Lesson 5

Saving and Planning

With saving, you can be:


There are many benefits to being rich in time:

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Saving for retirement relatively cheap.
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Pay for your kids college easier.
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Take care of your future self very well.
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Eighth Wonder Video

Rich in Time


Tiffany is a 55-year worker who would like to retire in 10 years. She has $500,000 saved up.

She is relatively rich in assets, but is poor in time.


Monique is a 22-year college graduate with no money.

Although she is poor in assets, she is rich in time.

Upon retirement at age 65, who will have a higher balance? Assume each person contributes $250 per month, earning a 10% average annual return.

TIFFANY:  $1,404,732

MONIQUE: $2,141,948

Monique is almost double Tiffany’s balance!

Being rich in time is very powerful.


Eighth Wonder of World

Being rich in time means you are able to take advantage of compounding interest.

Compounding interest = interest earning interest.

Compounding interest is the eighth wonder of the world

Albert Einstein

Why did he say this?

Compounding interest grows exponentially, not in a straight line (i.e., simple interest).

This is incredibly powerful.

What else grows exponentially?

Cell growth of a baby in the womb.
Covid-19 started with 10 individuals and within a few months touched billions.
12 disciples became millions of Christian

An exponential function is not impressive in the beginning, but becomes very impressive if you just give it a little time.

Use Compounding to Achieve Goals

Being rich in time means you can take full advantage of compounding interest.

Compounding interest is a powerful tool for achieving goals.

It is often the only way for people to achieve big saving goals.


Build reserve for elder years of $1,500,000 in 30 years, earning 10% per year.

  • Save per month without compounding: $3,750
  • Save per month with compounding: $664


Build a $1,000,000 inheritance in 25 years, earning 10% per year.

  • Save per month without compounding: $3,000
  • Save per month with compounding: $754

Roth IRA

When saving over a long period of time, a Roth IRA is a good vehicle to hold your savings.


  • The primary reason: grows tax-free, which will steepen the exponential growth of your account balance.
  • Also: Roth IRAs are taxed now and then not ever again. Traditional IRAs are not taxed until the money is taken out. Students have very low tax rates now, so it is best to get taxed now on contributions at a very low rate, and then not have to worry about getting taxed later at higher rates.

Heavenly Compounding

Because compounding interest is so powerful, should we all focus on growing money, and giving the larger amount at the end?

While compounding interest is powerful, there is actually another process that is 100,000 times more powerful:

“Your Majesty looked, and…while you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands….It struck the statue and became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:31-35, NIV

Save Today

To take advantage of exponential growth of interest

Give Today

To take advantage of the exponential growth of the Kingdom

How do you choose between saving and giving? We will work through this in Lesson 13.

The steps leading to investing


Eliminate high interest and short-term debt 

  • Stuck in the mud until you do this
  • Risk-free, high-returning investment


Create emergency fund 

  • Avoid future debt


Major purchases

  • Irresponsible to invest in risky ventures when you know you need to buy things that are required for your daily living. 
  • Pay for cars with cash. Rarely a good idea to lease a car. *

*While a car lease is convenient, there are several reasons to avoid them:

  • It’s a wreck if you wreck it, or it’s stolen.
  • Best deals mean limits on how much you drive every year (i.e., 12,000 miles).
  • Damage fees get very expensive and are very stressful.
  • Interest charges add up, and are usually hidden.
  • Hard to cancel without harmful consequences when life turns sideways.
  • Requires good credit.
  • Lots of fees.
  • If you lose your income, you lose your car the moment you need to use it to find a new job.


Meet Long-term Family Goals

  • Save to replace lost income during elder years.
  • Purchase a home.
  • College education.
  • Launch business.
  • Change lifestyle.


Experienced, Active Risk Taking

  • New business investing.
  • Real estate investing.
  • Gold, silver, collectible investing (including Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs))
  • Currency and blockchain investing.*

*Bitcoin should only be considered if Levels 1-4 are taken care of. Once you are at Level 5, there are many concerns about investing in Bitcoin (or other Blockchain currencies):

Spiritual Concerns:

  • Are you content with God’s provision for you? If not, then by pursuing a highly risky venture, you may be chasing after wealth. Chasing after wealth is a timeless trap. 
“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:9, NIV

Emotional concerns:

  • Psychologically, gaining easy money is one of the worst things that can happen to you. You may change as a person if you get easy money.
  • It lays the seeds for future gambling addiction and discontentment.
  • There is no cure for gambling addiction. It has been called the #1 hardest addiction to overcome.

Practical Concerns:

  • Unregulated (many powerful players can steal, cheat, and manipulate the system, and that may cost you a lot of money).
  • Risks unknown.
  • Must be approved by power institutions to truly be legitimate.
  • Hurts the environment.
  • Primary currency of child sex trafficking, terrorists, and drug lords.
  • Highly complex storage requirements.
  • Not a good barter option during plague/war/famine – gold would be better.

Redemptive Investing

Like all oil and gas companies, Sinopec’s business model is to extract oil from the ground and then sell it to the highest bidder. During the mid-2000s, Sinopec paid the Sudanese government large sums of money to drill oil in their country.

The Islamic-run Sudanese government then used this money to fund a campaign to cleanse the country of South-Sudan Christians, using their hired assassins, the Janjaweed.


  • Assume you just learned about what is going on in Sudan, and you own just a few shares in Sinopec, which of the following actions would you do: (1) or (2)?
    1. Continue hold the shares – you are not responsible, nor causing, the actions of Sudan.
    2. As partial-owner of company, request that management stop drilling in Sudan until the ethnic cleaning stops. If management does not comply then sell your shares.

