The 4C's Accounting Tool is a self contained Excel based Financial Accounting System, that allocates the money in your checking account between spending categories – so you can:
Give what God tells you to give, Save what God tells you to save, and Spend what God tells you to spend.
The Hear Well Done 4C's Accounting Tool: helps you know where God's money is, so you can ask Him what He wants you to do with it. This is financial obedience.
If you don't have an Accounting Tool that covers the 4C's, and is easy to use, Hear Well Done will give you free of charge the 4C's Accounting tool, and help you customize it for your personal use - for anyone willing to use it faithfully for at least 30 days. (Call us: at 513.260.6908 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 4C's Accounting Tool tells you (Of your total checking account balance): - How much you have available to spend in each category right now, and - How much you have spent in each category over time.
The 4C's Accounting Tool helps you: C apture (every dollar in and out) C ategorize (assign every dollar to and from categories) C ompare (how much is available til next paycheck), and C hange (money between categories - as God directs) - spending less there to have more here.
4C's Accounting Tool Components:
1) A Checkbook Registry - the 'ledger' for everything that comes in and goes out of your Checking Account.
2) A Category Sheet - a separate ledger for each spending area What you currently have available to spend in this area, and everything you have spent over time. Most people have about 30 categories: Rent, Gas, Grocery, Electric, Phone, Cable, Car Payment, Car Gas, etc.
3)A Summary Sheet - a list of all your category names with current balance The sum total of which - equals your checking account balance. See at one glance how your checking account is apportioned See at one glance how much is available to spend in each area Summary Sheet Total = Checkbook Registry Balance = Bank Balance Online
These are the three most important components. With just these three you can Account and Obey daily.
Several additional sheets in your 4C's Accounting Tool are extremely helpful:
4)Income Sheet - a running list of every dollar coming in over time. See all income you received this year - whether earned or unearned. You will be surprised at how God provides over and above your paycheck!
5) Expense Sheet - a running list of every dollar spent over time. See all spending you have done this year. Easily add up total spent this month (or week, or year)- without having to page through every category...
6) Income Allocation Sheet - this designates how God wants you to disperse each paycheck between categories.
Simply allocate every paycheck into spending categories as God directs you so there is enough money in that category to pay the bill when it comes due. If you get paid the 15th and 30th - half the monthly bill is set aside each paycheck.
This month's paycheck - pays next month’s bills! (This principle is a vital practice - to obey financially so you can live your best life!)
4C's Accounting Tool Requirements:
1) Microsoft Excel 2) You will need to customize it with your personal spending categories. (We'll help you - free of charge) 3) You will need online access to your bank account - so you can update your Accounting Tool daily or frequently as God leads.
Special Offer – Free Microsoft Excel based - 4C's Accounting Tool
If you have an accounting tool that you really use daily, and covers the 4C’s – stick with it. But if you don't have an accounting tool, or one that you really use daily. If you're willing to use the 4C's Accounting Tool for at least 30 days: Call us - and we'll help you customize it free of charge for your personal use. This will take just a little work on your part & ours, but if you are willing to begin 'accounting' so you can start obeying financially - to live your Best Life! We will help you!
There are only 4 types of transactions you can do:
1. Enter an expense 2. Enter an income 3. Allocate a paycheck, or 4. Change money between categories as God directs– (spend less there to have more here).
That’s It! After 3 days it will be like riding a bicycle – you’ll never forget.
How It Works
You don't have to track expenses for 30 days trying to build a budget that's outdated in a month - Don’t hate me, but a budget is just a snapshot of what you wish was happening… You don’t live by a budget, you live by categories!
You can be faithful financially starting today! Just account & obey daily. Know where God's money is - Do what He tells you to do with it. Ask Him, He’ll tell you. And we will help you!.
Easy as 1-2-3
1) Open your 4C’s Accounting Tool and - Look at your Checkbook Registry(I say, Bank says), then look at your Summary Tab(I say, Bank says) with $1.00 unassigned. Then find that same Bank Balance online from yesterday– and you’re ready to begin!
2) Update yesterday’s transactions from your bank online - into your 4C's Accounting Tool (either Income or Expense), and then update its category.
3) Enter today's new Bank Balance on your Summary Sheet. Bank Balance, Checkbook Registry, and Summary Tab total will match - with $1.00 unassigned. That's pretty much it! You're done for today.
Update your Accounting Tool - simply means: Allocate yesterday’s income to categories, and yesterday's expenses from categories - to find out what you have available to spend before next paycheck.
All Income gets allocated to categories as God directs - All Expenses come from categories leaving a new balance available to spend before next paycheck. Any credit card spending - is moved from the spending category (i.e. "Grocery") - to your VISA, MASTERCARD, or Discover Card category - so the money is there to pay the credit card bill when the it comes due!
With your "checkbook registry" in the 4C'sAccounting Tool as a separate Excel tab - you just enter the transaction once... and it's just a simple cut and paste to your Income or Expense Sheet, and your Affected Category. move the ‘red thing’ and it automatically updates your Summary Tab.
