Better Manhood Skills: Money Management

My current series about creating a roadmap for better manhood continues by expanding on my last post, First, Manage Yourself Well. In that post, I explained that learning to manage oneself well was an important first step toward becoming a man. While the skills men need have changed over time, there are some hard skills all men need. Since just about everything in life these days revolves around money, mastering some basic financial skills is very important. Money is not the “be all, end all,” but managing your finances well is critical since it reflects your priorities and how you show up as a mature man in this world. 

The Early Road to a Better Manhood 

As I’ve suggested in other posts in the series, this roadmap begins with A Man’s Identity; knowing who he is as a man, and knowing that he is a child of God with a Purpose as a Man that is important. In other posts, I stated his identity and purpose are shaped by his Worldview, which shapes how he uses his Masculinity Properly to fulfill his responsibilities as a mature and proper man. This maturity comes when a young male learns to manage himself well and develop personal disciplines such for: 

  • Setting Goals
  • Creating Good Habits
  • Learning to Prioritize
  • Developing Self-Discipline
  • Seeking Constructive Feedback
  • Learnings from Mistakes
  • Becoming Self-Aware

These disciplines apply to every skill that will follow in the part of the series; in how he manages his money and time, in his personal grooming habits, and in how he organizes his life and belongings. These apply to how he manages his behavior and communication, his education and employment, and his transportation needs. They help him navigate his relationships and domestic life (household). These disciplines help him with problem-solving/decision-making and planning/goal-setting. They help him move from building successes in his life and career as moves toward a life of significance. They help him finish strong and leave behind a legacy in which his family and friends speak highly of him after he dies. These disciplines strengthen the skills young males need to become better men.

Let’s begin with the first of the skills a young man needs on the road to manhood: managing his money. 

Basic Money Skills

As a young man moves into manhood, he changes from being a consumer to being a producer. This means he shifts his focus from simply consuming goods and services, to actively creating and producing them. He develops a strong work ethic that helps him develop skills and attitudes that lead to personal and professional success. As he matures, he learns to take initiative, be creative, and manage his spending and savings. He advances in his career to maximize his earning potential. He learns to take calculated risks with his finances. Mature men become good stewards of their resources.

Here are some key components of caring for your financial well-being:

  1. Budgeting: Create a budget to track your income and expenses. A budget helps you understand where your money is going and allows you to allocate funds for essential expenses, savings, and discretionary spending.
  2. Saving and Investing: Save a portion of your income regularly to build an emergency fund and save for future goals such as retirement, homeownership, education, or travel. Consider investing to grow your wealth over time.
  3. Debt Management: If you have debt, develop a plan to manage and reduce it. Prioritize high-interest debts and consider strategies like debt consolidation or refinancing to lower interest rates.
  4. Financial Education: Continuously educate yourself about personal finance concepts, including investments, taxes, and retirement planning. Knowledge empowers you to make informed financial decisions.
  5. Emergency Planning: Prepare for unexpected financial setbacks by having an emergency fund in place. This fund can cover unexpected expenses like medical bills, car repairs, or job loss without disrupting your long-term financial goals.
  6. Retirement Planning: Plan for your retirement by contributing to retirement accounts like 401(k)s or IRAs. Understand your retirement goals and assess how much you need to save to achieve them comfortably.
  7. Insurance: Ensure you have appropriate insurance coverage, including health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, and property insurance. Insurance provides protection against unexpected financial burdens.
  8. Estate Planning: Consider creating a will, naming beneficiaries on financial accounts, and establishing powers of attorney and advance healthcare directives to protect your assets and provide for loved ones in case of incapacity or death.
  9. Tax Management: Understand the tax implications of your financial decisions and explore strategies to minimize your tax liability legally.
  10. Financial Goals: Set specific, achievable financial goals and create a plan to work toward them. Your goals can include short-term objectives like paying off debt and long-term objectives like retirement.

Caring for your financial well-being is not only about accumulating wealth but also about achieving financial peace of mind and security. It involves making mindful choices, living within your means, and having a financial plan that aligns with your life goals and values. It requires regularly reviewing your financial situation and adjusting your financial plan as needed. Life circumstances change, so your financial plan should adapt accordingly. You may need to seek professional help by consulting with financial advisors, accountants, or estate planning professionals for complex financial decisions or managing large sums of money. All will help you build a solid financial foundation and work toward a more financially secure future.

Educate Yourself About Money

Today, there are a variety of ways to educate yourself about money management and financial well-being. Understand how to create a budget and track expenses to truly understand their spending habits. Learn to manage debt and build short-term savings to avoid unexpected financial emergencies. Grasp the basic investing concepts of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to help build long-term wealth. 

