4C's Monthly Progress shows the current balance of each spending category on the 1st Day of every month this year.
It's not what you spent each month, but how much was there in each spending category at the beginning of the month.
The First Page of 4C’s Monthly Progress contains Priority Categories & Net Worth for your complete financial picture.
The Second Page contains all of your Categories in the order of your 4C's Accounting ToolSummary Tab (or whichever accounting tool you use).
Some Categories - like Grocery or Car Gas - should start with zeroevery month (because you spend that planned amount each month). Other Categories - like Car Insurance, or Christmas - should accumulate month by month until the full amount is needed at the end of the year.
HOW2 4C’s Monthly Progress
On the first day of the month - Go to your 4C's Accounting Tool and Cut & Paste each category's balance as of the first of the month. Over the year, you will see a trend month over month. Some Categories return to zero, others accumulate over time until an annual expense comes due. This is where you ask God – "Is this still what you want me to earn, give, save and spend. Or do you have something else for me in this season?"
Checkbook: Get the 1st of each month Checkbook Balance - from your Checkbook Registry Tab in your Accounting Tool
Emergency Fund: Enter the Balance at the beginning of the month. Your 3 to 6 month living expenses may be contained in your checking account, or other liquid account, like savings, money market fund, cash, etc.
Short Term Savings - This could be contained within your checking account - or another account - wherever you keep it - enter the balance as of the 1st of each month. This is not an emergency fund, but a general savings for short term needs - not ear marked for a specific item.
Next Car Savings - Without this category, you will probably choose the curse of debt for your next car. God's way is better! This will grow month by month - and God can add to it in miraculous ways. You'll find that once you save up the money you will purchase far more wisely. God can give you the perfect car for far less than you expected.
Long Term Savings & Investments: Whatever accounts you have - Enter the balances as of the first of each month. Know the condition of your flock.
Net Worth: This is simply a calculation of Assets (what you own) minus Liabilities (what you owe).
All money in any account, investment, cash, or hard assets that you have - (house, car, etc) minus the total amount of money you owe (Mortgage, 2nd Mortgage, Car Loans, Student Loans, IRS etc.)
Tracking this at the beginning of each month helps you know the condition of your flock. Remember, God is not obligated to give you a steady increase with never a setback or blip... He's more concerned with increasing your faith, than your retirement account. His job is to provide, our job is to be faithful to hear and obey what He tells us to do financially.
Income and Expenses
Projected Earnings: What you think you will earn this month. Actual Earnings: What you actually earned this month. (Fill in actuals at the end of the month.)
Projected Total Income: What you expect to receive this month- including earnings, and over and above earnings (maybe nothing). Actual Total Income: What actually came in. God has ways of bringing extra. Refunds, birthday gifts, garage sales, finding a dime on the sidewalk... His provision is not limited to your paycheck!
Projected Expense: What you think you will spend this month. (the total amount) Actual Expense: What you actually spent this month (the total amount) (fill in at the end of the month).
Tithe and Offering
Projected Tithe: The Projected Tithe is 10% of your projected total income this month. God's Word says the 1st dime of every dollar you receive isn't yours to manage, it belongs to him. Actual Tithe Paid: When the month ends, look at your Tithe category and enter the total tithe paid out (not set aside in your tithe category) but actually paid out during the month.
Projected Offering: Whatever percentage God has led you to give over and above the tithe. Calculate this amount based on your projected total income this month. Actual Offering Given: When the month ends, look at your Offering category and enter the total offering given out this month from your Offering Category. God may not have directed you to give the whole category balance yet. Just enter the total offering amount you dispersed at God's direction.
Total Debt: The sum total of all outstanding debt. House, cars, private loans, student loans - every dime you owe to someone else.
Mortgage: The outstanding balance on your mortgage. (not your mortgage payment - the total amount you owe)
Debt #1: This is your smallest debt owed. Thus, the first debt you will target for payoff.
Debts #2+3+4 etc: The sum total of all other remaining debt except your mortgage. (lump them together because the only one that matters right now is the smallest debt. This is the first debt to fall! Focus!
Projected to Principal: The amount this month over and above minimum payments that you can apply to the principal of your smallest debt.
The Debt Snowball! Move all your debt payments to minimum payment only. Then take every dime extra you can come up with each month and apply it directly towards the principal of your smallest debt. With every debt paid off - It's minimum payment (no longer being paid to the lender) is added to the Principal owed on the next smallest debt. This Debt Snowball grows with each paid off debt until all credit cards, consumer debt and finally your mortgage is fully paid off. Finally, use the same process - for a Savings Snowball - to save for future needs without the curse of debt. College, Weddings, Retirement etc. as God leads you.
