Question: Which one of your bills always gets paid?
Answer: The bill you pay first.
But what happens if the bill you really need to pay is more than the money you have in the bank? Sounds like you could use a little biblical wisdom from the legendarily wealthy King Solomon.
“King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth,” reads 1 Kings 10:23 and he passed along some of that wisdom in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
In Ecclesiastes 5:5, he writes “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” So, not paying or not paying on time is not a good look for a Christian. Being flakey on your payments ruins your financial reputation. That’s all your credit score is: it’s simply a reflection of your financial reputation.
Proverbs 22:1says “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” What do you want your financial reputation to say about you, not to mention the God you serve?
Like me, you may have had some dings in your credit history but with discipline, your financial reputation will take a turn for the better.
Here’s something to think about: what would happen if you paid your bills whenever you get paid? Say you get paid twice per month and your monthly mortgage is $1,000 due on the 1st and your car note is $400 due on the 5th. Instead of trying to pay a bunch of bills all at once, what would happen if you were to pay $500 every two weeks on the mortgage and $200 every two weeks on the car note.
With this strategy, you would automate your bill payments so that you’d never be late which would in turn tell your creditors that you can be trusted and boost your financial reputation, a.k.a. credit score. Solomon may have said it like this: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
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Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.” Proverbs 3:27-28 ESV
There’s no reason to wait and “hold on” to money until the 1st and 15th. You may not have enough to knock out the entire bill with one paycheck but if you make small steady payments, you will breathe easier and ensure that your bills stay paid. Besides, nobody can “hold on” to money really—it’s always something: a flat tire, an unplanned night out, a new outfit. Don’t believe me, ask Solomon.
By paying your bills periodically as you get paid, you will have greater control over your financial life, experience fewer late or unpaid bills, improve your credit history and be in a better position to share and be financially generous to others. Don’t take my word for it; look in the Book:
- “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;” Psalm 37:21 ESV
- “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Proverbs 22:7 ESV
- “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:7-8 ESV