“Finances,” Finances (2020)
The First Presidency has taught: “We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. … If you have paid your debts and have a financial reserve, even though it be small, you and your family will feel more secure and enjoy greater peace in your hearts” (All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances ).
All members have the responsibility to provide for their own needs to the extent possible. Within families, the responsibility to manage family finances should be shared between husband and wife with an attitude of trust and openness. Members may experience financial troubles due to unemployment, overspending, unexpected emergencies, or mismanagement of finances. To achieve financial stability, it is essential that they pay an honest tithing, live within their means, save for unexpected expenses, and avoid debt.
To manage finances well, members should establish a budget and set financial goals. They should work hard, be frugal, and save. It is also important to obtain as much education as possible.
There are times when even after members’ best efforts to pay tithing, live within their means, save, and avoid debt, they have financial challenges. Members should do all that they can to be honest, work hard, strive to provide for themselves, and make sacrifices. When all efforts have been made, there should not be shame in seeking help from others.
Establishing a Budget
To better manage their finances, members could keep a record of their expenditures. They could record and review monthly income and expenses and then determine how to reduce what they spend for nonessentials. This information could be used to establish a budget. They could then plan what they will give as tithing and other Church donations, how much they will save, and what they will spend for such things as food, housing, utilities, transportation, and clothing.
To be financially secure, it is essential that members spend less money than they make. They should avoid debt, with the exception of buying a modest home or paying for education or other vital needs. If they are in debt, they should pay it off as quickly as possible.
Paying Tithing and Fast Offerings
Successful management of finances begins with the payment of an honest tithe and the giving of a generous fast offering. The Lord has promised to open the windows of heaven and pour out great blessings upon those who pay tithes and offerings faithfully (see Isaiah 58:6–12; Malachi 3:10–11).
If we pay our tithing and offerings first, our commitment to this important gospel principle will be strengthened and the likelihood of financial mismanagement will be reduced.
Here are some financial calculators that could help members become more financially secure:
“Finances” (Gospel Topics)
“Debt” (Topical Guide)
“Family, Managing Finances in” (Topical Guide)
“Money” (Guide to the Scriptures)
“Tithes, Tithing” (Guide to the Scriptures)