Objective: To understand our responsibility to manage our financial resources wisely.
According to President N. Eldon Tanner, the goals of financial management are “financial security and peace of mind under any economic circumstances.” To help us achieve them, he introduced five guidelines: (1) pay an honest tithing; (2) live on less than we earn; (3) learn to distinguish between needs and wants; (4) develop and live within a budget; and (5) be honest in all financial affairs. (See Ensign, Nov. 1979, pp. 80–82.)
How we manage our financial affairs has a long-term impact on our lives and our ability to serve and grow spiritually. While debt can enslave us, careful planning and budgeting free us to meet our obligations and enjoy the peace and spiritual growth that come from living these five principles of economic constancy.
Financial management is an everyday concern. We must pay our bills. Our children must eat. Whether we’ve been given five talents, two talents, or one talent in this life isn’t as important as how wisely we use the resources, opportunities, and talents with which the Lord has blessed us.
One sister with a large family set a goal to stretch her husband’s salary through using her imagination and talents. One way she saved money was by sewing her toddlers’ clothing from material in discontinued sample books she obtained without charge from fabric stores. Harvest time meant lots of free produce for her family, as they obtained permission to gather fruit that fell from the trees at local orchards and processed it for their home storage.
Her efforts to enhance her family’s way of life and understanding of the value of hard work and responsibility bring to mind the woman described in Proverbs 31 who “seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” Such a woman is described as being more valuable than rubies. (See Prov. 31:10, 13.)
Another sister, after being home for many years, returned to full-time employment when her youngest son went on his mission. During the years that both she and her husband were working, they studied interest rates and deposited their money in accounts that brought the best return but did not sacrifice security. They realized that many people, looking for higher returns, have lost their savings in risky investment and savings plans. They shopped sales to maintain their food storage and carefully budgeted their funds. After her husband died, this sister kept up her excellent money management habits. She also taught her grandchildren principles of managing their savings and planning for retirement. Through her willingness to learn and her diligent application of the five principles of economic constancy, she has accumulated substantial savings and now uses her resources to enjoy life and bless others.
As we apply the five principles of economic constancy in our lives, inviting the guidance of the Spirit, we will become wise in the use of our resources and blessed with spiritual growth and financial peace of mind.
Discuss the five principles of economic constancy outlined by President Tanner. How does each principle bless us, both financially and spiritually?
How does seeking first the kingdom of God protect us from the bondage of materialism?
(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 210–11, for related materials.)