On Father’s Day 2019, I received a budgeting kit and letter from my pastor at Heart of God Church, Pastor Tan Seow How (Pastor How). Every year, Pastor How prepares a gift and a letter for young people who do not have complete families, like me. As I read the letter, I was so moved. 

“My heart is that you will encounter God’s provision as you plan out your finances. You are blessed to be a blessing!” – Pastor How

“Plan out my finances”? That was foreign to me. I didn’t realise that being part of the church family also meant being taught values such as saving for the future.

I used to spend every dollar I had. Typically, I would receive $20 of pocket money from my mother. By the end of the week, I would have a few cents left. Saving meant dropping those spare coins into a piggy bank at the end of the day. I didn’t know how to save effectively or practice real saving habits. 

In his letter, Pastor How shared from Deuteronomy 28:8, “The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain…”

“Savings are important. God cannot bless our storehouse if we don’t have one!” – Pastor How

I realised how important it was to have savings. And so, with the budgeting kit, I learnt how to plan my finances and develop a habit of saving.

How I plan my finances

Besides my pocket money, I receive a monthly allowance from the church’s Scholarship & Opportunity Fund (SOF). This allowance helps with my expenses and allows me to have savings too.

When I receive my SOF allowance at the start of the month, I would sit down and plan my finances using the budgeting kit. It has tabs to show the different areas of finances and how to prioritise them. 

My favourite are the first two tabs. They remind me to always live out godly values in my finances. So before anything else, I will set aside a portion of allowance for giving to God and for blessing others. Next on my priorities are saving and spending. Now I have reserves for a rainy day!

Planning has helped me make better decisions about my spending. When I plan my finances, I can find the self-control to sacrifice what I want now so that I have money for what I need later. 

Once I started saving, God used me to help others too. Like the time my friend forgot to bring his wallet to school—I was able to bless him with a meal. Another time, I bought a drink for my friend after playing soccer. I was thankful to be able to bless others! I saw that if I didn’t overspend, I could be generous to my friends. 

Through these small steps to better manage my personal finances, I began to see hope… I know I will eventually be able to manage my family’s finances in the future too.

I’m grateful to God and HOGC for what I received on Father’s Day. In the letter, Pastor How said that he prepared a budgeting kit for his own daughter too. I was so touched when I heard this, because it showed that Pastor How treats all of us like his spiritual family. I am so thankful to have found a spiritual home in Heart of God Church that teaches young people how to plan for their future!

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