3 Ways to Resist Overspending Your Money

Howard Dayton
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There are three practical things you can do to stand against this relentless onslaught of advertising to spend and spend.

1. Limit your exposure.

It seems almost un-American in this “Shop ’til you drop” society, but one of the most effective ways to bring spending under control is to intentionally isolate yourself from the temptations to spend. Consider this:

  • The more television you watch, the more you spend.
  • The more you surf the Web, the more you spend.
  • The more you look at catalogues and magazines, the more you spend.
  • The more you shop, the more you spend.

When my daughter was younger, I could tell when she had watched television. Suddenly, she just had to have a certain toy. If she hadn’t seen the commercial, she would have been perfectly content without it. Here is the simple truth: Limiting your exposure to spending opportunities helps you control your spending.

2. Cultivate contentment.

Advertisers frequently try to create discontentment with what we have. Our consumption-oriented society operates on the assumption that happiness comes from things, and more is always better. That’s why keeping up with the Joneses has become a national pastime. The result is widespread discontent. In contrast, God wants you to be content. Contentment is mentioned six times in Scripture, and five times it has to do with money.

The apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:11-13). Paul learned to be content. No one is born with the instinct of contentment; rather, we must learn it.

Contentment enables us to live within our means. It values the true riches of relationships with God, family, and friends. It resists the urge to buy, buy, buy!

3. Pray for God to provide.

When Bev and I first determined to work toward true financial freedom, we decided that we would pray and wait for the Lord to provide things rather than rush to buy them.

As we walk around our home, we are overwhelmed with items that He has provided. There was the gift of our dining room table and chairs, the $3 solid-oak chair from a garage sale, and the headboard for our bed—for which we waited ten years.

Most of the furnishings in our home have a story that is a tangible reminder of God’s love and provision.

For Further Reading:

Your Money Map

by Howard Dayton

“The practical principles in Your Money Map are powerful and life-changing because are they based on the Bible. My only regret is that I...

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