We 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 marriage advice. His advice was classic. “Tim, give Terri everything she wants.” “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 “Signs of a Healthy Financial System: Do You Have a Good Plan?”
Tag: money management
Balance Your Checkbook Please!
There was a day in the not so distant past where balancing your checkbook was a given. Before the days of the debit card and electronic banking, it was pretty important to make sure that you agreed with the bank about how much money you had. The bank would snail mail your statement and then you would painstakingly check off the bank charges, bank interest, the checks that had cleared, and the deposits that had cleared and then figure out what was still outstanding. Every month like clockwork. But not these days. Continue reading “Balance Your Checkbook Please!”
Is Your God Big Enough for Your Money Troubles?
Last night my son exposed me to the biggest star that science has discovered to date. The name of the star is VY Canis Majoris. Before I begin to spew my Astronomical ignorance or steal the thunder from the video we have embedded, let me just say that this star is huge. Even the name, Canis (dog) Majoris (big), implies the girth of this big dog star. The picture shows its size as compared to the earth’s orbit around the sun. I see this and all of a sudden I am struck with the immensity of our God and the finiteness of myself. Our God literally spoke a word and the universe came into play including Canis Majoris. Continue reading “Is Your God Big Enough for Your Money Troubles?”
Rocking the Financial Roles
One of my favorite marriage books of all time is Robert Lewis’ Rocking the Roles. Coming from a divorced home where there was a definite disconnect from Biblical roles in marriage, I was hungry for someone to tell me what the blueprint was supposed to look like. Lewis does exactly that in that he describes the Biblical role of the man as the head of the home (said another way as the leader of the home) and the Biblical role of the wife as the helper of the home (said another way as the heart of the home) (Ephesians 5). These roles describe a complimentary set of ideals where the husband fights off his inclination towards passivity and actually provides proactive, loving, servant leadership. While the husband is learning to lead the wife is fighting her own battle to fight off her own inclination to want to take control of her environment. She has to learn to trust him. He has to learn to honor her in her role. It is a thing of beauty when done right. Continue reading “Rocking the Financial Roles”
Are Students doing the Math on School Loans?
We see it every day. College graduates (some of them not so recent) saddled with the repayment of school loans that is quite frankly eating their lunch. It is becoming apparent to me that we are not doing a good enough job helping our students do the simple math of the loans. The simple math of how much to borrow and what is will actually cost you to repay the loans. Borrowing is the easy part, repayment is the bear. It is obvious that the lending institutions are expecting the student to figure out how much to borrow and the students still live in the la-la land of “someday they will be making it big and will have plenty of money to repay whatever loans they incur”. What is worse is that many parents are taking a cavalier attitude towards preparing their students to navigate the loan game. Seems that everyone these day put themselves through school walking up hills both ways in the snow with a full time job. Continue reading “Are Students doing the Math on School Loans?”
When should my missionary get a raise?
Have you ever supported someone or some ministry for a long time at the very same amount? When I was on staff with a student ministry we had many families who locked into their $25 a month for 10 plus years. Now don’t get me wrong I appreciated their faithfulness, but someone who is that committed to our ministry has a lot of time, prayer and energy toward seeing us be successful. True partner kinda of folks. And I always wondered why they didn’t consider increasing over time. For some of them I don’t think it every crossed their mind. Now maybe I should have chatted with them about considering raising their support, but I didn’t always. What the point you ask? Continue reading “When should my missionary get a raise?”
Is it possible to be completely debt free?
Have you ever considered what it would feel like to be completely out of debt?
- No mortgage payments.
- No car payments.
- No school loan payments.
- No consumer loan payments.
- No medical debt payments,
- No personal loans.
- Nothing. Notta. Zilch.
What does that feel like? Freedom? Liberation? Continue reading “Is it possible to be completely debt free?”
One Million Dollars is a lot of Money to Save
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about retirement. Unfortunately, I am one of those guys who didn’t listen real well in the Investment 101 class. Come to think of it, I am not sure I got invited to the Investment 101 class. I heard about it and even got some of my friends who shared some of their notes and highlights with me. Best I can remember, the curriculum is pretty simple: invest money early in your 40 year working life and that money grows over time and will hopefully grow enough to tide you over in your 20 years of retirement.
Let’s do the math on the American Dream. Young professional settles in to a working rhythm by age 25 and works 40 years till he hopefully retires at 65. Retiree enjoys healthy golden years and hopefully gets to put in another 20 years where he/she dies peacefully at ripe old age of 85. Because it is no longer cool for said retiree to depend on children or anybody else they must have saved enough money over the 40 years to help them remain “financially independent” till they die.
That sounds awesome. All I have to do is figure out what I want to live on and then save it. Simple right? Continue reading “One Million Dollars is a lot of Money to Save”
What is Modern Day Contentment?
I have a new necessity in my routine… Shave Butter. Where have you been all my life? The makers of Shave Butter say that I have been “flying blind” all these years in my shaving. And I guess that’s true because I really can’t see my face with the old traditional foams and gels. But Shave Butter is clear and it “transforms the dread of shaving into the joy of softly wiping whiskers off your face”. Lest you think I jest, this stuff is pretty cool. But it adds yet another opportunity for me to express my discontentment. What happens when my $8 container of Shave Butter disappears? Can I ever go back to plain ole gel?
The modern world we live in is full of these kinds of things. We fill our homes, our cars and our lives with things designed to make life easier and then find ourselves cluttered with stuff. Sometimes we dream of the good old days when they didn’t have 17 choices of ketchup like we do in our super-duper markets. Continue reading “What is Modern Day Contentment?”
Managing our Emotions in Tough Financial Times
My dad calls it a flesh break. I call it the tirades of a crazy man. The Lord calls it sin. I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the string of expletives coming out of my mouth. Even though I whispered my displeasure toward the Lord, I think my heart screamed inside. And there is no doubt that He heard me to my chagrin. It has been a long time since I had been that upset. Before I became a believer I had a pretty foul mouth but that was one of the things that I really hadn’t struggled with afterward. That is till the other night when I hit the wall: the financial stress wall. The Scripture says that anxiety in the heart of man weighs it down. Said another way anxiety in the heart of man wears him out. Just like a marathoner hits the physical wall, a person who is dealing with ongoing financial struggles hit the emotional wall. Growing up in a chronically poor family, I saw it first hand with my mom who must have had the patience of Job. But, ever so often she would lose it. Not like I did but she would have to collect herself and work through her emotions. Managing our emotions in the face of financial adversity is a key to managing yourself. But how do you do that? Continue reading “Managing our Emotions in Tough Financial Times”