Thousands of people have used the Debt Snowball successfully. If you determine to obey God's command and let no debt remain outstanding. (Romans 13:8) He will amaze you at how faithful he is - to bring extra to put towards these debt repayments. No amount is impossible with God.
Actual to Principal: The actual amount you paid on the principal of your smallest debt. (you can even include the portion of the minimum payment that is automatically applied to the principle if you wish.)
On this First Page: "Projected" will apply to this month beginning today. "Actual" will be filled in once the month is completed. When you fill out Page 1 for this month - also fill in the actuals for last month's Monthly Progress.
30 DAY LIST List your top 6 "wants" in priority order
Rules: 1) Ask God what are your next needed purchases – over and above monthly expenses – in what priority order?
2) Wait 30 days before buying
3) Only buy the 1st thing on the list. (Only if you have the money saved)
4) If the Priority #1 item changes, restart the 30 day List
Item: The number one purchase priority that you have right now - above normal living expenses.
Cost: The estimated price of that item
$ Saved so far: The money you have set aside so far towards this purchase.
Second page of - 4C's Monthly Progress
Left Column: List every spending Category in the same order as your Summary Sheet in your 4Cs Accounting Tool.
Jan 1st Column: List the balance in each Spending Category on the 1st of each month.
Feb 1st and following: List the balance in each Spending Category on the 1st of every month this year.
You will see a trend of money availability. (Cash Flow) Some categories will zero out each month, others will grow over time.
This is not what you spent. This is what was available at the first of each month – revealing the cash flow of your categories. Or “when money was available to spend” and how much. None will be a negative number. Because it's real money. The only way to spend more money than was in the category, was to C: CHANGE money between Categories as God directs - spending less there, to have more here.
“If I had to run a company on 3 measures, those measures would be Customer Satisfaction, Employee Satisfaction and Cash Flow.” – Jack Welch - former CEO, General Electric
Never take your eyes off of cash flow because it is the life blood of the business. – Richard Branson – CEO Virgin Airlines
Entrepreneurs believe that profit is what matters most in a new enterprise. But profit is secondary. Cash flow matters most – Peter Drucker – Entrepreneur and Business Author
Know the condition of your flocks. Give careful attention to your herds. For riches do not last forever and a crown is not secure for all generations – Solomon – The wisest and richest man who ever lived.
4C's Monthly Progress is easy to do! Just cut & paste the balances on the 1st of the month - directly from your 4C's Accounting Tool (whichever one you use).
This Cash Flow "year in progress" at-a-glance will help you greatly in directing God's money when and where He tells you!
Why2 4C's Monthly Progress
Reviewing your 4C's Monthly Progress with your spouse, Daily CALL Partner/ and 4C’s Monthly Partners each month is vitally important because:
1) It shows your progress 2) It brings unity in your marriage 3) It encourages you to continue being faithful 4) It encourages your Daily Call Partner and 4C’s Monthly Partner to be faithful also!
It Shows Your Progress
Proverbs 4:18 - The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter til the full light of day.
I Timothy 3:14 - Be diligent in these matters, give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
Proverbs 21:20 - In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 - God is the One who brings seed to the farmer and bread for food. He will give you all the seed you need and make it grow so there will be a great harvest from your goodness. He will make you rich in every way so that you can always give freely. And your giving through us will cause many to give thanks to God.
Your 4C's Monthly Progress report reveals clearly how God is making the categories grow.
Some Categories won't grow - because they are for regular expenses every month. You will be able to tell by the amounts carried over each month if you have allocated the right amount to these categories - either too much, or not enough or just about right.
It Brings Unity In Your Marriage
Genesis 2:18 - Now the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him."
Ephesians 5:21 - Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Husbands and Wives are given by God to be your number one counselor - this especially includes finances.
Any spouse making financial decisions on their own is foolish. It doesn't matter if you have a financial education or background. Money is a Spiritual thing, not a fiscal thing! God has placed your spouse to be your balance and your completion. Seeking God together on the allocation of income, the areas of giving, and saving and spending - brings you closer to God and closer to each other.
You may find that over time some zero-based categories are still growing - either God has provided these regular monthly expenses at less cost, or maybe you are allocating more to these categories each month than He wants you to.
This may free up money to be used elsewhere. Ask Him! God may have you allocate less to these categories and He may have you move the overage to another area, either giving or saving or another area of immediate need.
It Encourages You To Continue Being Faithful Financially
When you know where God's money is, and ask Him what to do with it. He will tell you. And over time your categories will grow. Not at all times. God may allow seasons of little, even when you are being faithful the best you know how.
