“Financial security and peace of mind under any economic circumstances.” According to the late President N. Eldon Tanner, those are the goals of financial management. To help us achieve them, he introduced five guidelines: (1) pay an honest tithing; (2) live on less than is earned; (3) learn to distinguish between needs and wants; (4) develop and live within a budget; and (5) be honest in all financial affairs. (General Conference, October 1979.)
How we manage our financial affairs has a lasting impact on our lives and our ability to serve and grow spiritually. While debt can make us slaves, careful planning and budgeting frees us to meet our obligations and enjoy the peace and spiritual growth that come from living these five principles of good financial management.
Financial management is something we are concerned about every day. We must pay our bills. Our children must eat. Whether we’ve been given five talents, two talents, or one talent in this life doesn’t matter to the Lord. We are accountable for wisely using the resources, opportunities, and talents the Lord has blessed us with.
One sister with a large family set a goal to make better use of her husband’s salary through using her imagination and talents. One way she saved money was by sewing her small children’s clothing from remnants which 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.
Another sister, after being home for many years, returned to work when her youngest son went on his mission. During the years that both she and her husband were working, they studied ways of managing their money more wisely, carefully saving what they could. They shopped sales to maintain their food storage and carefully budgeted their funds. After her husband died, this sister continued 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 financial management, she has accumulated substantial savings and now uses her resources to enjoy life and bless her family.
As we apply the five principles of financial management 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.
1. Discuss the five principles of financial management outlined by President Tanner. How does each principle bless us, both financially and spiritually?
2. How does seeking first the kingdom of God protect us from the negative spiritual consequences of loving things?
(See PBHT5197Family Home Evening Resource Book, Money Management pp. 210–11, for related materials.)