Limited Liability Company

  • Built into the fabric of a limited liability corporation is an accountability system where management is meant to consistently look up at the face of their shareholders, whose interests they have been hired to represent.
  • Managers take seriously the interests of shareholders. Shareholders are given the voting power to determine the board of directors, who then have the power to fire them for not representing shareholder interests.
“Inasmuch as the corporation acts on the investor’s behalf, the investor is a co-author of the wrongful act, and therefore morally co-responsible for it.”

Christian Shareholder

  • A Christian can never be a true owner.
  • God is the ultimate shareholder whose interests we are seeking to represent as vice-regent (Genesis 1).
“We need to look up at the face of the ultimate Owner of all capital, and see if we are representing His interests.”

Activity: Take Advantage of Compounding Interest with Roth IRA

Complete Activity on PDF Worksheet (High School)

Open Account

Open an account and contribute a small amount into it. Only consider regularly contributing into this type of account if you:

  • Have no consumer debt.
  • Have an emergency fund built up.
  • Have enough cash savings to replace your car, computer, and clothing (in order to avoid future consumer debt).

Remember that any money in a Roth IRA is not meant to be accessed until your elder years. Penalties and extra taxes may apply if you try and take the money out prior to age 59.

Elder years reservoir

Your elder years is a predictable time where you will have lost income that will need to be replaced.

STEPS for Calculating Savings needed for Elder Years Reservoir:

(1) Find expected salary:

(2) Use retirement calculator:


Annual amount to save for elder years reservoir:


Surrender Savings

Look at any savings balance once-a-month and declare to Him that this money is His, for His purposes, and that you do not want to miss out on being a character in the story of God’s Kingdom coming to earth, whether that means keeping the money until later, or surrendering it to His purposes today.


Go to:

  • Look up the following companies:
Company Violations
Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) Abortion, LGBT
MGM Resorts (MGM) Gambling, LGBT
Estee Lauder (EL) Abortion, LGBT
Netflix (NFLX) Pornography, LGBT
  • A mutual fund is a pool of money given to one portfolio manager who will buy lots of stocks together.
  • Look up the most popular mutual fund, the S&P 500 Index, which is the top 500 companies in the U.S. (search ‘VOO’).

Buy shares

Buy individual stocks whose products help to restore our broken culture in a Jesus-honoring way.


  • Brown’s Super Stores sells suburban quality food in poor “food desert” neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
  • Vinte Viviendas: works to ensure that low and middle-income families in Mexico have access to affordable housing.

Better to diversify through buying BRI mutual fund shares, which tends to have hundreds of stocks in one product.

Buy ETF shares


A Financial Plan

The idea of establishing goals, is encouraged in both our culture and the Bible:

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”
– Lawrence J. Peter

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
– Bill Copeland

“The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
– Michelangelo

“If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.”
– Zig Ziglar

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
– Proverbs 16:3

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
– Proverbs 21:5


The three primary elements of our financial plan are going to be expenses related to:




These are three good things. How do we choose between three good things?

A priority gives clarity. Without a priority, then the plan is mostly chaotic, and usually what you most want is not achieved.

Jar of rocks


Imagine you have 2 big rocks the size of an iPhone, and 5 smaller rocks the size of a golf ball. The big rocks represent your very important life goals, such as abiding in Christ and physical health. The small rocks represent other good goals but mean less to you, such as good grades, a nice car, and living by the beach.
Your goal is to fit as much as you can into a glass jar. If you put the 5 smaller rocks into the jar first, you will not have room for the 2 big rocks. If you put the 2 big rocks in first, then you will then be able to fit many of the 5 smaller rocks in.
Prioritizing the big rocks first allows the greatest number of rocks to fit in the glass jar.

When it comes to the choice between spending on giving, lifestyle, or saving, what is your big rock, making the other two elements your smaller rocks?

Make sure and put the big rock in first, and then figure out how the other two rocks will fit around your highest priority.

The Bible would argue that your big rock should be giving since we are already rich in it and it unleashes God’s glory and is an avenue for us experiencing the grace of Jesus Christ

Sea of Galilee Priority

Dead Sea Priority

Badwater Sea Priority

Activity: Your Sea of Galilee Plan

Complete Activity on PDF Worksheet (High School)

Inter-Personal Plan

In this lesson, you will be creating your own Sea of Galilee financial plan. This financial plan will be “inter-personal” instead of “personal” since there is nothing personal about our money lives.

“We will never not need God and one another. Our telos is community, not self-sufficiency. It’s a feast, a life together.”
– Tish Harrison Warren.

Use PDF worksheet to fill-in plan below.

In 10 years from now, how would you want your plan to look different? How would be ideal percentages for a couple who are passionate followers of Jesus Christ?

What are the steps that you need to take in order to go from your first plan to your ideal plan 10 years from now?

  1. ________________________________
  2. ________________________________
  3. ________________________________
  4. ________________________________
  5. ________________________________


As you list your steps, make sure they are SMART.


      Earn a 3.5 GPA,  NOT “do awesome in school” 


      Spend 1 hour per week tracking my expenses,  NOT “become wise with money” 


      Save $15 per month for emergency fund, NOT “save $30,000 per month for retirement” 


      Completely pay off college debt by age 27, NOT “lose 50 pounds by end of year” if you aren’t concerned about your weight. 


      save $2,500 by end of 2018 for Euro. vacation, NOT “save for retirement” 


Given your Sea of Galilee plan, please fill out the following 6 questions (1-2 minutes to complete). Your responses are completely anonymous and will be used for academic research purposes. Thank you so much!

Woohoo! You have completed all 5 lessons!