Checkbook registry – Income or Expense Sheet - Spending Category Back to Income or Expense Sheet – back to Checkbook Registry – then Summary Sheet
Truly, this process is so simple - and brings incredible peace and joy! What money manager wouldn't track his master's money? God owns it all. We are stewards. Don't let the devil lie to you. It's not too much to do each day! You only incur 3-4 transactions daily on average. Some days - one or none. This is easy! and the joy of being faithful with God's money is so absolutely worth the few minutes per day. Not even a question! A no-brainer!
How To Get Started with your 4C's Accounting Tool
#1 Call us 513.260-6908 we want to pray for you and help you in this journey of faithfulness. You have no idea the good God has in store for you!
#2 We'll give you a Raw Data Sheet - to enable us to help build your 4C's Accounting Tool.
#3 We'll build the categories you use into your 4C's Accounting Tool - and help you allocate what you currently have between them.
#4 We'll build your Income Allocation Sheet - as you seek God and He reveals how he wants you to allocate each paycheck.
#5 We will pray that God will give you the initial "seed money" for this month for each category (So this month's earnings pay next month’s bills). God will do it!
That's It - you'll be ready to go! We'll also help you day by day as you need. Call us anytime with questions. As God grows the number of people that need help - we know He will add faithful folks to help serve others. 513.260.6908 email@example.com
How To Live Daily - Accounting & Obeying
Update your Accounting Tool each morning - in typically 5-7 minutes.
Paychecks will add money to each category, Expenses will subtract money from each category - so you know what is left to spend before next paycheck. The total of all categories will always equal your checkbook balance. You just "process" yesterday's transactions and record them in your 4C's Accounting Tool each day. Pretty simple.
May God Bless you as you learn to hear and obey financially. This is a big deal! Your heart is where your treasure is! How you handle money - impacts the quality of your relationship with God! (It's His money!). We pray that God will allow us to help you in any way, Blessing, Kelly and April
#1 Advanced Daily Call: Add RSVP to your Daily Call. Sharing financially on your Daily Call will encourage you both to hear and obey with money. God will amaze you with the testimonies of how He directs and provides.
#2 4C’s Monthly Call: Ask God for another couple to partner with to overcome financially. Your 4C's Monthly Call, along with RSVP on your Daily Call will absolutely encourage your money progress. God will do amazing things!
#3 To learn more of what God says about money See PRISM Topics: 11 Things To Know About Money, 11 Things To Know Financially, God's View of Debt. Also, prayerfully consider leading or joining a Small Group Bible Study on finances. See www.compass1.org
Why2 4C's Accounting Tool
Why do this?
Financial Faithfulness is 1) Knowing where God's money is and 2) Doing what He tells you to do with it.
You could say it's: 1) Accounting and 2) Obeying
What is an Accounting Tool?
An Accounting Tool is a tracking system of a) Apportioning the money in your checking account into 'spending categories' b) Making spending decisions based on how much is available in each category and c) Updating each category with your daily financial transactions
In other words - your Accounting Tool tells you "Where's the Money?" It includes both the Plan and the Record of how you earn, give, save and spend.
Why is an Accounting Tool so important?
Faithful Stewardship requires accounting. I Corinthians 4:2 - It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.
Luke 16:2 - So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you, give an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.
Hebrews 4:13 - Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Luke 14:28 - For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
Luke 16:10-11 - He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of worldly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you.
It's very hard to hear & obey God financially without an accounting tool; something that tells you – Where's the money? Why? Because it's hard to discern his voice if you don't know what you’re asking Him about.
For example: You see a sign, it says "Sale!" You ask God should I spend that $30, and you really think He's saying yes! Unfortunately - He's not saying yes. He knows you already spent that $30 last week. You just don't know that... because you don't have an Accounting Tool - that shows you how much is left in that category. If you knew you had $5.00 left in Clothing - you either wouldn't ask him about spending something you don't have - or at the very least you would ask Him - "Do you want me to C:Change money from another category and spend less there, to have more here? Or do you just want me to be content with the clothes I have. Ask Him, He’ll tell you.
A Good Accounting Tool
A good Accounting Tool - helps you know where God's money is! So you can ask him what to do with it. (obey) A good Accounting Tool - is simply: an envelope system for your checking account. A good Accounting Tool - should tell you what you spent. And more importantly- what you have left in each category to spend before next paycheck. A good Accounting Tool - will always cover the 4C's - Capture, Categorize, Compare, Change
C: Capture - Every dollar in and out. C: Categorize - All Income goes to categories, All Expenses come from categories. C: Compare - How much is left, and how many days til paycheck? C: Change: - Change money between categories as God directs - spend less there, to have more here.
You Can Account Without Obeying, But You Cannot Obey Without Accounting Only when you know where God's money is- can you Hear and Obey Him in what to do with it. This is a vital truth. Some people are great bean counters - they know where every penny is - but they don't ask God what to do with it. Others ask God what to spend, but they don't really know what money they have- so they're asking God about money already spent. He knows that. They don't. To be faithful financially, to walk in the Spirit financially - it requires accounting and obeying. An accounting tool - shows you where the money is which enables you to ask, hear & obey financially.