But, seeing the trends of what you have (Monthly Progress) vs. what you spent (Monthly Spending) will encourage you greatly to Keep going! Keep asking, Keep hearing, and Keep being faithful to do what He tells you with the money He's entrusted to you.
It Encourages Your Daily PiVAT Call Partner And Your 4C's Monthly Call Partner To Be Faithful Also
Your Monthly Progress is an ongoing testimony of God's Faithfulness as we commit to hear and obey him financially.
Just being obedient, and seeing how faithful God is over time - can be a greater encouragement and challenge for your Daily Call Partner than the best sermon on money they could ever hear.
Knowing God's financial principles, and applying God's financial principles will bring results. His Word does not return void. No greater motivation than seeing the blessing of obedience.
Frequently Asked Questions about 4C's Monthly Progress
If We Do A 4C's Monthly Spent - Do We Really Need A 4C's Monthly Progress?
First - you can just look these up in your Accounting Tool - but the power of having that Month by Month trend on one page - especially for both spouses to review together is extremely helpful.
The reason Monthly Progress is so important - is because Monthly Spent is already gone. You can't do anything about it. 4C's Monthly Progress is a Cash Flow perspective. A "Show me the Money" view. It's the "Where's the beef?" picture so important to making informed requests of the Lord. It's good to know what you spent. But to see the trends of what you have clearly reveals what allocations may need to be adjusted.
Finally - it's so easy to compile. Page 2 is just a cut & paste from each category - or directly from your Accounting Tool Summary Sheet - (if you do it on the first of the month).
Page 1 Encourages you to look a full month ahead - not just category by category but overall. Very helpful in learning to walk in the Spirit financially. The question is. “God, we were faithful this month to the plan we feel you revealed. Is this still what you want us to do? Or do you want us to allocate your money differently?”
Do We Really Need To Share Monthly Progress and Monthly Spent Reports With a 4C's Monthly Call Partner Couple? (or our Daily Call Partner?)
No, you don't have to do anything at all. Actually, its easier not to. We have all grown up with the strong unwritten rule. Money is no-one else's business.
Most people have never shared their financial picture and decision making process with anyone!
First they often don't know where "God's money" is (which they have always considered "their money") and Second they don't really have a Scripturally wise process for making financial decisions.
Sharing your financial picture and decision making process each month with a fellow believer equally committed to obeying God with money - might be unnecessary if it was your money. You might not want to reveal to anyone - how far ahead you are in the race to “die with the most money!”
But since it's not your money, since you are only a steward of God's money - and since He has specifically commanded us to admonish one another, and submit to one another - then GOD may know something we don't about the power of accountability - financially.
Comparing notes with a fellow - money manager, can have some long-term benefits. Besides, what do you care? It's all the same Master's money!
What if you were the Chief Financial Officer of a General Motors Manufacturing Plant? Would you ever meet with a CFO of another GM plant - to compare notes? Probably a no-brainer. "Hey how did you get your overtime so low?" "Why is your insurance costs less than ours," "How come you spend half as much on supplies as we do?" You would likely gain several new ideas to lower costs & increase profits. Would you feel like they were looking at your money? No, of course not. It's all GM money. You're just the CFO. But that’s the same thing as God’s money in your checking account.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 - Though one may be overcome by an adversary - two can withstand him...
Isolation is the Devil's secret weaponto Scriptural ignorance, and financial bondage. You can be in bondage whether you make much or little financially.
The devil wants to keep Christians completely isolated from fellow believers in the area of money because isolated people are more easily deceived. They just argue with their spouse - the strongest personality wins and foolish financial decisions - or attitudes and perspectives - which go against scripture - are easy to pull over on us.
The devil tries to make us think that "everyone does that." No one can live debt free, No one can give away that much!, No one can buy nice cars with cash - maybe clunkers... but not a quality car. No one can pay for college without debt. No one can build a church building without debt. No one can ever pay off their house unless they are like in their 60's ... Everyone co-signs for some things... On and On...
But if we are willing to, in confidence, share our Monthly Progress, and Monthly Spent with a fellow believer a 4C's Monthly Call Partner couple - equally committed to fully obeying Christ financially. God will make it obvious how He blesses those who follow His financial principles completely - including seeking counsel, submitting to and exhorting one another.
You will see God do amazing things - according to his word. Your nervousness in getting counsel from others - is not God's Way, it's man's way. (As if you can do better with God's money - than the way He designed).
You will be amazed, inspired and encouraged by what God does in your 4C's Monthly Call Partners' – financial life - as you both commit to HIS WAY instead of yours - learning together what is is to hear and obey daily - financially.
May God bless you as you exhort one another to hear and obey with money. It’s His money. And his success strategy is to walk two by two. Ecclesiastes 4:12