Do You Have a Wonderful-Life Financial Plan?

its a wonderful life COLORWe all grow up dreaming of a Wonderful Life. Family and friends who love us. Good job. Nice house. Plenty of food. Enough money to take care of our needs and even some of our wants. When I got married one of my friends was asked to give us some marriage advice. His advice was classic. “Tim, give Terri everything she wants.” He added, “and Terri, only want what you need.” I can still remember his wife catcalling from the background about his bad advice. But, behind his playful banter was a principle. And the principle is this; for a family to be successful the family has to be on the same page and have a plan. Particularly in the area of money. Nothing will challenge a marriage more than how to manage the family resources. Continue reading “Do You Have a Wonderful-Life Financial Plan?”

Your Year End Giving Makes a Difference!

consumption-520085_640This time of the year many of us are evaluating our generosity goals for the year.  People who study generosity say that

  • 31% of all giving happens in the month of December
  • 12% of all giving happen in the last 3 days of the year

Why so much at the end of the year?  Simple put, human nature.  End of the year bonus are part of it but for a lot of us we just need a real deadline.  And midnight on December 31 is as real as it gets!! Continue reading “Your Year End Giving Makes a Difference!”

How Much Car Can You Afford?

lexus_headerIt happens every year.  I see the pristine Christmas scene and the doting husband who takes his unsuspecting wife outside with her hands over her eyes and surprises her with a new car.  You know the one with the big red bow on top.  And I daydream about replacing my wife’s 2007 Corolla and she thinks that I am the most wonderful husband ever.  Until this year… Continue reading “How Much Car Can You Afford?”

You can still Pay for Christmas with Real Money

gifts“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for the credit card companies.  There is much jingle belling and hearts will be telling of credit galore.  It’s the happiest season for more.”  Ok, so I reworded the old classic Carole.  But someone needs to say it, “don’t spend more than you can afford on Christmas- this year.”  Reign it back in if you didn’t save well. Continue reading “You can still Pay for Christmas with Real Money”

How Much is Too Much House?

country-house-540796_640I wasn’t sure if he was going to have a nervous breakdown right there at my desk or not.  He kept saying over and over, “But they said that I could afford it.”  His wife looked at me with pleading eyes to comfort him as she went in the other room to tend to their children.  Finally, I mustered the courage to tell him what the numbers said.  As gently as I could, I told him, “Buddy, I don’t care what they told you.  Your housing expenses are a 42% of your income and the reason you are in my office today is YOU HAVE TOO MUCH HOUSE.”  He left shortly thereafter and I never saw him again.  He had gained the missing piece of the puzzle. Continue reading “How Much is Too Much House?”

Winning the Battle at the Grocery Store

family-2923690_640My (Tim) wife and I have been married for over 30 years.  And despite all her great strengths (which are many by the way) she struggles in the area of staying on budget in our household budget- or so it would seem.  A few years ago, she returned from the grocery store and I could tell as she walked in the house that she was overbudget yet again.  For 20 years we have had the same issue- she buys groceries, she overspends, I get frustrated, she feels bad, I look at that pretty girl who serves our family so faithfully and I overlook the overspending and we move on.  Until that fateful Saturday. Continue reading “Winning the Battle at the Grocery Store”

We Need a Reformation of the Pocketbook!

martin luther 95 thesis“People go through three conversions: the conversion of their head, their heart and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not all at the same time.” -Martin Luther

In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famed 95 Theses on the Castle Church in  Wittenberg, Germany. This act of protest would spark the Protestant Reformation.  While the content of his concerns were salvific in nature, he went on to teach everything under the sun about living out the Christian life,  including the need for us to have a conversion experience related to the way we think about our money. Continue reading “We Need a Reformation of the Pocketbook!”