The Bible definitely doesn’t shy away from talking about money. In fact, Scripture includes 2,500 verses about handling money and possessions. Woah.
Those 2,500 verses give us a blueprint and teach us God’s ways of handling money. And here’s the thing about God’s ways of handling money: They work. Every time.
Deciding to follow what the Bible says about money management will mean you’ll never have to worry about money again. Seriously. And beyond that, you’ll build wealth so you can live out your dreams and be outrageously generous.
What Does the Bible Say About Money Management?
If you’re ready to stop taking money advice from TikTok and your broke brother-in-law and start listening to what the Bible says about managing money, here’s a breakdown of God’s financial game plan.
Make a Budget and Stick to It
Have you ever gotten near the end of the month and started to worry you wouldn’t have enough money to make it to your next paycheck? Plenty of folks are in that position every day—where it feels like you’ve got more month than money.
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Thankfully, there’s a solution to this problem: budgeting. Seriously. Jesus talked about the importance of making a budget while teaching his followers in Luke 14:28–30 (NKJV). He asked, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”
Getting to the end of the month without enough money to cover basic expenses is just like the person who goes out to build a tower, lays a foundation, and can’t finish because he’s out of money. But when you sit down first and count the cost by making a budget before every month begins, that won’t happen anymore.
Look, we get that budgeting isn’t always fun (unless you’re a super nerd). But as we like to say at Ramsey, adults devise a plan and follow it while children do what feels good. Putting in the time and effort to make a plan and give every dollar you bring home a job before the month begins is a must if you want to manage money well and do it according to God’s ways.
The best way to get started with making a budget is to download the EveryDollar app. It’s free to use, and it’ll help you set up your first budget in less than 10 minutes.
Live on Less Than You Make and Save
When you make your budget, you need to think beyond today’s needs and the month ahead. You’ll want to think about the future too. That means living on less than you make—so you’ll have money left over to save.
The Bible talks about the importance of saving in Proverbs 21:20 (NIV84), which says, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”
Now, we know saving money isn’t easy. But if you don’t control your spending enough to have money left over at the end of the month, you’ll wind up just like the 59% of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck.
That’s why it’s crucial for you to stick to your budget and have enough discipline to avoid being like the foolish man who devours all he has. The Bible is clear about how that kind of discipline is 100% worth it in the end, even though it can be really hard at first. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV) says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Don’t be like the foolish man of Proverbs 21:20 and devour all you have. Live on less than you make and save for the future.
So, what should we save money for? All sorts of things! You can save to buy a car with cash, pay for your kids to go to college debt-free, and even to go on vacation. Before you do any of that, though, you’ll want to make sure you’ve saved money for emergencies. We recommend saving 3 to 6 months’ worth of your expenses in an emergency fund.
Invest and Build Wealth
You should also save money because it allows you to invest and build wealth over time. And here’s the thing: God wants you to be wealthy. Really.
No, that doesn’t mean that simply choosing to be a Christian and going to church will make you rich. We don’t believe in the prosperity gospel around here.
But if you follow God’s ways of handling money, you will build wealth over time, and God is A-OK with that. It’s what He wants you to do.
Proverbs 13:22 (NKJV) says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” How do you leave an inheritance to your children’s children? By building wealth.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have permission to go buy into some kind of get-rich-quick scheme. That’s dumb, and the Bible says it’s a bad idea. Proverbs 28:20 (NKJV) says, “He who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”
Instead, follow the biblical plan for building wealth. Make a budget and stick to it. Live on less than you make. Save. Invest over time in plans with a proven track record. Repeat those behaviors over and over again, and you will build wealth. That’s not just some theory we came up with—it’s biblical. It’s also math.
If you want to take a deeper dive into what the Bible says about building wealth—and why the people who think wealth is evil are just plain wrong—pick up a copy of Dave Ramsey’s bestselling book The Legacy Journey.
What Does the Bible Say About Debt?
The Bible talks about debt a lot, and—spoiler alert—none of it is good.
While Scripture certainly doesn’t teach that going into debt is a sin, it’s clear about one thing: Borrowing money is a bad idea. Always.
Probably the most well-known scripture about money management that deals with debt is Proverbs 22:7 (NIV), which says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Translation: If you owe someone money, they’ll control your life until you pay it back.
In fact, the Apostle Paul teaches in Romans 13:8 (NKJV) that we shouldn’t owe anything to anyone aside from love. He wrote, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
The Bible doesn’t just warn about you going into debt either. It also tells us that helping a friend or relative go into debt by cosigning is a horrible idea. Proverbs 17:18 (NIV) says, “One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.” If that’s too complicated to understand, the Contemporary English Version’s translation makes it crystal clear: “It’s stupid to guarantee someone else’s loan.”
Scripture couldn’t be more straightforward: Debt is dumb.
But what if I’m smarter with finances than most people and I just want to use other people’s money to build wealth faster?
You’ll throw that idea in the trash can if you’re really committed to following God’s ways of handling money. The Bible doesn’t include an exception that says debt is okay if you’re “smarter than most people,” and that kind of attitude can quickly become dangerous if you aren’t careful.
If you do have debt and you’re ready to get out of it for good, order a copy of The Total Money Makeover. Dave Ramsey will take you through a step-by-step plan to pay off your debt and completely transform your financial situation all while following God’s ways of handling money.
How to Steward Money Well
Here’s the thing about our money: It isn’t really ours. Psalm 24:1 (KJV) tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” That “fulness” includes money.
What Does the Bible Say About Stewardship?
The money in our wallets, purses and bank accounts isn’t ours—it’s God’s. He’s just letting us be a steward, which is the Bible’s way of saying God lets us manage (not own) His money. That’s why it’s so important for us to follow God’s ways of handling money. His money, His rules.
When we do follow God’s ways of handling money by avoiding debt, saving and building wealth, we’re being good stewards of His blessings.
What Does the Bible Say About Generosity?
By the way, we don’t just save, invest and build wealth so we can hoard money or enjoy it all ourselves. The biggest reason we build wealth is so we can use it to be outrageously generous.
Being generous isn’t just something God wants us to do. It’s part of how He made us. Giving is in our DNA. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV) says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Trust us: Giving is the most fun you’ll ever have with money.
So, what does biblical generosity look like? First, we’re called to give some of our money for kingdom purposes. This is something you can do whether you’re a millionaire or still working to get out of debt. Proverbs 3:9 (NKJV) says, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase.”
Notice how this verse tells us to honor God with our firstfruits, which is Bible talk for giving off the top of what we make rather than simply whatever is left over. A good place to start with that is giving 10% of your income (aka tithing) to your local church, and it should be the first item on your budget.
If you’re still working to get out of debt or build an emergency fund, you should focus the rest of your income on hitting those goals. After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV) says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
So, once you have your household squared away, you should really think about giving more than 10% of your income, whether that means giving more to your church or to another cause that’s close to your heart.
As you start to build wealth (and hopefully pay off your mortgage early) you can start to get crazy with your giving. You can do outrageous stuff like buy a car for a single mom or pay someone’s utilities for an entire year.
We’re told in Proverbs 11:25 (NIV) that “a generous person will prosper” and “whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” That’s the whole reason we follow God’s ways of handling money.
The Bible’s financial plan may seem simple, but it works every time. It’s time for us to step up and decide to follow it.
And by the way, there’s no better way to dig into God’s ways of handling money than taking a Financial Peace University class. You’ll learn more about what the Bible says about money management through nine simple and, believe it or not, fun lessons about how to budget, get out of debt, and build wealth.