that puts God first in all things.

The Catechism tells us a good steward safe guards material and human resources, uses them responsibly and generously gives of their time, talent and treasure.

The US Bishops tell us that as good stewards we should receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others and return them with increase to the Lord

The first thing we should recognized is that God has blessed us with many gifts: the earth we live on; the air we breathe; the water we drink; the food that we eat; the talents we have; life itself.

Think of it this way, by being a good steward, you are putting God in first place and everything else is in second place.

 

Second Half – Using Credit Cards Wisely

Buying stuff using credit cards doesn’t feel like spending REAL money. But you do have to pay for those purchases with actual money.  When you are using your credit card it’s important to stay within your means so that you don’t charge more than you can pay for.

Stay in control by tracking the credit charges in the categories of your spending plan/budget. This link: http://compasscatholic.org/customize-your-budget/ will give you a list of typical categories to use. Managing your credit card spending helps assure you will have the cash at the end of the month to pay the credit card bill in full.

If you don’t have the cash at the end of the month and you keep using your credit cards, you will soon be in over your head with debt.

Our suggestion is don’t charge your food purchases as this often leads to overspending. Don't take cash advances because they come with a higher interest rate than purchases, plus a cash advance fee. Cash advances are often a band aid on a larger problem of financial irresponsibility.

Don't buy any of the special services offered by the credit card companies as they are often overpriced.

You can use your credit card wisely if you have created a spending plan/budget and you know exactly how much money you have to spend in a given month in that category.

Sometimes there are emergencies and your credit card is the only way to resolve the issue, but having an emergency fund will help you stay financially solvent.

If you are using a credit card, pay the balance in full every month; pay on time; limit the number of cards you own; read the terms and conditions in the fine print, and keep track of your purchases in your spending plan. This lets YOU be in control of your finances.

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