19 Interactive Biblical Financial Planning Modules
The Biblical Financial Planning Modules include 19 personal finance modules: Auto Decisions, Avoid the Use of Debt, Biblical Financial Principles, Biblical Worldview, Contentment, Employee Benefits, Estate Planning, Family Life Stages, Financial Stewardship, Give Generously, Goal Setting & Decision Making, Governmental Support Programs, Home Buying Decisions, Maintain Liquidity (Savings), Personal Income Tax, Setting Long Term Goals, Spend Less than You Earn, and Understanding Risks and Our Behaviors. Each module challenges users to think about the personal finance topics from the frame of reference that states, "God Owns It All." Purchase individual modules of interest for $10 each or all nineteen for $125.
If one wants to handle money in alignment with God’s word, it is necessary to seek out what God has to say about money and money management. To understand what God’s word says about money and money management, it is important to understand the difference between a biblical worldview and a non-Christian worldview. This module looks at what a worldview is, defines our Christian/biblical worldview, and then sets up the paradigm for how we believe Christians should view and manage money.
As Christians, we need to understand first and foremost that God owns everything. He owns your possessions; He owns your money; and He owns your life. God owns everything because He created all things. So, where does that leave us? Perhaps you’re wondering, “What about all the stuff I have—if God owns it, then what am I doing with it?” Great question. This module discusses what we are to do with the “stuff” we have. We will look at two concepts, one from a secular standpoint and the other from a biblical standpoint. These two concepts, however, lead us to the same conclusions: We have responsibilities, and someone else (in the biblical context, God) has rights. These two positions will overlap in many areas; they are fiduciary and steward.
Contentment comes with one main theme: dependence on Christ. The apostle Paul was content because he relied on Christ. Jesus told His followers to pray for their daily bread (not to pray for tomorrow’s bread), and the writer of Hebrews confirms this by letting his readers know that all individuals can be content with what they have when they depend on Christ who “will never leave nor forsake us.” This module dives deeper into those concept of becoming content.
When dealing with our finances, our actions or behaviors collectively shape our financial plan. Financial planning is the continued allocation of limited financial resources. As we look closer at this idea of financial planning, we need to understand that there are two ways that financial planning occurs. The first is intentional financial planning. This process requires individuals to proactively and intentionally review, plan, and monitor their use of God’s provision in their lives. The second is through happenstance. In other words, people who allow happenstance to control their finances do not take control of their finances but allow finances and behaviors to control them. This module will provide an overview to the aspects of Biblical Financial Planning.
In his national bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey (2014) outlines his research by providing seven behaviors that people who have demonstrated success exemplify. The second habit that Covey describes is to “Begin with the End in Mind.” In other words, you need to think about where you want to end up prior to starting. This concept can easily be described as goal setting. There’s been vast amount of research on goal setting. This module will take you through a goal setting process so you can make the best possible financial decisions.
Risk can generally be defined as “hazard, or a potential loss.” In other words, risk is the idea that some event might occur that does not benefit you. Risk, however, does not exist in isolation. There are many different types of risk, and risks are present in every situation, especially those situations that relate to money and possessions. This module will focus on explaining risk and how risk can be managed.
Sometimes we feel like we are all alone or perhaps feel like we are not living up to where we should be financially. This module helps you identify financial life stages and cycles to provide an overview of life’s standard patterns. You will explore the various life cycle stages and then explore the financial life cycle and how they can provide a benchmark.
Spending less than you earn is the commonsense, or even obvious, key to living within your income. Nobody intentionally plans to overspend. On the contrary, many aim to make room in the budget for the things they know are important, such as saving and giving. What happens, though, is that due to not having a budget or plan, many people come up short when it’s time to pay the bills. This module will help you develop a plan for your cash flow, referred to as a budget.
From a biblical perspective, we are free to borrow money, but there are consequences we must bear when we do. In other words, God isn’t obligated to bail us out of difficulties resulting from foolish decisions. The nonrepayment of money borrowed is not an option for a Christian. Personal bankruptcy may be warranted in some cases, but never to avoid repayment. Debt may violate two biblical principles: It almost always presumes upon the future, and it may deny God an opportunity to do what He really wants to do in our lives. This module will focus on principles related to debt and how to wisely think about debt.
