"Though money is important, we must view its purpose with an eternal perspective," said E. Jeffrey Hill, a BYU professor in the College of Family Life at the campus Devotional on Tuesday. "Money is meant to be a means for serving our families and our God. When consecrated to those purposes, it is of great worth."
However, Hill also said that when money becomes an end unto itself, it derails us from our eternal purposes. Financial struggles can ruin a family, and are often at the heart of martial issues. We must be cautious in our debts, loans and investments and be prepared when finances get tight.
To help set good priorities with money, Hill shared a list of five things to remember in order to live joyfully within your means:
1. Create, use and update a family budget
"Everyone, including you, should have a budget... The most overlooked category in a budget is miscellaneous. Unexpected expenses always come up that don't really fit neatly into your budget categories: a car repair, a root canal or perhaps an engagement ring."
2. Minimize and eventually eliminate debt
"When you are true to a commitment to live debt-free, within your means, you can live joyfully and claim blessings."
3. Invest early, consistently and wisely to build financial reserve
"Albert Einstein is quoted saying, 'Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.' When you consistently invest, you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you will be able to retire in the future and that if an emergency happens now, you have a reserve."
4. Don't do dumb things with your money
"When dealing with money, use your common sense; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is... I recommend you make a policy to never make a major purchase on the spot. Go home, talk about it with your spouse or someone else that you trust, pray about the decision, and decide later whether of not to make the purchase... You can remember this advice with the acronym H.A.L.T.: Don't make major decisions when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired."
5. Be generous and share your resources with others
"I invite you to be thoughtful and prayerful as your find ways to be generous and share your resources with others. I promise that you will feel joy as you do so... When we understand that money matters and take the time to budget, eliminate debt, invest wisely, make smart decisions and share our resources, we receive both material and spiritual blessings."
The next BYU Devotional address will be held on Tuesday, June 23, at 11:05 a.m., in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. Sondra Heaston, associate teaching professor in the BYU College of Nursing.
His remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio.