8 Steps to Reading the Bible Confidently for the Beginner

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This is something I’ve been passionately pursuing since I was 16 and a fresh Christian with no idea how to dive into this complicated and intimidating world of the Bible.

I asked people the question of where to start and they all said start with a short book in the New testament like Philippians. Okay great idea, so I did. It was still a little confusing and let me tell you, it took me a solid 5 years to reach the point of confidence in my Bible reading. 

Of course we can NEVER fully know the Bible. It has so much depth, beauty and application for all of us that the Holy Spirit will use different focuses at different times to communicate with us. 

YOU CAN’T GO DEEPER WITH GOD IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO UNDERSTAND HIS WORDS TO YOU. 

I get this question all the time, how do I start? so I decided to break down the process into 8 easy steps you can work through to become confident. Know that these will take time. They were not meant to be rushed through resulting in ease and understanding but are meant to be stepping stones to a deeper connection with God and His Word!

Step 1. Come as You Are

Want to go deeper in your relationship with God but unsure of where to start? Here are 8 steps to reading the Bible without a Bible study so you can confidently communicate with God one on one. We can often rely too much on devotionals where they are interpritting Scricture for us. God wants to spend time with us JUST us! He is ready and waiting, just seek Him. Christian women | Christian Bible study for beginners | how to study the Bible | going deeper with God

I always start here. God isn’t interested in your past, He wants you now. He is quite literally calling to you saying come as you are, come to me. He is waiting for you to come even with the anxiety, even with the depression, the addiction, the issues, the pride, the grudges, the sin, the relationships. The God of the Bible isn’t a being of condemnation, He is not waiting to scold you. He is waiting for you to let Him love you.

People get stuck here most often, in the in between. In between the discovery of God and the actual pursuit of a relationship and I say right now let everything go that’s holding you back.

Just come friend, just come.

Step 2. Pursue in Prayer + the Holy Spirit

Do you believe in God? The Spirit is the third part of God that many people get tripped up with but right now I am not tackling this and I don’t want you to get distracted from your goal, the Spirit will work. 

Pray before you begin. Give your time in God’s word over to God and say “Lord, reveal to me your truths so I can readjust myself and fulfill the abundant life you have for me.” Don’t even begin by relying on your own mind but allow God to come and speak to you.

Prayer is simple. It’s a conversation with God. You are doing this to get to know Him more and grow in your relationship with Him so start there!

Step 3. Discover your Why

Your why is a mighty thing. If you have been around the business world in any capacity you have probably heard this. We are emotional decision makers. We decide to do things not because it’s logical but because we have emotions that are compelling us to. Say amen whoever loves a run to Target on a bad day! 

Your why behind the emotions can be tough to grasp but I want you to think about it. What’s your why? Why do you want to read the Bible?

My why has developed over the years but in the beginning it was simple, I wanted to pursue a relationship with God. In this relationship I needed to learn about His character. How do you do that? By reading the Bible and learning about who He is.

Answer that question then remind yourself of it. Write it on post it notes. Stick them on your Bible, by your phone charger, on your mirror, in your car. Be obnoxious about it! Remembering your why will remind you it’s worth your time to dive into the Bible today.

Step 4. Grasp the Big Picture

This wasn’t something I started with but oh so wish I did. To be able to fully understand any book of the Bible we must look at the whole thing from a distance. Meaning that airplane view of God’s word is the perfect place to see where it all began and it all ends. Where you took off (creation) and where you will eventually land (heaven).

Once we grasp the Big big view of the Bible we can discover the big views of the books. Each book is written differently, typically by a different author, and with a specific purpose in mind. So we can start to see how the landscape puzzle pieces fit together a little closer to the ground.

Not sure where to start? Grab a Children’s Bible. Read it through beginning to end. You can firmly grasp the big big picture through this and feel the flow of the story!

THIS IS THE ONE I USE AND LOVE.

Related: Read to read the Bible but not sure where to start?

Step 5. Know the difference between the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT)

Okay. This is not something I grasped until a few years into my relationship with God and it changed my ENTIRE view of the Bible. 

FACT // GOD DOES NOT CHANGE. HE ACTUALLY SAYS “FOR I THE LORD, DO NOT CHANGE” IN MALACHI 3:6

This means that God is the same throughout the OT as well as the NT. But when you begin reading you might stub your toe on some things that happen in the OT. 

In the beginning we had NO sin and we had NO separation from God. Then Eve and Adam ate the apple and we were separated from the holy God we once knew closely. But God didn’t just leave His creation, He sought us out still. He gave us laws so that if we followed them, we could be in relation with Him. But of course we failed every time.

But He kept using us. He kept using His people to prepare the world for what was going to destroy the separation forever, Jesus.

Welcome to the NT. Here Jesus comes, lives a perfect life, dies on the cross FOR US, then defeats death so we can have a relationship with God again! A one on one relationship with Him!

So now we don’t follow those OT laws any more. Those were for those people specifically but we have two new laws. Love God and love others (Mark 12) and I can honestly say I fail at both daily. If you think that sounds easy you’re in for a treat ?.

Now when you read the Bible looking at these facts understand this. God’s character is unchanging and He is the MAIN dude of the Bible. He is woven into every story, every place, every context. It’s not about us, it’s about Him. When you read the OT learn from other people’s mistakes and stories and observe who God is. Then in the NT praise the Lord because we GET to live life with Him and follow Jesus’ example of living.

Step 6. Context is key

You’ll probably hear this word a lot, don’t be intimidated by it. Context is simply looking at not only the words on the page but the time period it was written, who it was written by and for, and why those specific things were said. 

To grasp context we must dive into the history of the Bible because I don’t know if you know this, it was written yesterday! You may be thinking that this means it isn’t relevant to todays culture but you are very wrong.

God supernaturally inspired many different broken humans to write down their stories and relationships with God. If God doesn’t change then that means His character is the same then and now. If we truly want to know God and be in relation with Him then we GET to read His words to us!

Context ensures we are not just reading then applying something not meant for us. Let’s look at the book of Levticus. Those laws were written for those people, at that time, before Jesus. Now we get to read that book and see how God was looking out for His people and protecting them from themselves, He was trying to guide them to holiness so they could be in relation with God.

Then we see how Jesus came and the separation of sin we had before was destroyed. Those laws no longer apply, we now live under a new law (to love God and love others as mentioned above).

Context takes practice so don’t give up! Keep it up, keep it up!

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Step 7. Let Scripture interpret Scripture

FACTS //

  • The Bible was written by God using His people.
  • He used about 35 different people to get it done. 
  • All the Bible is true.
  • There are no contradictions in the Bible.
  • Different authors focused on different aspects of life.

For example let’s look at the gospels. We have four different books by four different authors but all the events are about the same topic, they are retellings of Jesus time on Earth. BUT each author shares his specific experiences and tries to tell the reader what He specifically wants them to know. 

Like John. He focused on the main point that Jesus was the true Messiah, the son of God and all who believe in Him will have eternal life. (John 20:30-31)

But Matthew is focused on bringing Jesus to the Jews. He looks to the prophecies of the Old Testament and is specifically speaking to the Jews of that time showing them how Jesus was fulfilling those prophecies. 

See both of these books of the Bible have the same subject, Jesus, but are focusing on different aspects to different audiences of the time. Now we get to read both of them and see the truth woven through ALL the Bible! What a privilege we have!

So how do we let Scripture interpret scripture? Follow the threads. What I mean is look at the cross references within your Bible (or online) and follow them! See where else the Bible is saying about the same time. Make sure you read within context in both verses and this will build your knowledge of the overall cohesiveness of the Bible!

Step 8. Develop Discipline

No one likes this one but we can’t accomplish anything in life within discipline. This is simply the choice to do something despite our feelings about it. Discipline is like a muscle, you must work it up and it takes time. Think about other areas you may have discipline. Do you exercise consistently? Do you choose to eat healthy? Do you go to work everyday? Do you go to church every week? 

WHEN WE TRULY DESIRE THE RESULTS OF AN ACTION, WE CHOOSE TO DO THE ACTION.

If you truly desire to learn about God through reading the Bible, then read the Bible.

START SMALL.

I don’t want you to be overwhelmed with a one year Bible plan, just start with one book! Choose one book and read through it. If you don’t have an hour a day start with 15 minutes. Choose a time and do it daily, despite your emotions and busyness.

If this is important to you, make the time.


I made a questionaire so you can PERSONALLY determine what step you need to spend some time in!
Grab it below!

Not sure what step to start with?
Grab the questionnaire! 

Dear Future Husband / How I Write & Pray for my Future Hubby

*Reposted from my original blog: Ashley Jo Bruce

Listen to my recent podcast that expands on this topic here!

Can I tell you a secret?

I am 21 and I have never been on a date! ???

If we are being completely honest I know I don’t fall into the ‘average’ category but its never bothered me. I’ve been more focused on my friends and community then on pursuing someone. As an introvert (yes I can be alone for days & 100% content) with BIG DREAMS I’ve always felt like I wanted to wait to get married until after I accomplish some things on my own.

My friends call it stubbornness, I call it independence.

But this doesn’t mean that I don’t have my days of wanting a relationship. I want someone to text me, pick me up from the airport, check up on me, bring me my favorite food on my bad days, take me on creative dates & do life with me.

We were built for community! Our beautiful God created us for one another so it’s within our making to desire this deep love and connection. 

It’s my heart’s desire so I decided to use that longing & hope in a creative way.

>>> You might like this too: How to Find Purpose in Your Single Years

I started writing letters & prayers to my future husband.

But mine don’t look like the filled shoe box under my bed. I actually use Evernote. A folder called Dear Future Husband. I type mine & I put dates on them. 

One day I am doing to print them off and bind them as a beautiful gift on our wedding day but right now this place is safe. 

I just open a new window & type. I tell my struggles, passions, day’s events, favorite foods… I just unload. It will be a way for him in the future to glimpse my past. To see my heart before we ever met. To hear about how God’s been working and orchestrating all this time. 

One day it will be a beautiful collection,
until then it’s a messy file folder.

dear future husband

Grab the free printable list of 50 prayer & journaling prompts here!

I AM NOT SAYING THIS IS FOR YOU. 

But if you want to try using this creative outlet to pour out your heart in a healthy way here is some easy steps to get you started!

1. THIS IS NO PLACE FOR PERFECTION.

It’s not about the right words, the romantic thoughts, the perfect love letter. It’s about your true life. It’s about what’s really happening, how you really feel & how excited you are that all of this is building you into a better person for him. It’s raw emotion into a true representation of who you are. Don’t overthink it.

2. SPEAK LIKE YOU WOULD TO YOUR BEST FRIEND!

Keep it intimate. This person that you are writing to will know you better than ANY other human! They will already know about your imperfections and your little quirks. Just write like you would to someone you know deeply.

3. CHOOSE YOUR METHOD. 

Handwriting letters? Typing more your style? I give you permission to buy a new notebook at Target! ?Just choose one place for these letters to be collected. A box under the bed, a file in Evernote or the notebook!

4. JUST WRITE

Need some ideas of what to write to get you started? Here are 20 prompts!

  1. What happened today?
  2. What God is teaching you.
  3. Why you wish He was already in your life.
  4. Why you are grateful God’s timing is perfect.
  5. Fun quirks about yourself.
  6. What season of life you are in.
  7. What’s your favorite tv show/movie and why?
  8. What’s your biggest dream?
  9. How do you want to grow to become more like Jesus?
  10. Your favorite childhood memory.
  11. What couple do you admire most and why?
  12. Your biggest current struggle.
  13. Why you have hope.
  14. What your strengths & Weaknesses are.
  15. What your love language is.
  16. What you really want your future husband to know about your current self.
  17. How you are intentionally preparing yourself for marriage.
  18. Your dreams about your wedding day.
  19. Your thoughts on God’s creation of marriage.
  20. Why you are content waiting for Him.

5. SPEAK TO GOD ABOUT HIM

I don’t know how you feel about the word prayer but I know it can pull around some negative baggage. So let’s not look at it as this awkward one-sided conversation where we talk to this far away God about problems.

Let’s just meet Him for coffee. Share your heart. Ask questions. Sit in silence while listening. Then ask Him to strengthen your future hubby. Ask Him to mold Him into the leader you will need. Ask Him to remind Him how much He is loved.

There are two different methods I use to pray for my future husband. One is specific topics I just want to talk to God about on His behalf and the other is praying Scripture.

Here are 15 Prayer prompts!

  1. For Him to be gifted with Godly friends & mentors.
  2. For Him to find joy in His work, as we were created originally for.
  3. For Him to embrace the hard situations as a chance to grow!
  4. For Him to realize He can’t do life without God & people.
  5. For the cultivating of wisdom.
  6. For Him to deeper understand how He is loved.
  7. For Him to learn the difference between being in the world & of the world.
  8. For Him to stay strong in the fight against our enemy!
  9. For Him to be a BIG dreamer.
  10. For Him to realize failure doesn’t exist, life lessons are everywhere.
  11. For Him to realize the need for forgiveness, for Himself & for others.
  12. For His pride to be shaken.
  13. For Him to find the fun in experiencing everyday life with God!
  14. For His heart to be molded to be more like Jesus.
  15. For Him to choose courage in the face of fear.

Now 15 Bible Verses to pray over him!

  1. Proverbs 13:20
  2. 1 Corinthians 10:13
  3. 2 Peter 3:18
  4. Deuteronomy 31:6
  5. Mark 11:24
  6. Psalms 37:4
  7. Ephesians 5:1-2
  8. James 1:22
  9. John 8:12
  10. James 3:13-17
  11. Ephesians 6:13
  12. Proverbs 28:27
  13. Romans 8:28
  14. 2 Peter 3:18
  15. Proverbs 4:23

I DON’T recommend using these all in one letter, or day but if this is something you are interested in doing consistently, I made a printable + check boxes with these prompts so you can see what you’ve done & other prompts to use!

The Ultimate Money Guide for the Christian Girl

Hey friend! I’ve got to be honest, I love talking about money. Maybe it’s the business in me or the love of organization but I like to know exactly what money I have, where it is and what goals I am working towards. 

I was blessed to grow up in a home where my parents regularly talked about money and taught me different principles. Sure they taught me how to use a check register (?) but I learned how to be aware of everything coming into the account and everything going out (even though at the time it was my pretty piggy bank). 

Now I am 22 years old, I still have some school debt I am tackling and I bought an 102 year old house. Overall I am in pretty good standing and I want to share all the life lessons I’ve learned along the way.

TOPICS TO BE COVERED:

Money Mindset

Where in the world to start

Do I need to be tithing?

How to Budget (& stick with it) 

How to get rid of debt

Goal Setting

Do I need to be building credit?

How to be saving for a home

Where you at?

Okay to really kick this off you need to ask yourself a few questions.

  • How do you currently feel about money?
  • Are you aware of your financial status?
  • Is your money working for you?
  • Are you a saver or spender? (first reaction to this is typically correct)
  • Are you working towards money goals?

Great! Now that you know where you are, you can see what areas you need to be working on first.

How we approach money, especially as Christians, is what’s really going to set us apart. To honor God in our money management might not look like worldly wealth. Being rich shouldn’t be our life goal.

Having a desire to work hard and make money is not bad. Some people are natural entrepreneurs. They were created to build businesses which when successful make money. The world needs these creative people!

The world also needs school teachers, Michaels employees, nurses and everything in between. 

Here are three healthy money mindsets for Christian girls:

1.My Father is my Provider

You may need to sit in this, I often do. I get anxious about my money situation especially when it looks like the numbers don’t add up. I often forget God is working even if it doesn’t look like it. I can choose to trust or I can choose anxiety. 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Eph. 3:20

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it(Psalms 81:10)

2. I am in control of how I manage the money God’s entrusted me with

We can let money manage us or we can manage it. God has entrusted us with HIS money. He has purpose for the money we have and we can willingly give back to God and bring Him glory through it or not.

Sticking your head in the sand about your current financial status is not going to allow you to see Him working or allow you to be used by Him to bring Him glory! I am not judging or condemning simply trying to encourage you to see your money as a gift!

3. I will not be more happy if I make more money

Sure a few things could be easier. Sure you could have paid off your school debt. Sure that 1 million dollar home you toured on Youtube looks really nice.

BUT money will not bring you happiness. In fact happiness is fleeting, joy is what we should be working towards! 

If you chose to find joy right now, today, your whole life will be an adventure. If you chose to be unhappy until you get another raise, I am afraid that raise won’t satisfy you!

Chase Joy!

4. I can’t spend money I don’t have

If you start developing this mindset you will be in much better shape in the future! If you spend money you don’t have then you are simply cultivating debt. Sometimes emergencies come up, yes, but that is why we need to be working towards building an emergency savings account.

Where in the World to Start!

Starting can be the hardest part especially if you haven’t been detailed in your past money habits. It can seem overwhelming and near impossible but it’s not! I promise! No matter how much debt, no matter how many credit cards, no matter how many negative numbers you look at, it is possible to get it a grip on your money.

The best place to dig your hands into first is your current financial status. When I use that phrase I mean to have a big picture of what your debts, assets, bills, and savings are.

Another word for this is Net Worth. Your net worth is all your assets (cash, value of your car, money in checking and savings, anything of monetary value) – your liabilities (outstanding debts, school loans, credit cards, money you owe your parents, money left to pay on car, etc) = your net worth!

*** If you want pages where you just fill in the information to find your net worth grab the money well managed workbook! It’s only $10! 

Grab a piece of paper and write out all your assets. Look at your current bank account amount, look at your savings, look at any larger assets like your car, house etc. Write their total value not just what you’ve paid on them.

Next draw a line to separate and list all your debts. Look at your credit card bills, school loans, personal loans, outstanding medical bills, how much money you owe on your car or house, etc.

Lastly draw a third line and take your total assets and subtract your liabilities and BAM you have your net worth! Good job!

Don’t fear if this is a negative number. We just need an honest view of where you are so we can move forward and make it a positive!

Do I need to be tithing?

This has been a question I’ve been shaking down with God. There are different interpretations of Scripture about tithing but I do believe that we are to be giving some of our money back to God’s house! Our churches are doing God’s work and when we tithe specifically back to them we are building the kingdom of God. 

The amount is something you need to decide for yourself. I do believe you should start with 10% and I recommend it be the first ten percent!

I know if I wait until late in the month I get a little panicky. I start to feel like I won’t have enough when in reality I will and I still need to give God His money back first.

” But Ashley I don’t make enough to tithe!”

I’ve heard this before, I promise you’re not the only one that feels like this. I want you to do this. For one month I want you to tithe. I want you to ask God to show up and show you why you should be tithing. I want you to look for the blessings that always come when we live according to how God has called us to.

He gives us life and life abundantly. 

Sometimes following God doesn’t make sense. Sometimes it seems smarter to save the money to give it away but we are called to be servants to God! We are called to give in every aspect of our lives!

Do you remember this story from Mark 12?

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Wanting to dive into this subject more? I highly recommend reading the book Plastic Donuts by Jeff Anderson – Buy it here!

How to Budget & actually stick with it!

This is one of my favorite parts of the process and I sit and look mine over monthly! There are several different ways you can do this and I will show you my process.

Let’s start with what is a budget?

A budget is a list of categories that you typically spend in a month. These can include food, gas, eating out, clothes, etc. With each category there is an amount that is how much you are allowed to spend that month in that category. All of these categories added together should equal the amount of income you make in a month.

You need to have a budget. If you don’t you have a high chance you will spend more than you make which YOU CAN NOT DO. If you spend more than you make every month you will have debt which we don’t want.

So how do we build a budget? We first look at what and where you already spend.

How to Observe Spending Habits

1.Look up your statements from the last month on every card you have. Now take out another piece of paper and write out common categories and how much you spent.

Be completely honest with yourself! When you look at your spending habits you can build a better budget for yourself. You wouldn’t like my budget because it was created for me! I like to spend more money on books than clothes and you might be the other way around. Be true to yourself!

2. Now that you have all the categories written out analyze them. Where are you overspending? Where do you need to be using self-control and saving? Are there any categories you know will be added soon? Like will your rent be going up soon? Or electricity because of summer?

3. Next you need to build a new budget using the information about your spending habits you have collected. See below!

*** I have all this ready for you to fill out in the $10 Money Well Managed Workbook – Here!

How to Build a Realistic Budget

1.Grab another piece of paper and start listing all the categories. Try to start with the most important ones at the top, this will allow you to prioritize well. 

2. When you have all the categories written out fill in all the fixed categories meaning all the ones that are around the same amount each month. Like I typically use 60 in gas each month and my mortgage is $539.60. 

Estimate and fill in all the rest of the categories

3. Add all the totals together. Does it equal your income? If not tweak and try again!

This budget will change. You will make it through this month and some categories will work and some won’t. You just need to keep moving forward!

? Look at you go! You’ve already created a personalized ready to use budget which is half the battle!

Now let’s look at how to stick with it!

You should use this app

An awesome app that I use to stick with my budget is Mint. I use the Money Well Managed Workbook to create and analyze my categories. Once I’ve built my budget I use mint to follow it digitally. They allow you to create all your own categories and amounts. They will sync with your banks information and your school loan! You can track everything in one place. 

Read this article for more information on Mint!

Ask these three questions

Besides checking in on mint often, I use a mental process of questions before I make a purchase that isn’t absolutely necessary.

  • I say do I need this/have purpose for this?
  • Is it in the budget/can I save somewhere else to buy this?
  • Is it investment/will it last?

After answering these questions I’ll purchase or I won’t. I am naturally a saver so it’s easier for me to say no then yes. Know yourself. If you tend to over spend shopping for clothes, limit the shops you go into. Be purposeful.

Ask God for Wisdom

On bigger purchases we should be going to God for wisdom! James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” God gives wisdom if we ask Him for it. 

This may seem weird to you but the more you invite God into your daily life, the more you’ll see Him there. He wants to be doing life with you. He is a gentleman. He will wait for you to invite Him.

If discipline is something you really struggle with I totally understand! I created this course to help you develop discipline in an are of your life! Check it out here!

DEBT DEBT DEBT

Everyone’s least favorite subject. I get it, I have it too. It can be overwhelming and seem like it’s never ending (hey interest!). You can get rid of it if you have a plan of action to do so.

First you’ve got to look at what you have and how much it is.

How to Analyze Your Debts

1.Pull out ANOTHER piece of paper ? and write down all the debts you can think of. Look up exact totals if you need to.

2. Now look up their interest rates. How much in interest are you paying?

3. Prioritize based on which one has the highest interest. Start to tackle that one first.

There are many different methods of doing this like the snowball method etc. 

There are two ways to pay this off faster. Lower your spending or raise your income.

If you chose to lower your spending go back to that budget category and cut again. If that isn’t possible then consider raising your income.

This can be another part time job or a side hustle. I am not going to dive into these categories in this post but I can if you are interested! 

Many people have different opinions on debt even all looking at the Bible. There are different interpretations of Scripture. I personally want to get rid of my debt as quickly as possible. I consider my school loan of higher importance than my house loan. Why? Because I can sell my house and pay off my debt. Unfortunately, I can’t sell my college degree to get rid of my school debt.

