Hope for your financial life and beyond

The Hands of the Diligent Make One Rich (Proverbs 10:4)

Hidden Nuggets Series #59 – “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” -Proverbs 10:4

diligentTake a look at your hands.

What do you see?

At first glance I see the obvious – the lines in the palm, the shape of the fingers and thumb, the knuckles and the fingernails. These are the physical features that should clearly stand out.

Yet with closer examination I see something else. These hands represent my livelihood. The way in which I use them determines the course of my life.

I perceive only two possible scenarios for the work of my hands. They can choose to be diligent hands or they can choose to be slack hands. That choice can shape my life.

Diligent vs. Slack Hands

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The Ups and Downs of My First Month As a Stay at Home Dad

star wars storm trooper standing with sonEven though I announced in May I was leaving my 17 year career in education to become a stay at home dad, it’s only been one month since the kids have gone back to school and I’ve been truly alone.

Boy, the house is eerily quiet from 8 am to 4 pm when Kim and the kids aren’t here. I don’t know how the dog has done it the past few years being cooped up in the garage when we were all at work. Sometimes I turn on the radio or the TV just to create some background noise.

Despite the quiet, I’m loving my decision to this point. But it hasn’t all been perfect. I’m finding some things challenging that I didn’t expect.

The Downside of Being a Stay at Home Dad

1. No set schedule

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20 Flexible Part Time Jobs For College Students

I’m continuing my college theme week with a look today at flexible, part time jobs for college students and how they can help bring in some extra spending money.

part time jobs for college studentsAs I pointed out in my last post, there are so many hidden costs of college for which students don’t prepare. More than likely they have figured out how to finance college tuition, fees, and room and board. However, those little incidental items they spend money on can certainly add up and cause a dent in the wallet. So, unless an endless stream of cash is flowing from mom and dad, students will need to secure some extra spending money.

The big question though is, what part time jobs can reasonably be done by college students? Yes, you could work a full-time job and attend classes but that’s not what most students are looking for (or really need). The average student just wants enough spending money to go to parties, put gas in the car and pay for their books (maybe in that order).

With that in mind, here is a list of 20 part-time jobs and activities that could earn a college student a little bit of extra spending money.

Part Time Jobs for College Students: On Campus

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All Work and No Play: Combating the Dangers of Workaholism

Hidden Nuggets Series #51“Six days you shall do work, and on the seventh day you will rest…” – Exodus 23:12

All work and no playNo, I’m not writing from a snowed in mountain resort lodge. I have to admit for years I assumed the proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” came from that Stephen King horror novel turned Jack Nicholson movie thriller The Shining, which mistakenly came in front of my eyes as a youth (thank you older cousins). I say mistakenly because no one under the age of 21 should put that imagery into their head. (And maybe if you are over 21, you shouldn’t either.)

Turns out the phrase “all work and no play” was originally published in Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish (1659) and is attributed to a writer by the name of James Howell. It turned out to be his most popular proverbs. I certainly cannot think of another one.

The warning of the all work and no play proverb seems clear enough to me – that if we don’t release ourselves from the pressures of work from time to time we will become dull and uninteresting. We run the risk of becoming bored with life, as work becomes our sole focus day in and day out. We’ll neglect time for hobbies, family, friends, exercise, watching sports, reading, or just plain vegging.

That type of existence doesn’t spark a fire in me.

A Guideline For Work

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Since the Dawn of Time Our Purpose Has Involved Work

Hidden Nuggets Series #41 – “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” – Genesis 2:15

bamboo reed umbrella on a beach looking at to oceanIn light of my decision to quit my job and become a stay at home dad, I’ve been reflecting on how my work will change going forward. It will be different for sure as I won’t have a typical employer-employee relationship. I’ll be responsible to make sure tasks get completed around the home and that my writing stays on track. Of course, my wife will be around to monitor how things are going, but I’ll essentially be accountable to myself for it to happen.

Whether a person is a homemaker or a CEO work can become tedious and tiresome. Many get sick and tired of their jobs and begin to look for ways to escape. At times it seems the best thing would be to win the Mega-Millions Jackpot and escape to the beaches of paradise, never to work again.

If you feel that way perhaps a different perspective is in order. It’s time to realize that humans were endowed with the nature to work from the very beginning. Even the first two created beings could not escape it, even in paradise.

Being Guided to Your Calling

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Why I’m Quitting My Job To Be A Stay At Home Dad

stay at home dadYou read that right. It’s not a misprint or a trick to get attention. As of Friday, May 23rd 2014, I will no longer be formally employed. I’m becoming a stay at home dad.

After 17 years in education serving as a principal, teacher, coach and mentor, I’m quitting my job to be a stay at home dad.

Those are the most exciting words I’ve ever typed on this blog! I’m starting a new journey.

They are also the scariest words I’ve ever typed on this blog because I’m starting a new journey.

I’ve waited a long time to share this news and start talking about what has brought our family here. It hardly seems real even after formally declaring my intentions. Maybe my new life as a stay at home dad will me next week as I start to clear out my classroom. My guess is I won’t feel it’s full impact until sometime next fall, probably on the first day of the new school year.

The decision to be a stay at home dad appears to have come out of nowhere to those in my circle of influence. Obviously the students were surprised last week when I shared the news with them. I hadn’t hinted at this at all, even though I’ve known for some time this was going to be my final year. What appears to those outside to be a surprise, is actually the culmination of a multi-year prayer journey.

That’s right…I don’t make decisions quickly. Especially when it comes to leaving a place to which I’ve committed my entire adult working life.

I can’t unpack all there is to share about this move in one single post. So if you came here looking for a step-by-step tutorial on how to become a stay at home dad or the financial challenges associated with it, that’s coming later.

For now, I’d simply like to focus on “the why.”