A Bad Accounting Tool
Some accounting tools (software etc.) only tell you what you spent last month or last week. You might move money around but its hard to tie it to real dollars in your checking account. They are more like a rear view mirror than a windshield. They can create pie charts & graphs about last month's spending - which is great! The only problem is - last month's spending is already done! You either obeyed God financially - or you didn't. There's nothing you can do about it now. The money is already gone.
Requirements For A Good Accounting Tool
Make sure your Accounting Tool covers not only what you spent - but what you have leftto spendright now - in each spending category! And that it ties directly to the dollars in your checking account. Reality, not theory.
Make sure your Accounting Tool covers the 4C's - Capture, Categorize, Compare, Change It should let you capture (record) every penny in (income) and every penny out (expense). It should contain every spending category you use with a ledger to maintain a current balance at all times. It should tell you what's available now -by category, so you know how much you can spend before next paycheck (when that category gets refilled). It should easily allow you to C:Change - change money between categories - as God leads you. Spend less there, to have more here.
An Update Process
Your Accounting Tool is only as good as your Update Process. A good Accounting Tool that isn't current, is not a good Accounting Tool. No matter how cool it looks on your phone.
How often do you update your Accounting Tool?
The more frequently you do it, the less time it takes. God uses the example of a shepherd. They counted sheep daily. If you don't know how much you have in each category today... it's hard to ask God if, or how much to spend. He knows what's left, but you don't.
Like Envelopes For Your Checkbook
Accounting Tool: A virtual ‘Cash Envelopes System’ for your Checking Account. Remember what your grandmother did? She had cash envelopes for every thing she spent money on. When Grandpa got paid, she divided the cash between envelopes - and when that envelope was empty - she stopped spending. (That's why Grandma & Grandpa had money - not owed money!) Today Cash Envelopes are a little impractical. You rarely pay bills in cash - usually electronically, by phone, or check, and you don’t want to carry much cash anyway.
An Accounting Tool divides the money in your checking account into separate categories for things you spend money on. It's like cash envelopes - but without the cash! The money stays in your checking account. But this makes it easy to know how much you have left to spend, and if a need arises greater that what you assigned to that category - you know exactly what other category you could C:Change - money from. It's what the Bible calls - "divide your portion into seven or even to eight - Ecclesiastes 11:2
This principle doesn't only apply to investing (don't put all your eggs in one basket) but it also applies to accounting for God's resources (money). It's being a good steward of what God has entrusted to you. By you knowing where God’s money is - God can tell you what He wants you to do with it.
Accounting Tool versus A Budget
A Budget is simply a plan to spend: a plan to allocate income between spending categories this month.
An Accounting Tool - is a tool and process for tracking the inflow and outflow of money. It's your living tool, more than just a planning tool.
A Good Accounting Tool is more than a budget. The budget is just a planto allocate your paycheck to categories, so there is money in the category available to spend this month. However, you don't spend according to a budget,you spend according to what's left in the category – only as God directs. My daughter once said. "You don't live by a budget, you live by a bucket." How Much Money do you have left in that category? And How Many Days until next paycheck? God won't have you spend more than you have. He may have you Change money from another category – and spend less there to have more here, but He won't have you spend more than what's there. (The parable of the man who built the tower - reveals this).
Can't Be Faithful Without It
A Good Accounting Tool is mission critical - if you are going to become faithful financially - knowing where God's money is - so you can be faithful to do what He tells you to do with it.
By the way. God owns all the money - even what you have in the bank - it's His money! He can and will give you all the money you need.
Faithfulness Practice You have probably already figured out. God doesn't need any money, He gives it. He owns everything, and can give it to whomever he chooses. God just uses money to teach you how to be faithful! He uses money to teach you how to hear and obey his voice! It's not about the money - it's about the Relationship!
May God bless you as you learn to hear and obey financially. It's not too hard, it's not to detail focused. That's just the devil lying to you. It’s only two or three transactions a day – five to seven minutes. Well worth it!
The devil knows how important 'how you handle money' really is! It's an indicator of the heart. He knows you can't serve God and money - Matthew 6:24
Let God make your money decisions. That's how you learn to love God not money. It’s how you will live your best life – financially – the life God has for you!
How2 - Update Daily - Your 4C's Accounting Tool - To Obey With Money
The concept is simple. Give an Account of your management… - Luke 16:1 Today, you either get money or spend money. That’s it.
Your 4C’s Accounting Tool helps you record daily: what came in, what went out, and what you have left. It’s how you know where God’s money is, so you can do what he tells you to do with it. This is financial faithfulness. This is how you live your best life – financially. This is how you learn to obey with money. This is how God takes over and shows you how ridiculous your life can be when you follow His way and His plan - not your own!
There are four things you will do in this tool. #1 Enter an Expense #2 Enter an Income #3 Allocate a paycheck #4 Change money from one category to another (when God tells you to spend less there, to spend more here).
That’s pretty much it.
