John Wesley was an old-time preacher and founder of the Methodist denomination. He would travel all around England in the 1700’s and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was an evangelist similar to George Whitefield here in the United States that would simply ride into a city or town, draw an audience, and tell them of the grace of God.
The Bible in teaching about money says in Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Mr. Wesley was a Bible Believer of his day, and strived to follow what God said about all aspects of life, including money. John Wesley applied a 10-10-80 rule, which if we did the same, would greatly improve our financial well-being. Here in a nut-shell is the 10-10-80 rule:
1) Wesley gave 10% of his income - He understood that giving is an important aspect to handling money well. He faithfully gave back 10 percent of every dollar that God gave him. He understood the principle of stewardship, and that God owned everything and that Wesley managed it on God’s behalf. By reading and studying the Bible, Wesley knew that God told him that Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him (1 Corinthians 16:2)
2) Wesley saved 10% of his income – He also understood that saving is important. He knew that if he faithfully and consistently saved money, that he would have it in times of emergencies. You never know what might come your way: a broken transmission, a leaky roof, or a major power outage. Some years back, we had back to back blizzards here on the East Coast. We didn’t have power for over a week. A friend of mine had a 4 wheel drive truck and he was going to hunt for generators and heaters. I asked him to pick me up a couple as well, if he could find them. He returned that night with a generator, 4 heaters, and a couple of extension cords for us. I wrote him a check for the cost and thanked him with some extra gas money. We could do that because we had an emergency fund, from incrementally saving money.
3) Wesley spent 80% of his income – He understood the general principle of living on less than you make. Many Americans have lost that simple common sense approach. I recently read about a study that stated that over 70% of Americans could not come up with $2,000 in 30 days if they needed to. The study also said that 25% of Americans that make between $100,000 and $150,000 couldn’t come up with it either. That is a said statement on both accounts. You need to systemically lower you expenses so that you have some margin. If you are living right on the edge of a cliff, a good wind will push you over.
John Wesley was a great preacher and theologian that did extraordinary things for God, but he was also faithful in handling the little things well too. And that included money.