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Have you ever known an “extreme planner”? Or you may be one. Although I tend to be the point person when it comes to strategic planning, I enjoy variety and tend to avoid routines. I used to work with an extreme planner, though. You know the one. He planned what clothes he would wear on Wednesday three weeks from now. If it was 6 am, you could find him at Starbucks no matter what day it was! When he traveled, he put each article in the same place in the same suitcase every time. Even going through security at the airport, he had an extreme routine. He would take off his shoes, then his watch, followed by taking his computer out of the computer bag, with the 3 oz. quart bag of liquids emerging last. You get the picture.

No matter whether you think planning is a blessing or a curse, it is a necessity. Whether you know it or not, there is a plan for every single dollar you have. Your mortgage company has a plan for a large percentage of them. Your car claims others. Your favorite restaurant takes a few as well. And don’t even get started on plans made by the merchants at the mall for them! The reality is that someone has a plan for your dollars. Wouldn’t you prefer that it be your plan rather than theirs?

I really like the way Dave Ramsey instructs you to build a spending plan. He says, “Give every dollar a name. Spend money on paper and on purpose before the month begins.” Planning is the process of asking God what He wants and lining up the resources you’ve been given to accomplish it. When I ask the Lord to direct my plans, I know they are good plans because they are His! The Bible says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

We live in an unpredictable world. Sometimes our plans don’t work out the way we hope. But the plans we make prayerfully led by God will always accomplish more fruitful outcomes than the plans made by others. As we approach the end of the year, let’s commit to ask God to give us His plans for our money next year and see what He does!

[Image by Jared and Corin on, licensed under Creative Commons]

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