If you spend five-seven minutes a day – really. You will be “current” every day. In other words, your Accounting Tool will say what the Bank says you have – every day. Your Accounting Tool will reveal how each dollar is allocated. You will know where God’s money is, you will know how much you have available to spend in each category of spending that applies to your life, and you will be able to simply ask God what He wants you to spend, or where he wants you to allocate any income that He gives you.
Here’s what you’ll do each day: Step #1 - Enter each new transaction from yesterday into your Checkbook Registry Tab. Step #2 - Copy it to either the INCOME or EXPENSE Tab. Step #3 - Apply that transaction to its Category (either add the income, or subtract the expense). Step #4 - Finally, copy your new Checkbook Registry Total for today– into your Summary Tab. That’s it!
If it goes back to $1.00 Unassigned – you entered all transactions correctly. Verify that the bank says what you say and you’re done! That’s all it takes each day.
Your Accounting Tool Summary tells you what every dollar in your checking account is assigned to. That’s how you know where God’s money is – every day – so you can ask Him what He wants you to do with it!
BEFORE YOU BEGIN: (each day)
A. Open your 4C’s Accounting Tool – Look at your Checkbook Registry (You Say, Bank Says). Should be the same number.
B. Look at your Summary Tab – (You Say, Bank Says) – should be the same number (with $1.00 unassigned)
C. Open your Bank Account Online – look at Yesterday’s Balance – should be the same number.
Now you are ready to begin – just process the 2 or 3 transactions you had since yesterday – and you’re done!
How2 Process an Expense
Let’s say you spent $20 at the Speedway Gas Station in Lebanon on your debit card. You knew you could - because your 4C’s Accounting Tool said you had $35.00 left in the Car Gas Category before next paycheck.
Step #1 Enter that transaction into your CHECKBOOK REGISTRY TAB and ask yourself: “Is this an Income or an Expense?” (Income – goes in the Deposit Column, Expense, goes in the Payment Column)
Checkbook Registry Day Date Transaction Payment Deposit Checkbook Balance Bank Bal W 1/3/2030 KFC – 5 buck lunch 5.00 3100.25 3100.25 R 1/4/2030 Kroger - Groceries 100.00 3000.25 3000.25 F 1/5/2030 Speedway Gas – Lebanon 20.00
Step #2 Copy and Paste that transaction to your EXPENSE TAB (ensure the number is in the correct column)
Expense Tab Day Date Store/Person Amount Category F 1/5/2030 Speedway Gas – Lebanon 20.00
Step #3 Copy and Paste that transaction into its CATEGORY: Car Gas (ensure the number is in the correct column) Drag down a new Category Total (Click the Cell, and drag down the bottom right corner for a new total) (Verify it is less than before.) When you drag down the total – yesterday’s $35.00 becomes $15.00 Move the “Red Thing” (which links the current balance in this Category to the Summary Tab)
Car Gas Category Day Date Item Deposit Withdrawal YTD Bal M 1/1/2030 BP – Cinci 27.56 35.00 F 1/5/2030 Speedway Gas – Lebanon 20.00 15.00*
Step #4 Final Check the EXPENSE TAB – and record the category it came from (Car Gas)
Expense Tab Day Date Store/Person Amount Category F 1/5/2030 Speedway Gas – Lebanon 20.00 Car Gas
Step #5 Final Check the CHECKBOOK REGISTRY TAB - Get a New Total for your Checkbook Registry – (drag down the lower corner of the cell). An expense will lower the balance. If the Bank Online says the same number – Type it in to “Bank Bal”
Checkbook Registry Day Date Transaction Payment Deposit Checkbook Balance Bank Bal W 1/3/2030 KFC – 5 buck lunch 5.00 3100.25 3100.25 R 1/4/2030 Kroger - Groceries 100.00 3000.25 3000.25 F 1/5/2030 Speedway Gas – Lebanon 20.00 2980.75 2980.75
Step #6 Copy and Paste the new CHECKBOOK REGISTRY Bank Balance to the SUMMARY TAB. If Unassigned goes back to $1.00 - you did it correctly.
Here’s what it will look like before you copy and paste the updated Checkbook Registry Bank Balance from this morning.
Summary Tab Jan 2030 I SAYBANK SAYS Checking Acct 1/4/2030 1/4/2030 Balance 3000.25 3000.25
Here’s what it will look like after you copy & paste the updated Checkbook Registry Bank Balance and date. Summary Tab Jan 2030 I SAYBANK SAYS Checking Acct 1/5/2030 1/5/2030 Balance 2980.752980.75
If there is another expense that day – record it the same way. If you have more than one expense. You can enter them in your Checkbook Registry Tab – copy and paste all of them to your EXPENSE TAB – and just copy & paste the transactions individually from your EXPENSE TAB to the Category it comes out of. Make sure you always move the “red thing” next to the new balance in that category. So the new category balance links to the Summary Tab.
Helpful Excel Hints: *If you make a typing error – click on another cell and hit the UNDO KEY – at the top left of Microsoft Excel. It will revert to the previous amount or contents.
*If it gets “squirrelly” – for example - formula cells are highlighted with dotted line borders… hit the ESCAPE KEY.