There are numerous books, articles, podcasts, blogs, and financial tools on personal finance and investing. Attend seminars and workshops, take online or in-person courses, or seek advice from financial experts. Start slow but be a continual learner.

Recommendations

Personally, I found Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University one of the most helpful for money management courses since it dispels many of the myths about credit cards and FICO scores (a rating of your creditworthiness), and how to avoid debt. It also provides some tools for budgeting and investing that every person, young or old, can use. I’ve taken Dave Ramsey’s course a few times and wish I would have been more serious about my money when I was younger. 

I’ve also used several software tools such as Quicken and Microsoft Money to track my expenses over the years. More recent tools like Mint, NerdWallet, LearnVest, Birdy, and DailyWorth are becoming more widely used. Some people still use the old envelope method for managing cash outlays. Try some of these methods to see which fits your style best. But start building financial discipline early by tracking your expenses and use this simple reminder: Save more than you spend!  

As you get older and accumulate more wealth, consider using a financial advisor for guidance on investing, college tuition planning, insurance protection, and retirement planning. Advisors act as personal financial mentors, offering tailored plans for your future and helping with big financial decisions. They can also guide you on the risks and rewards of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and crypto assets. 

Is Money Your #1 Priority?

Let’s next consider an important concept about money.

As I stated previously, a man’s worldview influences his views of money and how he uses it. For many, accumulating as much money as possible is their primary driver. However, how you spend your money actually reflects what is most important in your life. It reflects your priorities. 

Let me explain.

One retreat I attended poses three crucial questions to ask yourself when it comes to identifying your priorities:

  • What do you think about?
  • How do you use your money?
  • What do you do with your time?

These important questions reflect your priorities. Do you think about how to make money all the time? If so, take a quick inventory of your “stuff.”  Review the last 30 checks you have written. What priorities do those reflect? Pay attention to how much you think about money and where you spend it. Where you spend your time and money shows what’s most important to you.

I wrote a post previous to this series about Re-Prioritizing My Priorities since I need to make an adjustment. I now believe that keeping your priorities in order is one of the biggest Challenges Men Face. When a man’s priorities are out of whack  –especially with how he spends his money, his life may not go as well. But managing your finances well is critical to proper manhood.

Small GB logo

GodBuddy Focus

Although everyone should learn to manage their money well, mature men with a biblical view of money think differently about their finances. They know that Scripture teaches that money itself is not evil, but that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. In fact, the Bible contains more than 2,000 verses about money. It teaches that we cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24) and that we should not wear ourselves out trying to get rich (Proverbs 23:4-5). It also teaches that whoever loves money will never have enough (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Godly men keep money from becoming their main priority.

Scripture also teaches that money is a gift from God and is to be used wisely and for His purposes. The Bible encourages us to be good stewards of our finances, avoid greed and materialism, and give generously to those in need. We are encouraged to “store up treasures in heaven” (Matthew 19:21-26) by investing in our relationships and spreading the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Godly men know that wealth and possessions are temporary and meaningless in light of eternity. 

For discussion:

  • How well do you manage your money? In what areas do you need improvement: budgeting and tracking expenses? Building an emergency fund? Retirement savings? Investments? 
  • Has your priority become making as much money as possible? Or do you trust that God will provide and take care of all your needs? 
  • Who can help you develop goals to build financial stability? Who can teach you about biblical stewardship? 

Leave your comments below about this topic. Forward this post to someone else and get together with them to discuss the topic. Make sure you read my next post in this series in two weeks. 

[Feature Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash]

Print
Email
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Wisdom for Men

Great Friendships Require Trust and Confidentiality

This quote from Scottish author, poet, minister, and pioneer of modern fantasy literature, George MacDonald (1824-1905) reminds us about an important aspect of all relationships: trust. In many ways, trust is key to any meaningful or serious relationship — whether it’s in marriage, a close friendship, or even a professional

Read More »
Basic Training

Missing My GodBuddy

Today is the 10th anniversary of the unexpected passing of one of my earliest GodBuddies, Christopher J. Davolos, who died on April 1, 2014, after exercising during his lunch break at work. Chris’ influence on me and his friendship embodied the GodBuddy concept, which is why my website is dedicated

Read More »
Basic Training

Rich’s C21 Magazine Article

I’m excited to hit a new milestone in my emerging writing career. I probably should have posted earlier that my article about the friendship between President Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil appeared in C21 Resources, a magazine from Boston College. It’s a humbling accomplishment to get published by this prestigious

Read More »