Following Through On the Stay at Home Dad Desire

Life is a series of choices. Sometimes those choices collide and cause friction no matter which option is chosen. Regardless of the situation, we can never say we don’t have a choice. There are always options.

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The Real Secret to Developing a Work Ethic in Kids

Hidden Nuggets Series #41 – “Therefore, I urge you to imitate me.” I Corinthians 4:16

developing a positive work ethic

Like father, like son

The messages this week at Luke1428 have all centered around the benefits, both financial and emotional, that children can receive from doing work. My wife and I have been teaching our children that labor leads to profit and that if they don’t work they won’t get paid. Those are big messages and the sooner they learn them the better.

Have you ever wondered how a solid work ethic gets ingrained in a child? Is it something they are born with? Does it come through the hearing of verbal instructions given by adults? Or maybe it results as a reaction to punishment received for laziness or disobedience.

Those ideas have merit. However, I don’t believe any of them in and of themselves will ultimately produce a child with a strong work ethic. What will ultimately do it? The answer is simpler than you think:

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How Much We Pay Our Kids For Chores

“How much to pay kids for chores?” is a question my wife have wrestled with. “ I’ve already explained in a previous post why we don’t give our kids allowances. I’m not giving them money just for existing, which is what an allowance implies. Kids need to feel the burden of work so they can experience the joy of its rewards.

how much to pay kids for chores

Would your kids know which setting to use?

In addition to earning some money, doing chores around the house is teaching them responsibility. The home is where they should begin to learn basic life skills. I knew some freshman college students who couldn’t do their own laundry. My oldest two children have been doing that since they were nine.

Questions About Paying Kids For Chores

There are so many questions that arise for parents on the issue of paying kids for chores. Some of the big ones we’ve wrestled with include:

“At what age should we start?”

“What tasks should my kids be doing?”

“Do I pay them for everything?”

“How much should I be paying them?”

I’m not sure there is a cut and dry answer to those questions. We’ve gone back and forth on the issues since we began our work-for-pay commission program. Five years into it, this is how we see it:

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Why We Don’t Give Our Kids Allowance

My wife and I are not giving our kids allowance simply for existing. We’ve chosen a different path to reward them with money.

kids allowanceDoesn’t it seem our culture has lost the passion for hard work? I look around and see adults taking risky, unnecessary shortcuts in an attempt to get ahead in their career. I see people playing the lottery to get rich quick instead of choosing to build wealth over time.

Then there are those people in tough financial situations that won’t take certain jobs because they consider the position beneath their standards. Really? Must not be that desperate.

Our mindset has changed to thinking we should be given things simply because we deserve it. Someone else (like the government) will provide for me, right?  So why work?

Sad thing is, these attitudes are being scooped up by our young people. We have a generation of kids who bristle at the idea of doing a 30-minute homework assignment on a Tuesday night. Cuts into their Snapchat time. If they do muster the desire to attempt the work, they only put in half the effort. They shut down if the answer to a problem causes them to think for more than two consecutive minutes.

More and more kids are refusing to push themselves to work. They are opting out of excellence. And when they fail, someone or something else is to blame.

If we are going to succeed in life and with money, we have to clearly embrace a concept found in the Bible – “In all labor there is profit but idle chatter leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)

That’s why we are not giving our kids allowance.

Giving Kids Allowance Doesn’t Teach the Value of Work

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10 Clues That Help Reveal When to Change Jobs

when to change jobs

How many times will the average person change jobs have in their lifetime? I have to admit being somewhat amazed when I went looking for the answer.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report in July of 2012 that tracked baby boomers born between 1957 and 1964. The report states that from the ages of 18 to 46, these individuals held an average of 11.3 jobs, a job being defined as an uninterrupted period of work with an employer. Men held slightly more jobs (11.4), while women held slightly less (10.7).

The news gets even more staggering for Millennials (those born between 1977-1997). A Forbes article published in 2012 states 91% of those surveyed expect to stay at a job for less than three years. That would put their job total between 15 and 20 during their adult working life.

I certainly don’t fit into either of these molds, having only worked three jobs in my post-college adult life: 1) one year as a construction worker; 2) one year as a sporting goods sales associate; and 3) 16 years in education as a teacher and principal. So my average job length is six years, but you can see that figure is a bit misleading when trying to determine what career has been most important in my life.

I’ve always been a creature of habit, so figuring out when to change jobs has always been a challenge. I shudder to think about making the “should-I-take-a-new-job” decision 10+ times in my life. Because I don’t like change simply for change sake, something would really have to motivate me to look at a new job offer.

Reasons That Reveal When to Change Jobs

Here are 10 such circumstances that might help you decide when to change jobs:

1. When there would be a significant upward change in salary and benefits.

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“HELP WANTED!” This Company Really Understands the Hiring Process

Help Wanted

Is your business hiring the right kind of people?

The hiring of new employees can be one of the most frustrating and stressful facets of running your own business. Every hire is an unknown and a potential risk as one can learn only so much about an applicant through the interview process. Companies routinely foul up the hiring of employees by failing to cast vision, by conducting shoddy interviews, and neglecting to check references or do background checks.

This lack of due diligence leaves them with employees who are mismatched to the company’s goals and objectives. Once these individuals are hired, the company will be forced to manage the poor behavior and deal with the inefficient production that comes from an employee who is not 100% sold out on the job.

I ran across this Help Wanted ad the other day on Facebook. It’s from C and C Fence Company located in McDonough, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. It’s clear they know who they are, what the job entails and what type of employee would be a fit. Based on it’s content, I can’t help but think their hiring process runs smoother than many other companies.

Check out their ad below, with special attention to Parts 2 and 3.

Part 1: The Job Details

This is where they express the urgency of the need, list the specific position and share the major particulars about the job:

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