During my banking career, I reviewed the financial statements of innumerable businesses, both large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit. I also gave counsel to countless customers regarding their personal financial practices. Whether the focus was a multimillion-dollar corporate budget or a homemaker’s monthly household budget, some of the same principles applied.

Don F. Calfee, my first banking mentor often said, “Take care of your pennies, and your dollars will take care of themselves.” In the parable of the talents, the Lord Jesus Christ, in so many words, affirmed this principle. “Well done, good and faithful slave (who was given two talents); you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23 NAS).

Stewardship involves efficiently managing resources—whether money, property, or other assets. If a person, family, business, church, or school fails to manage the little things, they may be rudely awakened by bouncing checks, past-due bills and late charges with a lot more of the month remaining after all the money has been spent. Where is the joy in that?

A housewife confided that her husband became angry when she overspent the household budget—not just once but every month. She couldn’t understand where she got off track. After all, her husband said he wasn’t concerned about expenditures of $20 or less. Herein lies a basic communication problem. The husband meant one $20 expenditure per month in excess of the budget, whereas the wife thought he meant she could spend as many $20 expenditures as she wanted. Since her purchases were so small, she never kept track of them. As a result, the monthly total often exceeded her budget by $200 or more. That’s a budget-buster!

The wife could have spared herself a lot of grief, kept her husband’s blood pressure under control, and helped preserve a peaceful atmosphere at home by simply following Mr. Calfee’s advice: “Take care of your pennies, and your dollars will take care of themselves.” The household budget would have survived, too.

As a new school year begins, school administrators and staff should ask themselves a few questions as they implement a new spending plan:

· Do we know where our school’s money is going? Every penny of it?

· Do we have a good reason for our school’s money going there?

· Are the necessary processes and procedures in place to ensure that everyone in the organization understands the importance of financial stewardship and adheres to the approved budget? If not, why not?

Please accept the NAUMS, Inc. Business Department’s best wishes for a successful and blessed 2019-20 school year.

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