How living affordably in college expresses your faith

By Matt DeBall

university-1714975_128-croppedGoing to college is an important decision that establishes independence. As young people branch out on their own and possibly even move away from home, they are able to begin living more directly in line with their own goals. For Christ-followers, this also means learning how to make decisions for oneself and developing habits that put one’s faith into action.

Continuing with this month’s theme, being a frugal college student is not only a decision that is good for a checking account—it is also a means to express your faith. Here are three ways that living affordably through college expresses your faith.

1. It honors God

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God”
(1 Corinthians 10:31, NRSV).

Whether it be limiting how many times you eat out each week or purchasing a second-hand kitchen table instead of a new one, every decision to save money honors God. Not only does being a good steward of money honor God, but living within your means also makes way for being generous. Through being frugal and having the capacity to share of your resources, you are able to support the work that God does in the church and the world.

2. It honors those who support youcoins-668748_1280

When a person goes to college, there is often a band of people who support this decision. Parents, siblings, friends, and church-family members may never journey to a college campus, but they still support the student through prayer and other means. Especially when your family is helping you pay for school, how you spend your money honors them. By avoiding unnecessary purchases and saving extra money, it allows for contributing more to your college education.

3. It honors your future self

“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets”
(Proverbs 21:20, Living Bible).

Any decision you make today could have an effect on your life tomorrow. While you have the choice to spend the extra money that you have, you could also choose to save it or use it wisely. Choosing to avoid or minimize student loans by paying for all or part of school expenses, for example, makes room for your “future self” to focus less on debt accrued through college. It is through making wise money decisions in college that your future self.

About the Author

m-deball-9-2016Matt DeBall is the COMPASS Communications Coordinator for the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. He also serves as Coordinator of Donor Communications for the Church of the Brethren. He has an MDiv from Northern Seminary of Lombard, Illinois and a BA in Communication Arts from Judson University of Elgin, Illinois. He loves running, reading, and napping. He and his wife, Chelsea, live in Northern Illinois with their Welsh Corgi, Watson, and attend the First Baptist Church of Aurora.

This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page, follow us on Twitter, and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.

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