Go to God in a Crisis

Step 7 Financial ideas for a CrisisThe earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it. Psalms 24:1

One of my favorite movies of all time is It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. Stewart is cast as the super-thrifty, ever-ambitious George Bailey, who has languished in his hometown and made a somewhat unassuming difference in the lives of everyone he knows.

The whole plot of the movie builds to the central crisis where George is in an excruciating financial difficulty in his business. The potential for ruin and scandal are everywhere. George (actually Uncle Billy) has lost $8,000, which was a fortune in the 1940s.

He seeks help from Potter, his arch nemesis in the movie, and is rebuffed. Additionally, he is told that because of his life insurance, he is worth more dead than alive. So he begins to plot a swan dive off a bridge.

In desperation, George even goes as far as praying. Hear his prayer: “God, oh God, dear Father in Heaven. I’m not a praying man, but if you’re up there and can hear me, show me the way. I am at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God.” Continue reading “Go to God in a Crisis”

Find Wisdom in a Crisis

Step 6 Financial ideas for a CrisisProverbs says “a wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” (Proverbs 1:5)

When I was a younger man, I ran across a story by Bob Biehl where he talked about growing up on lake Michigan. According to Biehl, the difference between a snowstorm and a blizzard is the wind. When the winds came whipping off the lake, a regular snowfall became a disorienting mess. They called that a blizzard.

I love that imagery. Because life gets messy at times, and we find ourselves in the middle of a raging storm, and we don’t know where to turn. In times like these, we need someone to stop the wind. We need a break from the tyranny of the urgent and the pressure of creditor calls and the emotional toll that out-of-control finances causes. Continue reading “Find Wisdom in a Crisis”

Look at Estate Plans and Insurances in a Crisis

Step 5 Financial ideas for a CrisisI remember the first time my wife and I took a trip alone together after our son was born. We were headed to Kansas City for our anniversary. About halfway there, I turned to my wife and morbidly asked her, “I wonder what happens to Josh if we die on this trip.” That is not exactly what my wife had hoped we were going to talk about, but we realized our estate plan was not in place.

So she grabbed a piece of paper, and in our best Arkansas-legalese, we drafted our first generation will. I am just glad we didn’t die in a fiery crash that burned up our weak-cheese attempt at an estate plan. We were obviously ill prepared. Continue reading “Look at Estate Plans and Insurances in a Crisis”

Pay Debt Minimums in a Crisis

Step 4 Financial ideas for a CrisisDave Ramsey has made getting out of debt cool. His organization and resources have helped millions of families get debt free. Check them out at www.daveramsey.com. They have a great class called Financial Peace University, and we use his Total Money Makeover with all our clients.

However, during a financial hurricane is not the time to spend your extra money trying to get debt free. It is time to hunker down.

Our advice is to pay the minimum amounts on your debts. Stay current if possible. There will be time to accelerate your debt payoff later.

A few years ago, my family was going through a difficult time, and for the first time in my adult life, I was late on a bill. Not just one bill, but a lot of bills. Not just grace-period-late, but a month behind. Then one month became two months and then three months behind. Continue reading “Pay Debt Minimums in a Crisis”

Curb Spending in a Crisis

Step 3 Financial ideas for a CrisisIf your family lost all your income, how much money does your family need to pay all your bills? This is an important number. This is your “Survival Budget Number.” This can give you hope or a target to shoot for in a downturn.

Let me illustrate, for a family of three that I have worked a budget with, their simplified budget is about $3,500 per month. That is taking out all the fluff, such as eating out, concert tickets, etc… If they had to really tighten their belts, they could probably cut another $500 a month before selling houses and cars. Continue reading “Curb Spending in a Crisis”

Be Generous in a Crisis

Step 2 Financial ideas for a CrisisI must tell you about a young couple I know. They are an inspiration to me. In the middle of this pandemic, he lost his job, and her hours were cut back. But they have a tremendous heart for generosity, and they view their giving as separate from their normal expenses. Said another way, their giving account is not intermingled with their living account. So, during this crazy time, they were able to give $4,500 towards a cause that the Lord laid on their heart to give to. Wow!! Continue reading “Be Generous in a Crisis”