*Don’t forget to always ask yourself for each transaction: Is this an income or an expense?
*Be sure when you copy and paste the transaction to Inc/Exp and then to its category – that the amount goes in the correct column.
* Get a new total: Click a cell, drag down the right lower corner – it will apply the formula to the next cell.
* Move a number or cell to a different cell. Click on the cell. Drag the top/bottom/left/or right border and it will move that cell to another cell location (drag and drop).
HOW2 Process An Income
Income will be either a paycheck, or money that comes into your account that is ‘unearned income.’ An example of this would be a birthday gift from your Grandma, or the $10.00 that you lent to your friend who was short on cash that he's now paying you back. Let’s say your Grandma gives you $20 for your birthday.
Step #1 Enter that transaction into your Checkbook Registry Tab and ask yourself is this an Income or an Expense?
Day Date Item Amt F 1/5/2030 G’ma – Birthday Gift $20.00
Step #2 Copy and Paste that transaction to your INCOME TAB (make sure the number is in the correct column)
Step #3 Ask God which Category or Categories and in what portion He wants you to apply it to. If you have decided that you will give tithe(10%) and offering(10%) on every ‘increase’, then… $2.00 will go to the Tithe category - Drag down a new Category Total (Verify it is more than before.) $2.00 will go to the Offering category – Drag down a new Category Total (Verify it is more than before) $16.00 might go to the ST Savings category – Drag down a new Category Total (Verify it is more than b4) Be sure to move the “Red Thing” (which links the current balance in each Category to the Summary Tab)
Step #4 Final Check the INCOME TAB – Record the Categories it was applied to, and get a new year-to-date total.
Step #5 Get a New Total for your Checkbook Registry – an Income will increase the balance.
Step #6 Copy and Paste the new Checkbook Registry balance to the SUMMARY TAB. If Unassigned goes back to $1.00 - you did it correctly (you allocated the full amount to one or more categories.)
If there is another income that day – record it the same way. If you have more than one income. You can enter them in your Checkbook Registry Tab – copy and paste all of them to your INCOME TAB – and just copy and paste the transactions individually from your INCOME TAB to the Category or categories God tells you to apply it to. Make sure you always move the “Red Thing” next to the new balance in that category. So the new balance links to the Summary Tab.
HOW2 Allocate A Paycheck
Paychecks usually come on the 15th and 30th of the month, or every other Friday. A key to obeying with money – This month’s income pays next month’s bills. So Important! It eliminates stress.
Your Income Allocation Tab will tell you how to allocate each paycheck. If you get paid twice a month – half of your rent is applied from the first paycheck, and the other half from the second paycheck so the rent money is already in the category when the rent comes due. The same goes for all the categories.
Ask God how to allocate your paychecks so each category has the money needed for this month, and save the rest as God directs. Your Income Allocation Tab – is the plan God told you for your Income to fill each category so this month’s earnings cover next month’s bills.. When each paycheck comes in – simply allocate it according to the Income Allocation Tab. Let’s your paycheck was $1000.
Step #1 Enter that transaction into your checkbook registry tab and ask yourself is this an Income or an Expense? Checkbook Registry Day Date Item Amt F 1/15/2030 Jan 15th Paycheck – Gross 1220.00 $1000.00
Step #2 Copy and Paste that transaction to your INCOME TAB (make sure the number is in the correct column)
Step #3 Follow the Income Allocation Tab to apply this paycheck to categories as God directed. If God told you to put 10% to tithe and 10% to offering, then… $122.00 will go to the Tithe category - Drag down a new Category Total (Verify it is more than before.) $122.00 will go to the Offering category – Drag down a new Category Total (Verify it is more than before) $400.00 might go to Rent – Drag down a new Category Total (Verify it is more than before) $200.00 might go to Grocery – Drag down a new Category Total (Verify it is more than before) Etc… until the entire paycheck is allocated to a category. Be sure to move the “Red Thing” (which links the current balance in each Category to the Summary Tab)
Step #4 Final Check the INCOME TAB – Record the Categories it was applied to, and get a new year-to-date total.
Step #5 Get a New Total for your Checkbook Registry – an Income will increase the balance.
Step #6 Copy and Paste the new Checkbook Registry balance to the SUMMARY TAB.
If Unassigned goes back to $1.00 - you did it correctly (you allocated the full amount to one or more categories.)
HOW2 Change Money From One Category To Another
4C’s are Four Principals of Financial Faithfulness. Capture – Categorize – Compare – Change. Capture every dollar in – and every dollar out (Checkbook Registry). Categorize every income or expense. Every Expense comes from a Category – Every Income goes to a category (or categories) Compare how much you have left in that category with how many days until next paycheck. And finally, Change money between categories – spend less there to have more here as God directs.
