How I Spend Money

“You get what you pay for.”  Oh how I’ve learned that lesson.

Several years ago we took the staff to Catalyst in Atlanta, GA.  In the spirit of saving money, I booked us at a sub-par hotel.  Pastor and I were at a meeting when we got the call from the rest of the group.  This sub-par hotel was 1. not safe 2. not clean 3. not safe and 4. not clean.  One staffer said they’d sleep on the bed with their clothes on.  We went downstairs to check out and relocate to another hotel.  And, this is not a joke, a lady was asking if they rented the hotel by the hour.  If that wasn’t enough to get us to move I don’t know what would be.  So I learned my lesson.  Cheaper isn’t always better.  Here is how I decide to spend money:

  1. Price.  Yes price always plays a part.  We just initiated a policy that all capital expense requests (tangible assets over $500) must be accompanied by 3 quotes.  We want to do our homework and make sure we aren’t getting hosed.
  2. Quality.  I will gladly pay 30% more for a product if I get double the life span.  In my home finances I always research the mess out of a major purchase.  But we do have a history in my house of purchasing quality items that last a long time.  I’m still using my TV from 1998.  Still have the same washer and dryer from 2003.  Mower is 6 years old.  Vacuum is 6 years old.  You get the point.  I carry that philosophy over into the church world.  Quality over price.  You have a good chance of maximizing your dollar.
  3. Relationship.  We have some things I just won’t think about changing vendors.  Why?  Because we’ve built a trust relationship with them.  I am comfortable with them.  I know they will talk straight with me.  I know they will own up to their word.  I know they will make things right.  Do I push them on price?  Yup!  But they know my philosophy and what we are trying to accomplish at Lifepoint.  I’m more apt to spend more with a vendor if I know the quality of the relationship will be worth it.  You can usually get things done faster with a quality relationship.  And, we all know, time is money.  So in essence you are saving money in the long run!  Again, it’s about maximizing your dollar.

Hope this helps those of you in the church world.  If you are thinking strictly in dollars when it comes to purchases, there’s a chance your limiting your view and only looking at the short-term.  Look more to the long-term health of your ministry.  Remember, as church staff we have the responsibility to wisely steward every dollar that people have sacrificed and given.  Don’t EVER take that responsibility lightly.

Next Post: Wednesday February 15th – When To Outsource

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