Keeping it simple: Money matters and words from the heart


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Keeping it simple: Money matters and words from the heart

Many years ago, I went through a Compass Financial Ministries small group study. There are many good resources out there on how to manage your money according to Biblical principles, but Compass helped me understand the “why?”

One of the lessons was on how we should teach our children the principles we were learning in the small group. One morning as I was thinking about how to boil it down into simple terms, these four things came to me:

Debt is bad,
Saving is good,
Giving is fun!
Stuff is meaningless.

My husband loved it and used the quote in speeches, including a couple of college commencements. A fellow in North Carolina liked it so much he put it on a plaque and added scripture. That quote now hangs in the offices of business people from California to New York.

At my husband’s encouragement, it was included in my novel, Grounded, as something taught to my main character by her grandfather. Honestly, it’s been surprising to see how this quote has taken on a life all its own. As a writer, I would have spent much more time on it had I known it would be spread far and wide.

But if I had known, I would likely have complicated it. And the simplicity is what makes it easy to remember.

In an age where we are told you must establish credit (my husband is a banker and he says it’s not true!), it is against the cultural flow to say debt is bad. Of course, there are business debts and home mortgages that are difficult to avoid, but even those should be paid off as quickly as possible, not paid down enough to borrow more.

Saving is good and the earlier our kids learn this, the better it is. There will be emergencies and things we don’t plan for in our budget. Savings are necessary to keep us out of debt when those unexpected crises come up . . . and they will!

Giving can be one of the most pleasurable activities we engage in, and it’s even better when it’s anonymous! Be creative about your generosity and see how contagious it can be. Involve your children early so they catch the joy of giving.

The last principal truly affects the other three. If we buy into the fact that stuff is meaningless — no, REALLY buy into that — then debt, savings, and giving all take their proper place.

For tools, videos, reading material, and resources on finding balance in your life, check out First Southern National Bank’s True Balance or the resources available at Compass, Finances God’s Way.

There’s no better time than the beginning of the year to simplify our view of money and alter our spending habits. Consider using these four basic principles to filter your 2014 financial decisions.

My hope is that you will find yourself at the end of the year with more financial margin in your life and more joy in your heart.

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Angela Correll (12 Posts)

Angela Correll is a seventh generation Kentuckian. She has written over fifty columns for local newspapers about life, family, and farming. She is the co-owner of the Bluebird, a farm-to-table restaurant, promoting local food produced in a humane and natural way, as well as a shop, selling handcrafted goat milk soap. She lives on a farm with her husband, Jess, and an assortment of cattle, horses, goats and chickens. "Grounded" is her first novel.


  1. We have practiced the no debt policy in our family (always paid cash for cars, etc.), but when David and his new wife went to finance their new house, the bank would not give them credit based on their incomes or amount in their savings accounts. Neither one had ever used credit for anything, including their nice/not new cars. (Back when my husband and I bought/biult our house in 1981, we did not have any credit either, but the banks favored people who had savings accounts back then!)

    The giving issue is big with me…because it is fun and a lot of the needs that are presented to me seem so authentic and crucial. Someone gave this advice that has helped me….Give to whatever God lays on your heart and only when you know there are not a ton of other people who could/will meet the need besides yourself. Anonymous giving is the best, as you suggested. 😀

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