Friday, March 11, 2011

Money and the Christian Man, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

Approach #2: 10-Year Projection Based on Net Earnings and Spending Habits

I showed this to the boys so that they would see how to project their future financial standing based on how much take-home pay they had and how they chose to use it. "Net earnings" simply means take-home pay. The conditions of this table are that a certain man starts with P100k already in the bank and a P20k/month income, and manages to increase that income by P3k/month every year. Cash use is as follows:

  • 15% to the church
  • 20% to rent starting at P4k/month
  • P200/day on food with a P25/day increase every two years
  • 5% to clothes starting at P10k/year
  • 10% to transportation
  • 10% to entertainment, gifts, events and other expenses
  • 10% Insurance, health maintenance, etc. (just a random figure)

So given the conditions above (again, indicative of a simple lifestyle) what does this man's financial status look like after 10 years? Well, he has saved almost P400k, but is still renting. He doesn't have his own vehicle, and he is still single. He has made no investments (stock, business, etc.).

Sobering, isn't it?

Balancing the Discussion

Having made our point that "making a living" may not be as simple as the mass media would have us think, there's an even more important aspect of money that we need to mention.

There's a bigger reality behind the need to "make a living," whether it's just for ourselves or for others as well. That reality is precisely what Paul talks about in his Letter to the Philippians:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Chp.1:21) 
... I have learned in whatever situation to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (4:11-13)
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (4:19)
The bottom line is that Christ is our greatest treasure, and His commissions should be our sole mission.

Faith After Planning

God loves it when we exercise wisdom, but even more so when we exercise faith and devotion (see the story of the Poor Widow in Luke 21:3). We'll never be able to plan out everything, and there will always be room for uncertainty and anxiety for the maturing Christian man who has a strong sense of responsibility. But we serve a sovereign God who loves us.

Related Posts: Can Dreaming Big Lead to Downsizing?

Helpful Resource: From Boy To Man--The Marks Of Manhood, Part 1 by Al Mohler


  1. nice calculations, Kito.inflation aside, a simple lifestyle means that your expenses don't really increase in proportion to your salary (ie, eating the same karinderya/mcdo food even if your salary increases threefold).

    I try to keep track of all expenses to the last cent using my phone's mobile office. At the end of last year I tallied it to see where my money went, and of course, how much went to giving (church, ivcf, family, friends, charity, etc) and to optional personal stuff

  2. @ benj: Thanks for those insights, kuya. In making my calculations I tried to project a simple lifestyle, while leaving a little allowance for more spending in areas where there's more uncertainty (such as rent and insurance).

    The values will be different for every individual, but I hope the method of calculating will be helpful to my readers. :)