Obeying with money is simply recognizing it’s God’s money not yours, and if you ask Him, He will tell you how best to use it. He can manage money way better than you can. Obeying with money means asking God what Categories you should use to give save and spend from. It also means you ask God how to allocate your paychecks – so this month’s income pays next months bills. And finally obeying with money means asking God what to spend before you spend it. Just because you have money in that category – doesn’t mean God wants you to spend it. If you Update your 4C’s Accounting Tool Daily. (it really only takes 5-7 minutes), you will know exactly what you have left to spend in your most frequently spent categories (Probably Grocery, Car Gas, & Entertainment)
Let’s say you know you only have $10.00 left in Grocery, and 5 days before your next paycheck… so stop spending, and stop eating if you have to. You won’t starve. And God often will provide food from other sources than just your grocery category. He does it all the time. Learn to stop spending. Learn to live within your means, and be content with what you have. It is a key to freedom financially. No, you don’t need that extra – whatever. You can be content with what you have - Philippians 4:11-13
But sometimes God tells you to spend something that you don’t have money in the Category to Cover. Obey God, not Categories. Since you can’t spend money that isn’t in the category; if you feel God directing you to buy something, but there isn’t enough money in the category; ask God if this is really what He wants you to spend, and if so, what Category does He want you to “Change Money From?” i.e. spend less there, to have more to spend here. Ask Him, He’ll tell you.
God is way more interested in you learning how to hear and obey His voice - than He's concerned about $10.30 in the Car Gas category. Finances are just the best way to learn to hear and obey God- because they are so black and white. It's one of His favorite methods of teaching us how to walk in the Spirit.
When you record the expense, before you subtract it from it’s category, enter a “CHANGE MONEY BETWEEN CATEGORIES” transaction. Subtracting an amount from another category and adding it to this category.
Let’s say God told you to buy $20.00 of Groceries to invite someone over for dinner. And you only have $10.00 in your Groceries Category. Double check with God if that is really what he wants, and then ask him what Category you should change money from (spend less there, to have more here.). Before you record the expense in Grocery – first add an entry moving $10.00 from Entertainment to Grocery. Now you have enough to cover the $20.00 in groceries to make dinner for your friend. Don’t forget to update the Entertainment Category also – leaving $10.00 less in your entertainment category. Always ask God, He’ll tell you. It’s just obeying with God’s money.
GROCERY CATEGORY Day Date Item Deposit Withdrawal Balance S 1/8/2030 Kroger Groceries $25.00 $10.00 M 1/10/2030 Entertainment to Grocery $10.00$20.00 M 1/10/2030 Kroger Grocery – guest $20.00 $ 0.00*
OVERALL REVIEW - The pattern is always the same for each new transaction.
Checkbook Registry – to INCOME or EXPENSE – to CATEGORY – back to INCOME or EXPENSE – back to Checkbook Registry. Finally Update the SUMMARY Tab with your new Checkbook Registry Total.
What seems to be a lot of steps are really not.
Only several steps apply to each transaction. It’s either an INCOME or and EXPENSE. An EXPENSE comes out of a Category – leaving less there. An INCOME gets put into a Category – leaving more there. Many days you will only have one transaction that day - or even none at all.
If you have several expense transactions you can copy and paste all of them at one time - to the EXPENSE TAB - and then paste each one to its Category – subtracting it’s amount - leaving a lesser balance available to spend.
Once you do it for 3 days. It will be like riding a bicycle.
FOR ERRORS - What if you don't get back to $1.00 in your SUMMARY - when you paste in the new Checkbook Balance for today from your Checkbook Registry – to your Summary Tab?
One of three things happened: 1) you forgot to update the new Checkbook Balance 2) you forgot to move the "red thing" in one of the categories 3) you put one transaction in the wrong column. You added instead of subtracted. (often the number off - is double or half the actual transaction).
These three are 99% of the time the solution if you are off.
End of Month - Cream
At the end of each month. Ask God about the ‘leftovers’ in each category: keep them there or Change to another Category? Categories like Christmas – store up money each month for the end of the year. Categories like Car Insurance, or Life Insurance save a portion each month to pay the Insurance bill annually. (It’s wise to take advantage of the annual discount). But discretionary categories like Grocery, Car Gas, Entertainment etc. may have money left at the end of the month. ASK GOD - What do you want me to do with that money. He may say – leave that $12.00 leftovers – in your Grocery Category – because next month you will need a little extra.
Or he may have you “Cream” the extra money and Change it into a savings category. Your first savings Category should be an Emergency Fund, so unexpected off budget expenses don’t tempt you to go back into debt.
Your next savings category should be your next smallest debt owed. “The Debt Snowball” works and God’s will for His children is to be debt-free.
Your next savings category could be Short Term Savings for items on your 30 Day List. (See HOW2 4C's Monthly Progress).
By “Creaming” the leftovers from every category at the end of the month - you will see God miraculously eradicate every last debt, and increase your savings, to give and spend on future things as He directs. Based on the concept of a farmer “Creaming” the cream off a jar of unhomogenized milk” That extra cream is your seed money for increase! It’s how God puts wind in your sails in paying off debts and saving for future expenses! He is so faithful! Be sure to ask Him and obey! He’ll tell you – and He will multiply your seed.
The Goal of the Accounting Tool is to Know where God’s Money is – so you can do what He tells you to do with it.
The Objective of the Accounting Tool is: This month’s income – pays next month’s bills.
