For Part 1 of this series, Hope in the Supplier, Not the Supply: Finding Financial Hope During a Crisis, click HERE.
This week, we spoke with Gary Wood, President of BDC Capital Management. Gary is a friend of Noble Warriors and a workshop contributor at our Noble Man/ISI Conferences. (Access his Biblical Stewardship workshop in The Noble Man Virtual Conference HERE) He has dedicated his life’s work to helping others make personal, practical applications of biblical financial precepts. He offers practical tips for finances as well as some valuable insights for faith during the Coronavirus crisis.
“The number one issue is cash flow. It has to start there.”
Don’t panic. Panicking often leads to making wrong decisions. Making temporary adjustments with your anticipated needs for the next 6-12 months in mind can give you the holding power you need to get through most crises, this one included.
- You can’t improve cash flow by getting out of debt. A scenario like this forces us to think a bit differently than we might during status quo circumstances. If cash flow is an issue, it’s time to retire the debt snowball and make decisions a little bit differently for now.
- What decisions does looking at your overall cash flow needs for the next 6-12 months lead you to? Planning ahead in this way will help you make the tough choices now. Don’t wait until you’re behind to start making moves. Are there bigger ticket items you need to consider selling like a car or home? Doing it sooner may fetch more dollars rather than later when their value has decreased. Are there monthly expenses that you can eliminate right now like cable or other subscriptions? Every dollar counts!
- Picking up an extra part-time job could be the answer. Many companies are hiring making it a viable temporary solution to meet some of those cash flow needs.
- Take a good look at creating or unlocking sources of income that are already there. Don’t over withhold on your paycheck and target no refund on your tax return. Examine options like a Roth IRA, even if you’re under 59 1/2, to see if you can take your contributions out tax-free. If you have whole life insurance, look at switching to term, and save those excess premium dollars.
What About Giving?
In a time where income might be down or out, how do we think about giving? Above all, trust God. “Humble yourself and to seek God’s face and His will, His instructions.” Know what His Word says about finances, make sure we are employing it, and start there. God is faithful.
Gary points us to Malachi 3:10-11. “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.”
The temptation might be to put all funds toward living expenses or debt, but Gary reminds us we will lose the blessing of seeing God keep his promises. He speaks from experience. “I’ve seen that His faithfulness has certainly carried our business and held and sustained us for over 40 years.”
As a guide, Gary applies an approach he learned – The 3 P’s of Giving.
- Persistence – Be persistent and give faithfully wherever you are right now.
- Percentage – Be consistent in your percentage. As you are faithful in your giving and God provides increase, increase your giving.
- Progression – Set a goal and progress towards it. Don’t be afraid to set a goal in giving. It’s biblical to have giving goals, just like other financial goals, and to have a plan for reaching them.
Gary is optimistic about the other side of this downturn. His prayer is that God will use this circumstance to call us back to the assignment in scripture and that the Church at large will be up for the challenge of fulfilling the collective needs of the body.
“I’m convinced if we embrace the assignment God has given to the church, we won’t lack God’s supply.”
Stay tuned for more resources from Gary.
Next week, Randy Rowekamp of Crown Financial Ministries shares a wealth of resources and ideas from studies, to “Money Dates,” to help for individuals who need a money mentor.