Warren Buffett is known for his one-liners and one of his most memorable ones is about financial mismanagement. He says, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out!” By that I think he means that if you are not managing your finances well, then when you encounter a tough time your vulnerability will be obvious to all. That is why we are so insistent that every family needs a financial spending plan. As we discussed in our previous post two out of three families are just winging it when it comes to their finances. And as Mr. Buffett says time will reveal what we are wearing under the water. Continue reading “Signs of a Healthy Financial System: Generosity”
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?”
LET US BEGIN on a positive note. The up-side potential for good in U.S. Christian giving is immense, almost unimaginable. If American Christians were to give from their income generously—not lavishly, mind you, only generously—they could transform the world, starting right away. Ordinary American Christians have within their power the capacity to foster massive and unprecedented spiritual, social, cultural, and economic change that closely reflects their values and interests. In order to achieve such dramatic, world-transforming change, ordinary American Christians simply need to do one thing: start giving reasonably generously from their incomes, let us say 10 percent of post-tax income. Fostering such changes could begin immediately. It would not require getting Congress or the United Nations to act. It would not require a military mobilization or waiting for a majority turnover in the Supreme Court. It would only require ordinary Christians from one country to start doing something that seems entirely within their power and that most of them, according to the teachings of their own faith traditions, ought to already be doing anyway: giving generously from the financial resources with which they have been blessed. Continue reading “Giving to Change the World”
We all have a little bit of understanding of what it means to live vicariously through someone else. Some sports fans live and die with the wins and losses of their favorite team. In my neck of the woods, grown men have their whole weeks wrecked by our beloved Razorbacks. And most parents will be quick to admit that they live (at lease a little bit) through the exploits of their children. Case and point: Facebook. I have a shirt that I stole from my wife that says, “My Son Plays – I Brag”. And to be honest it doesn’t matter what they do, we love to be part of their experience and call it our own. We call that vicarious living. But have you ever considered vicarious giving?