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A Basic Financial Health Checklist

Generous Stewards person holding U.S. bills Managing the money and things we have can get complicated, but the basics don’t have to be. At a workshop on “The Whys and Hows of Money Leadership,” stewardship leader Mark L. Vincent1 shared three points we can take care of, as our financial health checklist:2
1. I have a spending plan or budget that fits me.
This plan gives us a financial framework to go by, allowing us to live within our means, pay off any consumer debts, and give for God’s work. It also frees us up from money anxiety in the process.
2. I have a will or living trust in place.
A financial instrument that goes beyond our lifetimes is a way to show our priorities and a key part of financial freedom. By updating our will and/or living trust, we can reflect our current finances and family circumstances, as well as our Christian priorities of caring for God’s work around us as well as for our loved ones.
3. I have an updated estate plan.
When we update our estate plans every three years, we know where we are in relationship to our goals. The plan should anticipate our own retirement needs and the medical care we’ll require as we age. We can also choose to provide for any dependents who will survive us, and for the ministries in which we have invested our involvement, gifts and prayers throughout our lives.

Being able to check off this list does not mean that we “have it made” or are perfect in our use of finances. But it does give us the moral strength to be a leader in God’s work, and frees us from major pitfalls as we seek to embrace God’s claim on our lives.

Betsy Schwarzentraub

1 – Mark L. Vincent is the author of several books on stewardship and organizational process, the founder and senior partner at Design Group International, and director of Convene Consulting Network.
2 – The main points are Mark’s. I paraphrased the descriptions.