This module covers a very important aspect of a financial plan, namely maintaining liquidity and understanding and using insurance. Cash management describes some of the most common types of accounts that are used when implementing cash management strategies. Unfortunately, there are obstacles that you should be aware of to minimize cash management mistakes. Insurance is vital in being able to maintain financial liquidity.
One aspect of the “American Dream” is that of home ownership. There are many aspects of home ownership that potential buyers are not familiar with. This module focuses on the home buying process as well as evaluating the differences between renting and buying.
As a society, Americans are notorious for their love affair with the automobile. Will Rogers once said, in the days when having an automobile was more of a luxury, “We’re the only nation in the world to go to the poorhouse in an automobile.” That wisecrack still has some truth to it. Many people barely have a positive net worth, yet they drive cars with every known option. We use our cars for far more than basic transportation. We eat and get dressed in them—just watch what happens on the highways of major cities during the morning commute. They are mobile entertainment compartments—observe the DVD players and TV screens, satellite radio, stereos, and the current ability for our vehicles to be turned into mobile command centers with Wi-Fi capability. From heated car seats to mapping screens to cars that automatically parallel park, they do it—for a price. This module will look at the many different ways to make an automobile decision.
Taxes need to be put into proper perspective, and the proper perspective is that income taxes are levied only when there is income earned. Also, although tax dollars may not always be used in the most effective way possible, tax dollars go toward paying for services that are used by everybody. We are not “entitled” to those services for free. If we benefit from them, we must pay for them. Entitlement is definitely an attitude bred by our have-it-all culture, not by God. Check your perspective and thank God for your government. This module will guide us to a biblical perspective on taxes.
This module will look at a wide variety of employee benefits that employees should understand. These will vary based on employer but can be extremely valuable. The most prominent will be retirement plans offered by employers both defined benefit and defined contribution plans are covered.
This module will cover one of the most used calculations in finance, Time Value of Money (TVM). Understanding these concepts will give the user an advantage in preparing appropriate financial goals. Depending on your previous experience, this module may be a review or may be your first experience in TVM problems. Either way, these concepts are absolutely necessary.
The secret to financial contentment is not couched in wise investments, meticulous budgets, or debt-free living. All these things are valuable—yet even the highest investment return or the most carefully constructed budget affords very little in the way of real confidence and joy if one key ingredient is neglected. That one ingredient—and the ingredient that makes true freedom possible—is generosity: the willingness to give your time, talents, and material wealth to benefit others and impact eternity. This module looks at the biblical concept of generosity, one of our most sought-after biblical responsibilities.
No matter who you are, how healthful your lifestyle, or how good your genes are, you will die one day. Although everyone understands and acknowledges this truth, far too few plan for their death appropriately. No matter how much or how little you have, when you die, all of your possessions will be distributed to someone. The planning of how you want your possessions to be distributed and handled at your death is called estate planning. Unless you plan the distribution of your possessions prior to your death, the government will determine how and where your assets will be distributed. Your surviving spouse, parents, kids, or other relatives will have no say in how your possessions will be distributed. In limited cases, the government’s distribution of your possessions will exactly match what you want to do, but that is the extreme exception to the rule. This module will cover the issues related to the estate planning process.
Although we may not want to accept social programs or even agree with how social programs function, we can’t deny that these programs offer support for many Americans over the course of their lives. In this module, we will at the history of many of our current social programs and why these programs were created. We need to understand that God’s word speaks to the idea that the body of Christ should be taking care of the body of Christ; unfortunately, we could be doing a far better job than we are. In this regard, government has taken ownership of our social programs to help our retirees through retirement programs (Social Security) and health-care programs (Medicare).
You might be thinking how overwhelming finances can be in our personal lives. In this module, we want to ensure that you are aware that you don’t have to do it on your own. We want to encourage you to talk and pray through topics with your prayer and accountability partner, which we hope is valuable to you and your accountability partner. However, those who help keep us accountable and those who pray for us may not be in a position to offer us advice in relation to making financial decisions, especially when we know that there seems to always be an infinite number of options. This module provides information you can use as you think about choosing a financial advisor.