Bling-bling (usually shortened to bling) is a hip hop slang term that refers to elaborate, gaudy jewelry and other accouterments, and also to a lifestyle built around excessive spending and ostentation.
I actually really can’t stand that word, but lo-and-behold my pastor just went and decided to start a series called “BLING-onomic$”. Kind-of funny though hearing him say “bling” that many times during his preaching though…
Now clearly you can tell that this is written about a “sermon” from my church, but even if you don’t go to church or even believe in God, the concepts expressed here I really do believe are really worthwhile for you to read too… you probably just won’t buy into the whole TITHE thing (which a few years ago sounded like quite an insane idea to us when we first heard it…).
Alright. Steve mentioned a few things that prevent us from “building a tower” with regards to our finances (read more in Luke 14:28-30):
- lack of effort (read more in Proverbs 28:19)
- our consumptive lifestyles (read more in Proverbs 21:20) – we’re just spending too much!
- lack of a financial plan (read more in Proverbs 21:5)
I got to say that item 3 is the challenge for us … but he had one that sure seems simple that we hadn’t heard of before – the 10-10-80 plan (read more here or here or here). I guess we kind-of already knew this, but the middle 10% I wasn’t really sure about. In case you hadn’t heard of this plan, it’s basically this:
- 10% – give to God (most would read this as a TITHE and that means your church…)
- 10% – give to yourself (well, not really yourself right now but that future self – meaning INVEST it dummy)
- 80% – live joyfully on the rest!
That living on 80% can be hard… He then went into some practical suggestions for doing it:
- make the decision to stop the bleeding (stop whatever financial choices you have been making that are making it worse – credit cards tend to be it)
- learn to live on less (who said you really need new fill-in-the-blank? maybe for you it’s a car, maybe clothes, maybe going out to eat, maybe a house… to heck with what everyone else thinks you need!)
- or at least wait til it’s on sale (or clearance or at Goodwill or through Richmond Freecycle…)
- track your spending for a month with a daily spending record (to actually see where your money is going… statistics say that you should be able to clear out 15-20% when you identify what you probably don’t need…)
I have to say that for us, we have a bunch of the plan somewhat in place, but really need to shore it up for everything. Not 9% here, or 8% there – but the full 10%. I’ve written before on this topic (Money & Me), and apparently I hadn’t written much about a book given to us from my brother and his wife called Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. We’re almost through paying off all our debt (well except for the house), and due to that we really aren’t doing anything for the investing, but when we get there we currently plan on going to the 10% investing, and probably setting aside some of that 80% toward the house to pay it off early.
How about you? If you care to comment, where do you stand with your money? Any plans? What are your struggles?