08 Aug 14 Ways to Manage Money as a Christian Entrepreneur
14 Ways to Manage Money as a Christian Entrepreneur
We all have to manage money as Christian Entrepreneurs, but there is a variety of ways and schools of thought. When I started my Christian coaching business online nearly ten years ago, I used my personal checking account for my house and for my business expenses. I never saw a problem with this until the lines started to blur. I started making more money in my coaching business, and it became time for taxes, and I knew I could not operate like this any longer.
I treated my bank account as if whatever money that came into the business belonged to me. When the reality is I made God my CEO, and the money I made Christian coaching is all his anyway.
I thought, “well I’m the business owner, and I’m using this money for business and my family, so I don’t get what the big deal is? If God leads/tells me to give I give, and I’m obedient with the money I have.”
When I first started out what I would do is allow any sales to go right into my personal checking. If I had a business expense, It got paid from this account. If I wanted pizza or junk food for lunch, it got paid from this account. If I wanted to go out and do something fun, it got paid from this account. If I wanted to give to the church or a charity, it got paid from this account.
“Coach Ron, what the big deal about this? I’m doing this, and everything is fine.”
Imagine for a moment you are the owner of a convenience store and have customers coming in and out throughout the day. Now, you send out payroll like clockwork every 1st and 15th of the month. But after every sale you notice your store manager putting 1 dollar aside in a jar.
When you approach the manager to ask why he is doing this?
The manager states, “Well, I’m the manager of this business, and I steward the resources. As a manager, I thought I should have a steak for lunch, so this jar is going towards my steak.”
What about the paycheck I give you regularly?
What about your budget?
What about that money going into the business’s cash register?
“Yea boss, I know about all that but… I’m just going to do it this way.”
What would you do if this manager worked for you?
See how you feel a bit different when the roles are changed?
The reality is when we do this we are stealing from God. I was stealing from God by treating money this way. The truth is that God is one of order, not legalism or religiosity, but one of order.
Now there is a difference between the business buying you and a guest coffee or lunch for a business meeting and using the business bank account as a personal piggy bank.
There are multiple reasons why you want to have separate bank accounts for business and personal. Here is one principle that Jesus shares with us about money from Mark 12 …
13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. Why are you trying to trap me? he asked. Bring me a denarius and let me look at it. 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, Whose image is this? And whose inscription?
Caesar’s, they replied.
17 Then Jesus said to them, Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.
And they were amazed at him. – Mark 12:13-17
Having a separate bank account for business and personal makes everything a lot easier when it comes time for taxes, payroll, and myriad other scenarios.
“But Coach Ron! This Financial stuff and management is too hard!”
Not a problem. What I suggest is using something easy and not complicated for your business bookkeeping like Wave Financial. Wave allows you to do invoicing, process one-time and recurring orders, run payroll, and with one click create all of the financial documents that your business needs for accounting and taxes.
We often pray for solutions, and God loves us so much that he shows us things that will provide order, structure, and a solid foundation to build upon. The problem is that we often don’t see this as Him answering the prayers because our hope is in the manifestation of the blessing or end result. God leads us from glory to glory or step to step, and we need to take action and be obedient with the little things first. He is a good father, but we have to trust in the small seemingly insignificant steps in order to be trusted to take bigger steps.
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. – Mathew 7:24-27
Sometimes God hasn’t brought the increase or the blessing because the breakthrough might break you.
If you prepare first and build your house upon the rock, you will be able to carry and sustain the blessing and answers to prayer.
7 Steps on How to Put Your Business Financial House in Order
- Repent – put God and his finances back in the proper place and order in His house. I had to repent of idolatry and how I stewarded finances. Do what God leads you to do in this repentance. It may just be the prayer. I personally gave a substantial sum back to the Lord that I felt represented all I had squandered and mismanaged over the years.
- Get Incorporated – Get your Business Incorporated if not already. Get an EIN number, which is like a social security number for your business when you register with your state. This serves as asset protection, tax benefits, protects you, adds legitimacy, easier to raise capital, can sell or transfer ownership easier and it opens up a world of opportunities.
- Open a Business Checking and Savings Account – You need to get incorporated in order to do this first and bring those documents to your local bank to open the account. You can do this at just about any bank. Most will want you to have a minimum balance or a minimum number of transactions; avoid high barriers and shop around if you’re starting out. I would also add your spouse as the beneficiaries to all your accounts. Savings Account – I use this to save for taxes, upcoming expenses, and advertising dollars. I suggest opening it at the same place you have a business checking account.
- (Optional) Open a Business Credit Card – I use this for all of my expenses because it allows me more time and flexibility; using credit is my personal choice. Don’t spend what you can’t afford. I also suggest opening it at the same place you have your business accounts. You can probably get better terms and benefits with other cards, but I like the convenience of seeing and doing everything from one online banking dashboard.
