T Bar M Logo

Practical Tips for Managing Finances

Campers in a swim

Today we’ll revisit the first of a two-part series exploring the link between a budget and the tenth commandment. Next week will include some ways to prepare our kids for managing their own finances. Johnny Mac gives us some very practical tips and resources for diving in to this not-always-easy topic. Check ‘em out.


“You shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Deuteronomy 5:21


The afternoon of my college graduation my mom handed me an envelope. “It’s your car now,” she said “and this is what YOU still owe on it”. Inside was a booklet with the remaining payment slips for my car. We give our kids many things; among them should be the skill of managing finances. It is a skill partly taught and mostly caught by children. And it’s a skill partly about math and mostly about desires (just ask my mom how badly I desired that ’95 Honda).  

Let’s start with the math. In its simplest form a budget is a written list of income against expenses. Take a moment to look at the attached example. It’s quite a list huh? But notice how just seeing a list that long makes you think twice about where all the money goes. The most effective way to counter our desires for that new object is to easily recall the existing bills. The best way to recall the existing expenses is to write them out. Here are the benefits of a written budget:

  • It gives a good reason to say no to purchases reducing spending and increasing saving.
  • Saving for something and buying without debt is cheaper and feels better (Prov 22:7).
  • It provides for honest discussions with yourself and spouse about financial goals.

Now that you know why, this video gives a 5 minute overview of how a budget works [Better Money Habits: Budget]. If you don’t yet have a budget, spend the next few weeks working through the attached worksheet. Crown financial provides guidelines for how much goes where [Budget Guide] along with a long list of other good financial resources [Resources].

Camper Corner

Read Luke 14:28–30. Think for a minute about all the things that mom and dad pay for. How will you pay for those things when you become a parent? Think about something you would like to buy. Today’s scriptures encourage us to master our desires and plan for the future. Make a plan today to save up for that purchase and discuss it with your parents.

Read more

view all

Let's get to work!

I didn't know the value of good o manual labor until that first Training Camp at T Bar M in 1993, but it did set foundations that I continue to use today. The outcome of two hours of painting fences and moving rocks was quite more than two checks on the "to do" list. It […]
Read more

Never Give Up

They say a picture says a thousand words. And this one sure does. Paige (Nowlin) and Hudson High, lifetime campers as well as Coaches, would never have dreamed they would be standing in the T Bar M gym with their own kiddoes back when they were campers in the very same space.  Yet, there they were … […]
Read more

Earning Points for Your Team

Earning point in FUAGNEM February is a lot easier than you think ... applying the rhythms of our summers or years at T Bar M into our everyday life. We sit and eat with our friends. We strive to huddle up as a family at the end of a day, even if it’s only to […]
Read more
Ready to Experience 
T Bar M?
Dorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc vulputate libero et velit interdum, ac aliquet odio mattis.