Articles > Cash Flow
How does a positive cash flow margin
relate to how I live in this world?
Understanding the Positive
Cash Flow Margin Concept
by Glen Becker
God designed this world so that you require food, clothing
and shelter to live. That means that it is impossible
to save 100% of your income. So, you need to plan how
much to give, how much to spend and how much to use
for other purposes.
There are certain priority payments which must come
first: tithes, any giving you have committed to the
Lord to make, your taxes, and the minimum payments on
debts. Beyond these, there are the regular expenses
of housing, food, clothing, etc. You have some discretion
on these, but as God planned, you do need these things.
Income that is not used for these purposes is available
for meeting your financial goals: faster debt repayment,
building a cash reserve for emergencies, savings for
retirement or special purchases, and building an estate
to leave to your heirs.
This available income is called “cash flow margin.”
You can think of it as your freedom of choice. If your
cash flow margin is:
Positive: You have real choices on what to do with
Zero: You have no choice—it’s all gone.
Negative: You are forced to borrow more each month.
Thus, cash flow margin is all about choice. Sadly,
most people do not know their cash flow margin. If you
do not know yours, the money will disappear by default.
Usually the only way to have a positive cash flow margin
is to plan to have one. That requires listing your income
and expenses, doing the math, and seeing the number
God already knows the number, and He wants you to know
it, too. Proverbs 27:23 (NIV) says, “Be sure you
know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention
to your herds.” This includes knowing whether
there is enough food to feed the flock. In the same
way, you must know whether your spending is allowing
you to move ahead financially or not. If not, you can
adjust your spending plan until you are happy with the
You want to achieve your financial goals. Planning
for a positive cash flow margin is the practical way
to begin. You will then be able to use the money according
to your priorities.