- Accounting and Book Keeping – Use Wave Financial or Quickbooks to track, manage, and steward your finances. The Bible tells us to “count the cost.” Once a week you should have a pulse on where your business’s finances are at.
- Consistent Pay – 1-2 per month pay yourself by transferring money from your business account to your personal account or writing yourself a check from the business account. I suggest paying yourself a consistent monthly salary. You can plan accordingly for this by putting additional profits in savings. Paying yourself consistently as an entrepreneur helps with your credit should you need a personal or business loan in the future.
- Tithe or Give – People get bent out of shape on whether the tithe is for today or not. The reality is the new testament believers were much more radical than a 10% tithe and sold all they had in the book of Acts.
If you’re on this blog, Your heart is to advance the Gospel. We suggest you Find a full gospel church, gospel advancing or evangelistic ministry, or missionary that God wants you to support with your business. We often say we want to build the kingdom of God through business but then have no record or intention of giving into the Kingdom. My family personally tithes from the paycheck the business pays us, and the business itself has also partnered financially with several ministries.
7 Steps on How to Put your Personal Finances in Order
Here is what I suggest for your personal money management to bring peace, order, and structure. If you don’t have these things in place yet or still paying off debt just make it a goal for your household.
- Weekly Family Meeting – Have a weekly budget and logistics meeting for your home. I personally don’t look forward to this, but I always feel better afterward. This should be no longer than 15 – 20 minutes at the max where you go over your upcoming week’s events and do some financial check-in.
This is NOT a time to review everyone’s transaction history and make anyone feel bad. It’s time to check in to see if we are staying on budget and meeting our goals. This is the place more often than not where emotions and issues come up. If you commit to inviting God into the process, it will be easier.
- Have a Household Budget – We use an app called EveryDollar.com All of your money should be accounted for. If this brings up stress or anxiety for you, that is a great opportunity to press into the lord to ask for help. There is a mobile app version we find useful. You can also start with this PDF quick_start_budget
- Have one Personal Checking Account – We suggest husband and wife have one account and have two separate debit cards, and use budgets. (His and Her spending categories for whatever)
- Have at least one Personal Savings – This account should have six months of monthly income. This is how you plan and prepare for the future and the unknown. This is a goal if you currently don’t have this in place yet. This is something you tap into in the event of job or business loss.
- Emergency Fund – $1,000 – 4,000 in a savings account should there be an emergency like the car breaking down, or the pipes burst, or whatever happens. You have built up an emergency fund, so you are also able to walk in peace because of the biblical wisdom you took to prepare in advance.
- Savings, Retirement, and Investments – Another portion of your personal income should be allocated to fortifying your and your family’s future. As your business grows, you can invest in other stable wealth-building vehicles like real estate and commodities.
- Create a Will and Legacy Drawer – Even if you’re not a super wealthy person everyone needs to have a will and end-of-life instructions for those that love them. A legacy drawer can be an actual drawer or a file that has things like power of attorney, bank account numbers and logins, apple id, passwords, medical directives, TODs, and other important things for you and your family. This is obviously not for now but for the future.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5
What if God simply hasn’t blessed us because we haven’t taken the time to learn how to intentional steward money? He won’t bless me so I can squander and not represent His Kingdom! Have I ever intentionally studied it, not so I could make more of it, but so I could understand how to use the tool of money?
What if our hearts are not right about money and God being our CEO? What if our perspective on God and money are totally off and we are not even aware of it?
What if God has been waiting on me to demonstrate stewardship? Jesus tells us the key in the parable of the shrewd manager:
Whoever is faithful with very little will also be faithful with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been faithful with worldly wealth, who will entrust you with true riches? And if you have not been faithful with the belongings of another, who will give you belongings of your own? – Luke 16: 10-12
Jesus is talking about money/mammon and the spiritual things of the kingdom of God (true riches). Again, our God is one of order. He loves us so much that he won’t necessarily bring blessings and increases that will hurt you.
Fortify your family and the fields the Lord has called you to be in by putting order and structure into your finances. By the way, this is just level 1 of putting your financial house in order. If you want to learn more about making God your CEO, Money & Profit truths for Christians, and having a holy spirit-led business, check out our Foundational Course – Glorify God in Business Workshop.
God loves you and desires for you to succeed, but not at the cost of your soul, your family, or your health.
Be Blessed Believer!
Rev. Ron Gelok III, MBA
P.S. Want to make God your CEO and start or re-start things off on a solid foundation? Build Your Business house upon the Rock? For those Who are Serious about Kingdom Business Learn More Here