The Time Required for the Accounting Tool each day is typically 5 to 7 minutes.
You will usually have 1 or 2 transactions per day – sometimes 3, often none. If you fall a few days behind, no problem, just go to the last day that your Accounting Tool matched the Bank Balance. And just process each transaction one at a time since then. You’ll be caught up in no time. Finally, it’s always better to do it 5 minutes a day – than having to take 30-40 minutes to catch up at the end of the week.
How Easy Is It To Setup?
We will personally build Your 4C’s Accounting Tool with your categories and show you how to use it daily. We do this Free of Charge. What’s in it for us? God told us to. Free of charge for anyone willing to use the 4C’s Accounting Tool for at least 30 days. (we’ve used ours for 10 years) Just the joy of obeying God – and seeing people overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony is well worth it. All of the Hear Well Done Tools are free of charge. Obey with Time, Thoughts and Money – and you’ll live your Best Life! The life God has for you.
How does the setup work?
It will take an initial phone call – and a data sheet of your desired categories – as well as your income and expenses. It will take probably one to three days to build your tool. It will take a second phone call – to explain how it works. Then we will talk every day for 3-5 days until you have processed each of the 4 kinds of transactions. After that – it’s pretty much like riding a bike.
Do I Have to Use the 4C’s Accounting Tool?
No. There are many other tools out there. Some a lot fancier than an Excel based 4C’s Accounting Tool. Things like Mint.com, YNAB, and others. Use whatever you feel comfortable with. Just make sure they cover the 4C’s. But we personally recommend that if you haven’t been using one regularly – try the 4C’s Accounting Tool for 30 days.
Even if you eventually use another tool – the concepts you learn through the 4C’s Accounting Tool will be well worth it. This is life changing. It has changed our perspective of obeying financially. We’ve found though, that many people don’t use any tool, they just go by guesswork. It’s all after the fact. A rear-view mirror look at what happened, but no way to know what they have – so they can ask God what to do with it.
Do You Personally Use the 4C’s Accounting Tool? And Why? Absolutely – we use it every day – and have for about 10 years.
We personally use the 4C’s Accounting Tool because: #1 It’s free and everybody uses Excel. #2 It’s easy to use, and if you fall behind – it's easy to catch up – just one transaction at a time. #3 It’s not on a cloud - your data is not available for others to see. #4 It tracks real dollars and lets you look forward. What you have in each category right now – and what you can spend before next paycheck.
For me – great pie charts of how much I spent over budget last month… didn’t really help me. The past is the past: either I obeyed with God’s money – or I didn’t. I just want a tool that lets me see forward. So I know where God’s money is – and can ask Him what He wants me to do with it. An Accounting Tool, not a budgeting tool.
The truth is you live by categories – not a budget. Whether I’m over or under budget doesn’t matter as much as only spending what is available in the category. I appreciate an Accounting Tool (not a budget tool) something that lets me see forward. Rather than a fancy rear view mirror.
What if I use a Credit Card? How does the 4C’s Accounting Tool handle that?
Simple. We personally use a Discover Card – but only as a means of payment, not a means of credit. We only put on the Discover Card – what we have in that Category to spend. i.e. from Grocery, or Car Gas etc.
When we update our 4C’s Accounting Tool Daily – We open the Tool, our Bank online, and Discover Card online.
Each new transaction that hit the credit card yesterday - we enter into our Discover Category as a deposit – and subtract it as a withdrawal from the Spending Category (Grocery, Car Gas etc.). Basically just changing money from the Grocery Category to the Discover Card Category – so the money is there when the Discover bill comes due. Which we pay on the 30th of the month – due 14 days later. We only buy groceries or anything - if there is money in the grocery category. We never pay an interest charge.
We started doing this simply because if someone steals our Discover Card, we can decline the charges. If someone steals our debit card – they could empty our account – and we can’t ‘deny the charges’ – the money is already gone. We’re now trying to talk the bank into ‘reimbursing us.’ Whether banks say they will or not – we’d prefer the safer route. (but others may feel differently – and that’s fine). Most important is knowing where God’s money is, doing what He says to do with it, and remaining debt free – to earn, give, save and spend as God directs.
Isn’t It Better To Have A Financial App On Your Phone
Some people think so. But we found most people have only two or three financial transactions per day. So for us, getting to use my phone wasn’t as important as spending the least amount of time possible on finances each day. I wanted to know exactly how much I had in each category – so I could ask God how he wanted me to use it. We have found that the convenience of the phone was negligible compared to the benefit of a fully self-contained (not on the ‘cloud) Excel Tool.’ Personally I am on my computer daily, so opening my 4C’s Excel Document was pretty easy, and the ability to see forward, not just backward was worth the ‘non-sexy’ of an Excel Document.
Fancy pie charts of what I spent – got old – since I can’t change the past. Not to mention many people shared on the internet that some of the online financial apps – either miss-applied their categories, or it became cumbersome to keep up with – and most often it was hard to tie their categories to the actual money in their checking account to make wise financial decisions today. If I’m over or under budget is not as important as what was in the actual checkbook category. I’m often over budget – aka monthly allotment – which is fine. I just need to know where to change money from – to spend less there to have more here. That’s the key to obeying God financially, and having freedom to obey God, not a budget.
