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Building a Financial Plan From Scratch

Updated: Jun 15

nuts and bolts in a box

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

From the Desk of A.B. Ridgeway: My eyes are getting blurry, my hands are throbbing, and I'm running out of breath. I had been up for 27 hours at this point and my body was letting me know that if I didn't voluntarily take myself to bed, that it was going to hit the emergency brake and cause me to collapse in the middle of the floor. I had been working on building my kid's bunk beds. My wife was out of town at a funeral, so it was a perfect time to concentrate and surprise them when they got back. Unfortunately, building those beds would be a week's worth of work, and I only had 2 days to do it. Something I wish I would have thought of before I started. 🙄 But it was my fault. For the past 3 weeks, I had every intention of building the bunk beds, but in my mind, I had more things to do, than time to do them. So it sat in the garage. I filed it under my "Important but not Urgent" category. But to my surprise, because I didn't properly prepare, by putting it on my calendar, researching the time required, or even talking to my dad to see if he had any suggestions or things I may have missed, my "Important but not Urgent" task turned into an "Important AND Urgent task". This is what I had to look forward to...

nuts and bolts in a box

Even though these different nuts, bolts, screws, and anchors are all organized neatly into this ONE box, it was still a mess.

And this is what a majority of our finances look like. We have all the parts, but we don't know how to put them together to make good sense of it.

But, no matter how much anxiety this brought me, I pulled out the instructions, I planned my attack, and I got to work.

It wasn't pretty.

My stomach was hurting, I was dehydrated from working sometimes 6 and 7 hours straight without a break, and my back was getting tight from bending over and picking up dropped pieces. But after a few hours of organizing my pieces, placing similar parts in sections, and taking an inventory, I got this...

a bunk bed

It was a proud moment.

I could start to see that my hard work was starting to pay off. The time, energy, and stress that I put into the project were starting to create a vision of my future that was better than the nuts and bolts in this tiny box. I started to realize that there was more to enjoy than what I knew. That the nuts and bolts were merely potential, but I had to put those nuts and bolts to work.

But there was only one problem.

The instructions were wrong, and some of the parts were mislabeled.

I was getting flustered again.

Part T3 was really Part T4, some parts didn't even have a label, and when I put parts together, as instructed, they didn't match or look like the picture.

I almost gave up!

Then I remembered who I was doing it for.

I thought about my kids playing.

I thought about how they would lie down and share stories about their day and I thought about how proud they would be that their dad made a bed "out of nothing".

So I took what I learned from my experience up to this point, and made some adjustments. I even took a look at the final picture and reverse-engineered the project.

And it worked!

Completed bunk bed

After 27 hours, no sleep, barely eating, and a gallon of water, the project was done.

Even though my body was ready to shut down from exhaustion, after I was done, I just stared at it for about 10 minutes.

When building our financial future, in most cases, it is not that you don't have enough money, you don't have a plan.

Just like organizing our finances, we tend to push that project back in our 20s, and 30s, and sometimes our 40s. Then when we start hitting our mid 50's we try to rush and it causes so much mental frustration.

I could have saved myself so much anguish if I just would have planned and started earlier. If I was tired, I could have napped. If I was hungry, I could have stopped and eaten, if I was frustrated, I could have taken a break and picked back up later.

And that is how investing is. If you are just patient, take your time, the anguish doesn't go away, but you will have time to deal with it. When your finances are organized, you have a plan, it is easier to make adjustments knowing you have years to correct them.

But if you only give yourself one or two years to be successful, you will have two options, either quitting and never making it or going through a lot of pain to get there.

Do you remember my previous email, What God Says About Hoarding Money? (Check it out after this email, it explains what God calls the man who just wants to hoard money)

Our savings account represents that one brown box. We have the resources, but we haven't built anything other than our ego, as we try to hoard more and more money.

We need to construct a plan to create something beautiful that is going to leave a legacy.

So here are a few key takeaways that I want you to remember about your finances:

  1. Even the best plans need adjusting. Things can go wrong outside of your control. The stock market could go down or we can have unexpected inflation. My happiest clients are those that understand that when the parts of the plan that we discussed are not going right, as their financial planner, I am going to adjust and create new plans until their vision is fulfilled.

  2. There is more value in creating a legacy than hoarding money. I would rather have these bunk beds than have a few hundred dollars in my pocket. Today, I want you to ask yourself, what can I create, that is going to be better and last longer, than the money I keep in my pocket? and Is what I am investing in, creating God's legacy, or destroying it?

  3. Investing is going to hurt sometimes but the feeling of happiness is forever. Right now, in the stock market, some of you are hurting, but the happiness you will feel by sticking with your plan will make these troubled times a mere memory. If I judged my progress in building these bunk beds by how I felt when parts were everywhere, and the plans were wrong, I would have quit before my vision came to fruition. And no one wants that.

That is why today's scripture is so important. It speaks on focusing on things from above. not things that are on earth. It reads in Chapter 3 verse 10, you have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

You can not come into the world of Finances with the same mindset you had before. You must be renewed in your thinking and open to new ways of doing things. And that is going to hurt as you break old habits and thought processes.

We all heard of growing pains. Finances are no different.

If you are investing now, and you feel some growing pains, and you need some help schedule a consultation with a Christian Advisor and discuss your situation.

In the meantime, I encourage you to read Colossians Chapter 3 sometime today because there is a part I really want you to understand.

The promise of God says that if you let go of these earthly desires of hoarding money, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry, and replace them with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Then the peace of Christ will rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Paraphrase)

If your only goal is just to have money, then this is not the firm for you. But if you want to be renewed in your purpose through knowledge of the creator and develop a vision of your future that will create a lifelong legacy, then reach out.

If you never invested before or want to know what the Bible says about it:

I want you to read Matthew 25:14 and see what JESUS says about INVESTING and the meaning behind the story.

Then simply Hit REPLY to this email and write what Jesus is teaching in The Parable of the Talents.

Just a few lines about what God is impressing on your heart as it relates to your finances. And let us know what were your key takeaways from today's newsletter.

  • Are you going to set up a plan for your vision?

  • Are you going to let temporary downturns in the market keep you from building your legacy?

  • Or are you going to do something to change it for the better?

Well, that is it from us today.

As always, if you enjoyed this newsletter, please FORWARD it to a friend, so we can continue to spread the gospel and knowledge of finances to those who are still carrying around their bunk bed dreams in that one brown box.

I hope that you had a wonderful Labor Day and I look forward to hearing your response.

If you are not subscribed and received this newsletter from a friend, a link, or from a video, click subscribe to receive it, free, directly into your inbox by clicking subscribe below.

Until Next Time,

God Bless

retired couple reviewing their investments


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As Christians, we were taught to be good stewards over our tithing and giving to the less fortunate. But when it came to our personal finances and investing we were left clueless on what the Bible says. What does the Bible say about managing debt, leaving a legacy, investing, and planning for your retirement? Mr. Christian Finance answers these and many other questions because we want to teach you how to become rich and righteous!

Meet A.B. Ridgeway:

A.B. Ridgeway with his hands up

A.B. Ridgeway, MBA, CPWA®️ ( is the owner and Christian Financial Advisor with A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management. With a decade in the finance industry, his goal is to give believers clarity around the most confusing topic in the Bible, money, and tithing. A.B. Ridgeway helps tithing Christians become cheerful givers but unlocking their money-making potential, so they can prosper and be the great stewards of the wealth God has entrusted them with.

*Disclaimer: This communication is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or investment advisory services. Any information provided has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of any description of securities, markets or developments mentioned. This is strictly for information purposes. We recommend you speak with a professional financial advisor.

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