Funding Strategies for Christian Education
The education and spiritual development of our children is one of the greatest investments we will ever make. One wise mother described her children as little disciples for whom she and her husband were responsible to disciple for Christ. With this in mind we should prayerfully consider schooling options for our children’s education. Nothing can replace parental teaching and modelling of faith in the family, however enabling your children to attend a school that supports the Christian values of the home is a great option. “If only we could afford it,” may be your response.
Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
The foundation of investing in your children’s Christian education is well managed finances. We often hear the ten percent tithe spoken about from the pulpit, but God is interested in how we use all the resources he has given us. We are commanded to be good stewards of 100% of our money, not just ten percent. Therefore every spending decision is a spiritual decision and investing in education is no different. Having an attitude that says, “This is God’s money and I am the steward or manager” should guide our decisions.
“If you have not been faithful with the use of worldly wealth, who will not entrust the true riches to you,” Luke 16:11.
Get Out of Debt
The best thing you can do to provide your children with a Christian Education is to get out of debt and set aside money in an emergency fund. You can’t save or invest in the future of your children, while carrying the heavy burden of consumer debt. Credit card debt, personal loans and car loans all charge exorbitant interest. Paying cash for purchases instead of using debt will save the average family hundreds of dollars in interest payments. Reducing debt and having an emergency fund will plug the leakage of funds going to unnecessary interest payments and place a buffer between you and Murphy. Yes, Murphy’s Law is part of life and when life does happen, an emergency fund of three-six months living expenses will ensure you don’t have to go into debt to get through it.
There are many great Christian finance resources available, including my interactive website MasterMyMoney.com.au.
Education Vs Bricks and Mortar Vs New Cars
Once you are free from consumer debt and have saved three to six months living expenses, begin saving for major purchases such as Christian education. Make education a priority in your saving strategy.
How much to save for each major purchase depends on your circumstances. But here’s the deal. If you have no consumer debt and either affordable or no mortgage payments (you have a fully paid for home) you are in a very good position. You have the potential to have enough surplus cash to pay for Christian Education from your regular monthly income.
Act Your Wage
Regardless of your stage on the financial journey, the key to achieving your goals, including paying for Christian education, is to spend less than you earn and save the difference. Significant changes to your finances can be made to enable you to achieve your goals such as selling the second car, moving to a cheaper home or renting. However, small savings can add up to big savings over a year.
Another approach is to seek out scholarships that are available. Many schools offer scholarships for academic, music and sporting excellence and sometimes scholarships are offered to underprivileged families as well. Do your research when selecting the school, inquire about scholarships and other support that is available and you could save yourself thousands of dollars.
When you have reduced your expenses, paid off your consumer debt and prioritised your spending, you could consider increasing your income. The ways to do this are only limited by your creativity. There are many and varied opportunities to increase your family income that can work around the needs of the family, many can be done from home. Tutoring, newsletter publishing and providing administration support are some examples, just to name a few. Focus on what you enjoy and are passionate about and you never know where it could lead.
Invest prayerfully in your children’s Christian education and make it possible by being a good steward of the resources God has given you.
by Gavin Martin –Financial Planner | www.cornerstonewealth.com.au