Guiding clients through the 5 ways to use money

What would you do with a million dollars? If you asked a child this question, she would probably reply quickly: a bike, toys, food for the poor – or a race car! But as the years go by, our answers to that question become less simple.

As their wealth increases, many of the Christian clients you serve may feel overwhelmed by the resources that God has placed in their care. Most people need someone to guide them through the important financial decisions they face – and as a professional advisor, you can fill that role.

So where do you begin? It may seem like the options for financial decisions are complicated. But you can help simplify things for your clients by explaining that there are only five ways to use money:

  1. To fund your lifestyle – housing expenses, food, clothing, entertainment
  2. To pay your taxes – money paid to the government
  3. To settle your debts – payments on loans, credit card bills, reimbursements
  4. To make more through investments – savings, stock, retirement accounts, real estate
  5. To give away to others – charitable gifts to churches, charities, or individuals

Which of the above categories do you focus on in your practice? Are there any areas you typically avoid? You may often have conversations with your clients about taxes, investments, and debts. But you may be reluctant to talk about giving.

You may end up avoiding the only category that has the potential for eternal significance!

But remember, the decisions that your clients make in one area of their finances will inevitably impact the other areas. When spending increases in one area, it must decrease in another – and vice versa. Because ways of using money are interrelated, you will encounter opportunities to challenge your clients in other areas. And in many cases, charitable giving can help clients divert more money away from taxes, and toward the causes they care about. The National Christian Foundation can help you identify these opportunities.

You can be a catalyst for change as you help clients use their money in a way that aligns with their values. Even your wealthiest clients possess a finite number of dollars. And everyone has to choose how they will divide up the resources they are called to steward among these five categories. They will reap the earthly and spiritual consequences and rewards of their decisions. Don’t miss your opportunity to invite clients to use their money to accomplish God’s purpose on earth.

“I invite you to transfer your assets from heaven to earth.”

As Randy Alcorn advises in his timeless classic, The Treasure Principle, “I invite you to transfer your assets from heaven to earth. I invite you to give humbly, generously, and frequently to God’s work … When you do, you’ll feel the freedom, experience the joy, and sense the smile of God.”

Isn’t this what you want for your clients? As you guide your clients through important financial decisions, make sure giving is always part of the conversation.

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