He often has us do things (especially giving) that don’t really make sense financially. But come with great joy when we obey. For us it was important not having your financial tracking system available for others to see on the web. Not just unauthorized viewers (hackers) - we don’t question the ‘security’ of the app itself – we just prefer our personal financial activities not be available for viewing by any company’s employees.
Please note, we’re not trying to ‘sell you’ on the 4C’s Accounting Tool. (It’s free anyway). And the moment I find a tool that is as private, simple, complete, and forward looking as the simple power of the 4C’s Accounting Tool in Excel, I probably will begin using it myself. But whatever tool you use – as long as it covers the 4C’s – your good to go!
BUDGET MYTH #1: "Live by your budget" You don't live by a budget: You live by a bucket. (You really live by categories). A budget is just an allocation plan. Categories contain the money! The purpose of a budget - is to determine beforehand, how you will allocate income. In other words - if you get paid twice a month. You better set aside half of your rent money- each paycheck. If you don't, you won't have the money to pay the rent.
BUDGET Myth #2 "If you're on a budget - you're a faithful steward" Just because you are within budget - doesn't mean that you are within God's will. Just because you are within budget - doesn't mean you are hearing and obeying financially - (doesn't mean you're financially faithful). Some people with good income - pad their budget so they don't really need to ask God about spending. They allocate plenty of 'extra' into spending categories so they can spend what they want in that area. They tell themselves they are faithful because they haven't gone "over budget." This is not faithfulness. They could easily be squandering the margin for which God has another specific purpose.
Budgets are neither accounting or obeying.
They are simply a plan of what to spend and how to allocate income to spend it. That's why many people can take 30 days tracking their spending to make a budget - that then sits on a shelf - and never really gets used. Something unexpected always comes up (it's called life), and since they are always over or under "budget" They continue making decisions by 'gut feel' like they always have - rather than knowing where God's money is, and asking Him what He wants them to do with it.
Budgets occur at a point in time, Accounting and Obeying happen over time.
You will follow either God's spending plan - or your own. Even no plan - is still your own plan - because it's definitely not God's plan for the money He entrusted to you.
Hopefully your budget is God's income-allocating and spending plan for you, but not always. Sometimes our budget is just our best crack at what we think would be pleasing to God. (We assume He places the same value on money and things as we do.)
The truth is: You can't live by either plan, God's or your own, without accounting. While accounting and obeying your own plan may keep you from bounced checks or bankruptcy - it won't help you live your best life. Only living by God's earning and spending plan - can do that.
A Good Accounting Tool, and an Accounting and Obeying process will ensure that you are seeking and following God's Income allocation, and Spending Plan for you.
A little known secret: Hearing and obeying Daily financially is most effective when you're walking with someone! Your Daily Call is perfect for this! Add RSVP to your Daily Call. - A 15 minute call before work - sharing PiVAT and PRISM with a friend.
God wants to teach you how to walk in the Spirit financially. He wants to make your money decisions! The V - Vision of RSVP lets God make the call on money decisions. It's His money and His ways are very different than ours. He loves the conversation, and He uses money to teach us to hear his voice. It's "Holy Spirit-hearing"- practice and He loves the fellowship, especially on the subject is money - the indicator of our heart.
How Important is sharing RSVP on our Daily Call?
Really Important! God says to exhort one another daily (Hebrews 3:13) for good reason! You've probably never before testified daily about your growing financial obedience. Yet this is the area - money - that most contends with Christ for the Lordship of our life. (Matthew 6:24)
Money is a huge heart issue. Most people never share their obedience walk in the area of money - because most people don't know it's an obedience issue. They still think God wants better money managers - when He really wants better money obeyers. He doesn't need you to manage His money! He can do just fine on his own - He just wants you to ask Him what to do with his money - and do it! If He can trust you to obey with money - you'll obey him in anything - and He can use you mightily for the Kingdom of God. (Luke 16:11)
God uses money in your life to teach you how to hear & obey his voice. No better teacher than money -where the rubber meets the road - a competitor for Lordship in your life. A perfect place for Him to take over. If He's Lord of your life, He will make your money decisions. You will yield this area to Him! And you won't mind sharing this growing obedience journey with someone else - who is also learning to obey financially - because you're both just stewards, and it's his money anyway)
The devil wants to isolate you financially. And most people have never honestly shared financial decisions and struggles with anyone - their whole life! Half the people don't even share with their spouse!
If you are sharing your financial obedience daily: RSVP - in your Daily Call:
1) You will be far more likely to continue hearing & obeying financially
2) You will encourage your Daily Call Partner to do the same
3) You will gain Godly counsel on financial obedience from each other as God leads you in His truth – financially
4) You will see God do amazing things financially in your lives - bringing a closer walk with him, and blessing to your family!
May God bless you as you hear and obey with money – so God can show you show to live your best life! We would love to help you! Call us.