“What happens if I refinance my loans?”

Refinancing your loans looks like this: consolidating them into one loan with often a lower interest rate. That means if you are paying for three different school loans from three companies you can apply to get them refinanced. This can be a great option especially if you are paying an outrageous amount of interest. I can’t tell you to refinance or not because I can’t see all your loans but ask around for advice on this and shop around to different companies who refinance. You can ask questions and tell them you aren’t ready. Gain all the information you can!

You have to make a plan of action that is best for you! Ask God for help. Ask Him to come in and help you honor Him with your finances. It’s crazy what he can do when you invite Him into different areas of your life.

Let’s Set Some Goals

Getting the right mindset and building a budget are important stepping blocks to help you reach your goals. 

This works into that saying I mentioned earlier. Either your money works for you or you work for your money. When you set goals and make action steps to attain them, your money is working for you.

What are examples of money goals?

  • Being debt free (on my list)
  • Purchasing a house
  • Going on vacation to Disney World, the Bahamas, Thailand etc.
  • Starting my own business
  • Building my Savings to be equal to 6 months of my salary 
  • Investing 
  • To stop living pay check to pay check

There are so many different things you can working towards but don’t choose too many, that can be overwhelming.

Two good goals to begin with are 

  • Save $1000 for life mishaps
  • Pay off my debts

Once you choose your two goals you need to build an action plan to accomplish them. For example if you saved $200 every month for five months you’d complete your first goal!

This is specific to you. There is no right or wrong way of doing this. If each month you are only $1 closer to your goal, then you are closer to your goal.

Do I need to be building my credit?

The answer is yes! Think about it. When you are ready to move into your first apartment you’ll need some credit. If you need a loan, you’ll need credit. 

It’s important to start early because then you can get better rates! 

“What is a credit score?”

A credit score is a number that represents how trustworthy you are for financial institutions. This number is impact by many things some of which are paying your bills on time, managing your credit cards well, how long you’ve been building your credit, etc.

How can I start building my credit?

Do you have a credit card/are you responsible enough to manage it?

I am going to repeat myself: Do not spend money you don’t have.

If you can’t follow this rule, don’t get a credit card. If you can use self-control, get one! I recommend Discover or Capital One because they are great credit card companies, especially when just getting started.

Use this card but do not use more than 30% of your credit limit. This will drop your credit score. I personally pay mine off every month and this is the slower way of building your credit. If you want to build credit quickly leave $50 dollars on it monthly, pay the interest and watch your credit score go up!

How did you buy your house?

This is a long story, one I want to make a video about but in a simple steps I did this:

1.I Saved a lot for years. It took me a while but I started saving my last summer before I graduated college. I started working for a friend and it became my side hustle. I managed his businesses social media presence. Each month I put most of that income into my savings.

2. I researched the market. I looked at my area and I looked at prices. I was looking for a decent house around $100,000. Understand I live in a small town in the North Georgia mountains, this was hard to find but our cost of living is relatively low. I was saving for a downpayment for 10%. Check your state sometimes low downpayment options are offered for first time home buyers BUT watch for extra “insurance” or PMI. You do not want to pay for this, it does nothing for you. The normal downpayment amount without PMI required is 20%.

3. I saved for the closing costs. These are the attorney fees, insurance, etc. My closing costs were $1300.

4. I gave it to God. It was a four-month process but God provided the PERFECT house for me and it was such a blessing through everything. God’s hands were all over it. More to come in a video!

If you are convinced you are ready to tackle your finances grab the $10 Money Well Managed Workbook Here! I created it specifically for those really trying to grasp their financial standing and create money freedom in their lives.

Have a money question? Ask me below! ??

3 Must Use Money Tools

Every month I sit down with my finances. I don’t skip, especially since I am a freelancer and my income changes all the time. I’ve found such peace in the process and knowing where all my money is.

When I first started adulting (I still don’t know how to do that) I had no idea where to start. My old school parents still suggested I use a register. You know that little check book looking thing that your mom always kept in her wallet? I tried writing out EVERY TRANSACTION once. That didn’t work for me.

Then I googled and read a lot of articles, tried some things and now I have a system that works for me. Plus it’s simple.

These tools can help you manage your finances whether you are just getting started or you are a pro! Some tools can help you make your process easier and breezier!

HEY! I want you to know it is better to know your financial status than to sit in oblivion. I know it can seem daunting to look at the numbers especially when you know you owe a lot of money but it is WAY better to be aware and working towards change than to avoid your financial situation. Trust me, you can reach peace in this area.

1. THE MONEY WELL MANAGED WORKBOOK

I swear by this workbook and I promise it’s not just because I created them! Knowing what your financial status is the key to freedom! With that in mind, you must look at your current money state, your spending habits, where you need to change your spending habits and your goals.

