We ache for financial freedom. We imagine being one day free from worry about money. We dream of security and peace. Mostly, we never experience any of that; mostly, we just experience financial stress. How come? Well, let’s back up. Financial freedom comes only with financial margin. Financial margin is the difference between (1) money coming in and (2) money going out—between income and expenses. Without margin of sufficient size, we’ll never achieve financial freedom.
The problem is, when we men think about margin we usually focus only on the first part of the equation, on our income. We do this because we’ve come to trust money. We’ve come to believe it can solve all problems—if we get that job, that promotion, that bonus, then everything will be great. This trust is misplaced (Revelation 3:17). We should trust God. We should trust the one who can do all things, instead of hoping money will.
When we broaden our focus, however, when we focus too on the second part of the margin equation, on our expenses, we find the key to financial freedom. Though we convince ourselves otherwise, there are always ways to reduce expenses to achieve margin. It’s the way God designed things. So, when we decide, finally, to apply downward pressure on our expenses—on our lifestyles—we find that financial freedom is not actually elusive, but available right here, right now, the way God intended (1 Timothy 6:7-8; Hebrews 13:5).
Do a review of your expenses. How much margin do you have? If you need to, find at least one or two significant items to cut . . . and commit to doing more such reviews, and on a regular basis. Trust God to give you everything you (and your family) will ever need.