Financial Stewardship & Budgeting of Money

Did you know there are more verses on handling money than baptism, prayer, faith, and love combined? The scriptures contain 2350 verses on finances, material possessions, and wealth. You must stop and ask yourself why God spends so much time talking about money in the scriptures instead of baptism, prayer, faith, and love? The answer is most likely that we, as believers, struggle a lot with money. Money can quickly become a god in our lives and lead us to idolatry (Matthew 6:24). Consider that money is like God in many ways because it helps us whenever we are sick, helps us to be happy, and helps provide for our needs. We can easily start loving money and seeing it as a god. How do we handle money so that we don’t allow it to become a god? 


One lesson we learn from scripture is that God owns everything in the world since he is the creator (1 Chronicles 29:11, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:9-12). Money is something in the world, and God owns it all (Haggai 2:8). With that in mind, no money you have or will have is yours, but it belongs to God. Since it belongs to God and you possess it, you are a steward of God’s money. You are to take good care of the financial resources he entrusted you with. How best can we be a good steward of God’s money? 

Scripture teaches us that a good steward of money invests it to grow it (Matthew 25:14-30). Someone who hides his wealth because of fear of losing it is an unwise steward, as seen in Matthew 25:14-30. With this in mind, God expects us to invest our money wisely for it to grow. As a point of application, seek out saccos, insurance investments, or start a business. We don’t invest foolishly but through seeking wise counsel in our investments (Proverbs 1:5, 12:15). 

Being Faithful With the Small

We also see stewardship talked about in the parable of the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1-13). Jesus shares this parable to teach us that good stewards of money will use their entrusted wealth to expand his kingdom (Luke 16:9). For example, support missionaries and ministries and tithe to your church. Jesus also teaches that a faithful steward is faithful with both small and large amounts of money (Luke 16:11). Therefore, no matter how much money you have, be faithful with it, and God will then be able to entrust you with more. Start being faithful with the small money you receive from parents, friends, or on the job, and know that God will entrust you with more money. 

The rich man in Matthew 25:14-30 and the master in Luke 16:1-13 demanded that their managers handle their cash well. They both wanted to see a return and that the money was accounted for well. The rich man and the master represent God in these parables. God, as shown in these parables, has absolute power to hold us accountable and has standards of stewardship that must be upheld. We learn from these parables that a good steward will fear God and have a solid accounting for their money because he is someone to fear if you’re not handling his wealth as he demands (Matthew 25:24-30). God is demanding in how we handle money because it belongs to him, and when we are poor stewards of it, we communicate that God is not someone to be feared. By being poor stewards, we also are communicating that money means more to us than God’s approval as a good and faithful servant and entering into his joy (Matthew 25:21, 23). With this in mind, Christians must handle the money God has entrusted to them as faithful stewards; otherwise, it is loving money more than God, which is idolatry (Luke 16:13). How faithful are you in handling the money that God has entrusted to you as a steward?


How should we handle money as faithful stewards according to other biblical principles? Scripture teaches us to budget our money because God is a God of order, not of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33); therefore, we, as his people, should do all things in an orderly manner (1 Corinthians 14:40). We should know where our money is going and plan where it should go. There is a blessing in this because the plans of the diligent lead to advantage (Proverbs 21:5), and budgeting our money can cause it to grow (Proverbs 24:3-4). 

As a point of application, I would advise everyone reading this blog to set up some general guidelines for budgeting your money. For example, budget to give at least 10% to the Lord through a tithe (Malachi 3:16), then save at least another 10% of your money. The money for savings should be built up over time to where you have at least three months of your salary in your bank account for any emergency that might come your way. An emergency will be a medical expense or something tragic that might happen to a needy family member. Please don’t touch your emergency savings unless it is a true emergency. After saving three months of your salary, invest that 10% in a sacco, a business, or some insurance investment. Invest your money into something that will give you a respectable return (Proverbs 21:20, 21:5). 

Another critical thing with budgeting is that, in general, it is unwise to spend more than 30% of your income on housing. There may be some unique circumstances where you are forced to go above 30%, but it is not something that will be able to be sustained moving forward. I also advise you to spend no more than 30% of your monthly budget on food. Many people can budget about 10-20% of their monthly income on food. Another important thing to budget is how much will you send home to support your family. This is a real challenge for many of us to budget money to send upcountry to our family. I would advise that you spend a maximum of 10% of your income on money you send upcountry monthly. There may be some emergency expenses that you must withdraw out of your emergency funds, but don’t get too crazy. There will always be a challenge around the corner that you don’t expect. It is always wise to try to gather other family members to support those in the most need so that you don’t have to carry the burden alone. But even if that is unavailable, you can only give as much as there is available. Don’t, for example, spend all the money you’re using to run your business to pay for a hospital bill for a family member because then you will most likely ruin your business and hurt your family more in the long term. Budgeting is very important for us as believers because it enables us to remain good stewards of God’s money. 

Budgeting for Entertainment 

Another important thing to consider with budgeting is entertainment. I would advise that you spend around 10% of your income on entertainment. Entertainment includes eating at a restaurant, going out with friends, or paying for Netflix. It would be unwise not to enjoy some of the money that God has given you. The Lord does enjoy giving us good gifts (Matthew 7:11). However, we shouldn’t allow our entertainment to become so much that we are not able to afford to tithe or invest money into the kingdom of God (Luke 16:9). If we don’t stay within our budget and waste money on our entertainment then we are loving money and not fearing God (Luke 16:13). 

There is a lot more that we could say about money, and I will address it more in other blogs, but stewardship and budgeting are two things that go together. If we understand the foundational principle that God owns all the money in the world, including ours, then we will be good stewards and budget it well. Do you fear God? If so, then you will make sure to steward his money in ways that are pleasing to him. If you’re struggling with being a good steward, then remember that our God is a God of grace and does not despise those who are broken and contrite in heart (Psalm 51:17). He will also give you the wisdom on how to steward his money in ways that are holy and pleasing if you ask him (James 1:5, Proverbs 2:6).



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