Winter for me is a time of financial reckoning. I get the final tally on what we spent on Christmas – which is always more than we planned. In early January I print my final budget report for the year where I learn afresh how my ‘shoulds’ line up with my ‘dids’. And then I set my new budget ‘shoulds’ in place for the coming year. I start pulling my tax stuff together. And I get that year end statement that tells me how my retirement accounts did.
Ouch. The last one hurts this year. If there’s any truth to the fact that misery loves company, then maybe we all are loving that ‘where did it all go’ feeling. Most of the financial advice out there seems to call us to not panic. Prudent investing looks at things in the long term.
Perhaps at this time of new budgets and economic uncertainty it’s helpful to remind ourselves that the long term for Christians goes well beyond this current economic problems. One of my favorite insights from Randy Alcorn is so helpful as I begin to look at my financial picture for the upcoming year.
Let me assume the role of “eternal financial counselor” and offer this advice: choose your investments carefully; compare their rates of interest; consider their ultimate trustworthiness; and especially compare how they will be working for you a few million years from now. (Randy Alcorn from "Money, Possessions and Eternity" p.134)