The Parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the famous stories in the Bible. I can still remember during my Sunday School Days how vividly my teacher told us the story. We can picture out how the prodigal son wasted all his inheritance and how his father accepted him with open arms. I realized as I read the passage that there is a message about personal finance imprinted in the story.
1. Live below your means. The prodigal son squandered his wealth in material things. He spent everything without thinking that the money will soon be gone. He thinks that it is a bottomless pit and that he will not run out of money. It is very important to live below our budget so that we will have enough money to live our daily lives. We should be conscious to identify what we need vs. what we want.
2. Preserve your estate. The father obviously managed to grow his assets and properly allocated to his sons. Protecting your estate is one of the best thing you can leave behind to your love ones. Make sure that they will not fight over the money or the properties that we have accumulated through the years. We can prepare a will or a trust to address this concern.
3. Celebrate the success of others. We used to compare ourselves to the situation of the people around us. Just like in the parable, the son who helped his father nurturing the fields compared and envied the treatment of the father towards the prodigal son. He is self focused, thinking only what he has done to please the father. The crab mentality still dwells within us, it is time to let this pass and be happy on the success of others. It is a challenge for us to overcome this character in order to strive and be successful also.
4. The real purpose of money is to love others. The story showed the love of the father by accepting his son again and giving him a big feast even if the son chose to go to the wrong direction. It is evident that money was used to express the love. Money just magnify the love we have within us.
It is fascinating to know that God uses money to help us become a blessing to others. We need to apply the finance principles from the parable so that we can become good stewards of the resources given to us.
PS. Are you living from pay check to pay check or drowning in debt? Are you spending more than what you earn? Financial education is the key. Decide to become financially independent. We are conducting free financial workshops so that you can properly build your financial future. Sign up for free here.