We do a lot of things on the computer but this is something I always have to write out. These sheets are simple to use and will work you through your current financial stage of life.

With a very clear, written out explanation of how much I make monthly, bills, debts and spending categories, I can then move into the mode of management. Sticking within these guidelines ensures I don’t overspend or forget to pay that bill… again.

—-> Buy it here for only $10!

This is step one because its a stepping stone into the next tool I use all the time!

2. MINT

This little guy is my favorite. Mint is a free budgeting app that pulls your transactions from your bank accounts, allows you to categorize them, follow your budgets, bills and credit cards. It even keeps you updated about your estimated credit score and sends you notifications about when you go over a budget.

I’ve been using this app since I was in college and still love it. I use it both on my computer and iPhone dependent on what’s going down in life and it makes it easy to stay on top of things.

After you fill out the budget sheets for the first time, you can then use the spending categories and add them into the budget categories in mint. This makes it easy to see if you are actually staying IN the budget or not! No outdated register needed (sorry mom).

Here is an example of part of my budgets. It tracks all the income, transactions of all my accounts and categorizes them if it recognizes it.

Using mint I can even follow my school loan. It keeps it updated and allows me to be aware of my complete financial status!

3. QUICKBOOKS SELF-EMPLOYED

And finally the third tool I personally use because I am fully self employed is Quickbooks Self-Employed. I am on their $10 a month plan but the first 6 months are only $5 a month! I originally started using this site because I have clients who needed a simple way to pay me without mailing in a check. Each month I invoice the business and on the email he can pay me. This is making the whole process easier.

Another awesome bonus of the online system is it estimates my quarterly and yearly taxes. Self employment taxes are confusing! I am still trying to navigate it, but this helps me estimate so I am not too far off at the end of the year and owe an arm and a leg.

This app will also sync in with your online bank and pull transactions in automatically. You can mark if it is a personal or business transaction. It will separate your business expenses into categories and you can even put in your mileage.

This can be an awesome for someone who isn’t fully self employed either. If you have a side hustle where you make over a few hundred dollars then you have to pay taxes on those transactions too. This makes it easy to keep the books organized and prepare for the next tax season!

REMEMBER

Your money is not scary. What you make and how you handle it can create freedom in your life or can help you dig yourself a hole. Good money management starts by simply becoming aware of yourself and your spending habits!

It also DOESN’T mean you have to cut your Starbucks or other guilty pleasure.

It CAN mean going on that dream vacation. Maybe I’ll see you in Thailand next year!

If you aren’t sure where to start I wish I had this easy workbook. Grab it for only $10 here!

5 Steps to Accomplishing ANYTHING in 2019!

Alright we are already well into 2019, I’ve got to ask. How are the goals going? 

Honestly mine are doing okay. Not too great but I’m not as dedicated to all of them now. 

Are your end goals still the same? Do you still want to be healthier this year? Do you still want to grow with God? Do you still want to manage your finances better?

Sometimes we get overly ambitious in January. We set a few too many goals but it doesn’t make any of them less important. It just means we have to make a PLAN to accomplish them! 

I’m going to let you in on a few secrets I’ve learned over the years. 

Are you ready to conquer this year with all you’ve got? 

The #1 secret to success

The secret is self discipline. Maybe you thought that was what I was going to say or maybe not. Either way let’s dive in!

Self discipline is something we develop in ourselves. It’s something we choose. It’s a muscle we can build and make stronger even if it’s super flabby right now. 

To me self discipline is the art of making a choice repeatedly with a long term goal in mind. 

Why am I speaking on this topic? Over the learns I’ve grown this muscle. I was homeschooled in high school (by choice) I made my schedule and I chose to stick with it. I even graduated a year early. 

I exercise at least 3 times a week and I LOVE it. 

Now I get up early in the morning and spend time with God before anything else. 

I’ve learned how to stick with things that are important to me and now I want to share five steps that you can follow to accomplish anything this year!

Step 1: Get your Head Right

Mindset is always my favorite place to start because it’s often the biggest obstacle to tackle. We hold ourselves back far more than we even realize. 

So how do we tackle our goals with the right mindset?  

We know who we are working for

We are God’s daughter. We were made free. We are lavished in love but we also have jobs to do. There is kingdom work that only we can do. I 100% believe that building this discipline muscle in ourselves can help us accomplish our life tasks, our life purposes. 

Whatever our goal is we have to see the eternal kingdom impact it can have. We have to think bigger than ourselves. 

Example if you are a mom and you want to be healthier this year it doesn’t only effect you. It affects your kids. Your husband. The way you view yourselves. The things you’re able to do later in life. 

There is so much eternal impact in that. 

