Ways to Save Money

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To live with inflation, you need to have a very realistic view of what you can do with the money you earn.
Concentrate on the things you need, rather than on the things you would like to have but cannot really afford.
Regarding this, read in your Bible the inspired apostle's words at 1 Timothy 6:6-8.
In difficult times, hard measures need to be taken.
And these are difficult times.
It is a time to reassess your resources, time to sit down with your family and list the income you have against your expenses, then discuss how to cut back expenditures.
One immediate step that many people can take is not to add to their debts, unless it is an emergency.
Constantly going into debt keeps a person "in the hole" financially.
And if misfortune strikes and the borrower cannot meet his payments, then the lender takes back his merchandise.
The borrower also loses the money he has already paid.
The inspired advice of Proverbs 22:26, 27 is just as practical today as always: "Do not get to be .
 .
 .
among those who go security for loans.
If you have nothing to pay, why should he take your bed from under you?" While this refers more to a person who countersigns a loan, the principle is still applicable to a person who borrows but is not able to pay back.
Even if a borrower meets all his loan payments regularly, the interest charges are now usually so high that he ends up paying far more for the item than the listed cost.
That is like throwing away good money.
As the Bible says, by paying so much to money lenders, "the borrower is servant to the man doing the lending.
"-Prov.
22:7.
True, not going into debt may mean not buying some of the nice things you desire.
But is that not better than taking on burdens that can easily result in greater troubles? Lowering one's desires, avoiding the snare of materialism, surely makes sense in view of today's high prices and unsettled economic conditions.
"Better is a dry piece of bread with which there is quietness than a house full of the sacrifices of quarreling.
"-Prov.
17:1.
What other immediate steps can be taken to ease the pressures of making a living today? How about examining some areas where you could save money and that would even do you good in other ways at the same time? CUTTING BACK NONESSENTIALS One area where much money can be saved is in recreation, or entertainment.
Today some feel that they are not having recreation unless they spend money to go to movies, theaters, sporting events or to eat out at restaurants.
Yet in the "old days" most families did not have money for such things, and most of today's forms of entertainment were not available to the average person anyhow.
Such forms of recreation, even on an irregular basis, can be very costly now.
Hundreds of dollars can be saved by finding other recreation, such as within the family circle or with friends.
Outings and visits to interesting places can be enjoyable and relatively inexpensive.
Playing games with one's children, or with adults, can be a refreshing break from the pressures of the day.
Get-togethers with friends, without one's spending a lot of money on food or drink, can be pleasurable.
Indeed, when families concentrate on finding ways to enjoy themselves without spending much money, they are often surprised at the good results.
A forgotten form of recreation for most people, but now being enjoyed by a growing number of families, is to read wholesome books and magazines together.
Taking turns reading aloud and commenting on what is said is stimulating and educational.
Another area where great savings can be attained is in weeding out bad habits.
Many people spend large sums of money each year on the tobacco habit-smoking.
Yet, as the Bible indicates and as medical science has verified, smoking is a "defilement of flesh.
" (2 Cor.
7:1) It is costly as well as injurious.
Cutting out something that is so detrimental makes sense anytime, does it not? Also, the overuse of alcoholic beverages can be very costly in both money and health.
While God's Word does not condemn drinking alcoholic beverages, it does counsel moderation.
(Prov.
23:29, 30) The price of such beverages is very high today, so cutting back on these will save money and perhaps one's health too.
The Bible's counsel was echoed recently by a newspaper, written for mine workers in the United States, which gave these suggestions for economizing: "If you like drinks and do it often, drink less.
If you smoke, it's a good time to quit.
" Many people who never gambled before are turning to it.
They think they can make "easy money" this way.
Others gamble to 'get away from their troubles.
' As a newspaper editor in Japan said: "I see people today betting to forget their troubles.
They have no hope of buying a house because of inflation.
They can't plan for the future, so they live for today.
" Yet, the overwhelming majority of gamblers must lose! Losing is built into gambling, because the "house" always makes a profit.
Does this seem like a way to get away from troubles? On the contrary, it usually increases them.
-1 Tim.
6:9.
Of course, much more could be said about saving money in other ways, such as buying cheaper foods but searching for more interesting ways of preparing them.
Some are planting gardens where land is available.
Housewives can save much money by learning how to sew, and by not being overly concerned about keeping up with the latest fashions.
With less concern about such passing matters both women and men could often wear clothing much longer than they do now.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS Will inflation ever end? Will the economic problems of today's world be solved? Of course, with strenuous efforts world leaders can make some progress.
But, at the same time, the situation is as New York magazine describes it: "It seems that this country and the rest of the industrialized world is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and depression.
"We are overextended.
We have borrowed too much from the future in an effort to meet these tremendous expectations of ours.
" While human observers can only guess at the future, there is a truly reliable source of information as to what the near future holds.
That guide to the future is God's Word, the Bible.
Its prophecies for our day already have proved strikingly accurate; so will its prophecies about the future.
-2 Pet.
1:20, 21.
God's prophetic Word reveals that shortly mankind in general will 'reap what has been sown.
' (Gal.
6:7) The entire present system of economic, political and religious rule built on selfishness is about to plunge into the greatest time of trouble ever known in history.
Jesus foretold this for the very near future, saying: "Then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world's beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.
"-Matt.
24:21.
That "great tribulation" will bring this system of things to its finish, cut off by God.
Those who have trusted in human schemes and in the power of money are bound to come to disappointment; according to the principle at Proverbs 11:4: "Valuable things will be of no benefit on the day of fury, but righteousness itself will deliver from death.
" After this coming time of distress God's new order will bring the most peaceful and fruitful age ever experienced by humans.
Under the rule of one government by God, his heavenly kingdom, people on earth will never again have to worry about high prices or shortages.
"A banquet of well-oiled dishes" is what that future holds, and not just for those with a lot of money, but for all mankind living then.
-Isa.
25:6; Ps.
72:16; Matt.
6:9, 10.
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