“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).
Every family has the responsibility to provide for its own needs to the extent possible. The responsibility to manage family finances should be shared between husband and wife with an attitude of trust and openness. Wise financial management can provide security and promote family well-being. Members may experience financial troubles due to unemployment, overspending, unexpected emergencies, or mismanagement of finances. Paying an honest tithing, living within your means, saving for unexpected expenses, and avoiding debt are essential parts of financial stability.
Keep a record of your expenditures. Record and review monthly income and expenses. Determine how to reduce what you spend for nonessentials.
Use this information to establish a family budget. Plan what you will give as Church donations, how much you will save, and what you will spend for food, housing, utilities, transportation, and clothing.
Take the Personal Finances for Self-Reliance course.
Spending less money than you make is essential to your financial security. Avoid debt, with the exception of buying a modest home or paying for education or other vital needs. If you are in debt, pay it off as quickly as possible.
Successful family finances begin 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).
If our tithing and offerings are the first obligations met, our commitment to this important gospel principle will be strengthened and the likelihood of financial mismanagement will be reduced.
Teach family members the principles of financial management. Involve them in creating a budget and setting family financial goals. Teach the principles of hard work, frugality, and saving. Stress the importance of obtaining as much education as possible.
“Purposes of Church Welfare,” Handbook 2, 6.1
“Power Tools for Family Finances,” Ensign, June 2009
Allie Schulte, “Focus on Family Finances,” Ensign, June 2009
Kay Przybille, “Stretching Your Dollars,” Ensign, June 2009
Marvin J. Ashton, “Guide to Family Finance,” Ensign, April 2000
“Family Finances—Part 1,” Gospel Solutions for Families, episode 77
“Family Finances—Part 2,” Gospel Solutions for Families, episode 78