Another example if you are a college student studying business to be a manager and your goal is to stop procrastinating guess who else that impacts. When you stop putting off those assignments until Sunday you won’t be as stressed. When you aren’t spending your weekends studying you have more time to love on your friends and the other people in your life. 

You have no idea how one casual conversation at Sunday lunch can impact someone’s life. 

Your goals no matter how small or seemingly unimportant can have great impact. Know that you can honor God in the daily doing. 

We fight the lies

Lies. Another one of my favorite topics. These lies play the role of truth in our lives. They tell us they are true but we have to test their truth. 

If you feel anxious then you are believing lies.

If you don’t think you are beautiful you believe lies.

If you think you don’t have purpose you are believing lies. 

When it comes to accomplishing goals in our lives we need to fight the lies that want to hold us back. Which brings me into the next point!

We believe ourselves capable

I can tell you you are capable all day but if you don’t believe it, it doesn’t matter. 

If you don’t think you can accomplish your goals you probably can’t. Your mind is holding you back. 

Repeat after me. OUT LOUD. 

I am capable of doing big things in my life. 

God created me with a lot of purpose. 

I am loved no matter what I do. 

I can change other peoples lives. 

I can do this. ??

Step 2: Accept the Grace Now 

Now that we have that mindset in the right place let’s go ahead and talk about the elephant that stands in our way. Failure. 

What often stops us from finishing things or even starting again is the memory of failing before. 

Just because you gave up last time doesn’t mean you will always be a quitter. 

Just because you didn’t finish doesn’t mean you didn’t make progress. 

Grace is my favorite thing. Of course if you know God you know an overwhelming amount of grace. Sometimes it’s easier for us to accept grace from God and yet we don’t extend any to ourselves. 

You deserve grace. It’s okay if you set goals and don’t accomplish everything at once. It’s okay if you miss a day or two or three. 

It is okay. 

Love yourself enough to extend grace. 

Step 3: Make a Simple Achievable Goal

Alright now we have the right mindset and we have already laid down a blanket of grace to walk on. We must set an achievable goal!

I’m going to limit you and your mind. You can only choose ONE goal. You can only really build discipline in one new area of life at a time especially when you are just starting to exercise it again. 

Take out a piece of paper and make a list of goals you have. 

Now choose your top 3.

Now choose your top 1.

Good job! Okay what’s your reason for choosing this one goal? Why do you want to pursue it? What do you want to accomplish with it?

Hold onto that goal and why. 

Step 4: Set up a Plan to Achieve It

Are you still holding onto your goal and why? Great! Let’s make an actual plan to achieve it. 

What will be your daily task to work up to achieving it?

Do you want to write more? Write 500 words a day from Monday to Saturday. 

Do you want to read the Bible everyday? 

Great! Choose a time, find a plan and 

Step 5: Do the Dang Thing

At some point you will hit a wall. You’ve talked about things for too long. You have to take steps and actions that meet your words.

You just have to do the dang thing. Then you have to do it again.

It’s really not more complicated than that right there.

You have a small goal, you have a why to hold onto, you have a plan to accomplish it, you just have to do it.

I’ve written a $15 developing discipline course over in the Created Academy I would love for you to check out if this is something you want to develop in your own life.

I want to hear what you are GOING to accomplish this year! ??Share down in the comments!

Bible Confidence in 5 Steps

Are you ready to reach Bible confidence?

I’ve been teaching other people how to read the Bible for the last year and just finished this 5 day email challenge.

What’s Bible Confidence?

Bible confidence is the ability to open the Bible without any extra resources, and read it with understanding.

We are living in a time where people don’t know how to study the Bible without a Bible study but that is relying on someone else’s interpretation and message from God.

Absolutely, that can be applicable for you right now, but wouldn’t you love to read it and grasp God’s words to you today?

Picture This.

You have a coffee date with God and a friend. You go in and are sitting with your friends at the table and God starts speaking to you but you can’t hear anything He is saying. His mouth is moving but you understand nothing, like those high school Spanish classes. 

Then, when He is done, your friend turns to you and says “He just said He understands what you are going through and wants you to know He loves you.” 

You get the gist but that wasn’t everything He said to you. 

When we don’t read the Bible for ourselves, we miss God’s personal and intimate message to us.

The Truth is This.

God is not some up high and unreachable creator. He is a relational creator who wants to be with you right here right now. He wants you to talk to Him. He wants you to pursue the relationship. He wants you to be all in.

He is holding an abundant life in His hands which is yours for the taking but you aren’t living up to your full joyful potential because you aren’t in His word grasping His promises!

What’s Included?

This five day email challenge includes the 1 secret to understanding the Bible, your mindset that is holding you back, digging into the history of the Book & beginning with context.

What are you waiting for?