Hope for your financial life and beyond

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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Do You Want to Beat the Market for 60 Cents Per Hour?

The following is a guest post from Graham Clark at Moneystepper.com

Pennies falling out of a tipped over jarWhy do we invest? Presumably, we all invest money to obtain the best returns we can to improve our financial future. Effectively, this means that we are investing to earn money.

We invest in the stock market because we think it “pays well”. Investing in the stock market (assuming we can earn the market returns of the S&P 500 since 1970) can earn us 15.79%. Alternatively, holding money in cash returns approximately 5%.

Investing in the stock market is therefore the equivalent of working at a legal firm instead of McDonalds – the wages are better.

Hourly wage of investing

Let’s say you have $10,000 invested in the Vanguard S&P 500 (with an annual TER of 0.1%). Therefore, your average annual return, after costs, is equal to $1,569. How much work did this take? To set up your Vanguard account and buy the fund, and then to completely forget about it for the year, probably takes about one hour.

So, you are earning an hourly basic wage of $1,569 per hour. Not bad. Well done you!

Now, I’m going to give you the opportunity to earn another 60 cents per hour. Would you like to do that?

You probably wouldn’t. Moreover, you would probably report me to the authorities for exploiting my employees!! But, millions of people are doing this when they are trying to beat the market.

Can you beat the market?

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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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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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How to Tackle a Huge Looming Project

Hard motivational quote

Step up to the challenge!

Probably the biggest hurdle to getting your CPA license is the CPA Exam. It’s pretty tough — there are four sections that must all be passed in 18 months and the current pass rate hovers around 50%. Each section is either 3 or 4 hours long.

I’m happy to say that two years ago I passed all four sections in about 5 months. I’ll talk about some of the specific things I did to pass in a later post. The general steps that I used can apply to any huge task that you may be facing.

Take a look at some of the suggestions below to see if they can help you tackle your next huge project.

Learn as much as you can about it

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How to Save Money and Cut Taxes by Hiring Your Kids

The following post is by Kim Fourman. Please note that this article is intended to discuss general tax topics. Consult your own tax advisor regarding your specific circumstances.

hiring your kids

Boy at a weaving station – circa 1908

One of the most overlooked ways for small business owners to save on taxes is by hiring your kids in the business.  Here’s how it works:

Consider What Work Can be Done

The first thing to consider when hiring your kids is the work that your child can do. Their work must be age appropriate and must be legitimate work for your business.

For example, having your child do household chores would not count as working for your business, but picking up trash and cleaning up the yard at your rental property would. The IRS has accepted employment by a child as young as seven. You do not run afoul of any federal child labor laws when you employ your own children, but make sure to check with your state department of labor.

You Must Do the Paperwork

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There’s a Robber Stripping You of Wealth

Hidden Nuggets #19 – “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.”  – Proverbs 24:33-34 ID-10074458

Robbers are all of a sudden a common topic for my 5-yr. old son. Several weeks ago his well-intentioned 7-yr. old sister informed him that there are people who sometimes come and steal little children away. She’s trying to help him be wary of strangers.

Now all the shadows in his room at night have him worried. A little bit of fear has crept into his mind. He is realizing, perhaps for the first time, the world is not altogether safe and he’s worried about being separated from his family.

However, in his unsettled frame of mind, he is forgetting all the elements we have put in place at our house for his protection. Dead bolt locks on the doors. The monitored security system. Two skeptical dogs that bark at ANYTHING! An equalizer locked in the gun safe.

We’ve taken measures at our home to protect ourselves from thieves. We have also taken measures in our personal lives to protect ourselves from ever experiencing poverty. That’s a place we never plan to go, mostly because we are not letting ourselves become vulnerable to it.

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Stealing From Your Employer

Hidden Nuggets #17 – “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” – Ephesians 4:28

stealing from your employer

You gonna pay for that?

Your employer needs your hard work to benefit the company.

That’s why they hired you. The company was looking to fill a void so it could make a profit. Something about you stood out.  Match made in heaven.

They believed in you…trained you…even facilitated your success by assigning tasks that would maximize your skills.

So why are you repaying that generosity by stealing from your employer?

Stealing From Your Employer Actions

“What? Me? I would never think about stealing from my employer.”

Most wouldn’t. But before you dismiss the question, have you ever done these things at work:

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Even Jesus Had a Side Hustle?

Hidden Nuggets Series #12 Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:19-20

The title of this post makes me laugh. Who would have thought the words “Jesus” and “side hustle” could be used to communicate a personal finance idea?

side hustleUnless you’ve just emerged from a remote tribal region in South America, you’ve probably heard of this really good preacher named Jesus who lived several millennia ago, who many claim to be the spiritual Savior for all mankind. (Count me among that group.) But you may be unfamiliar with the term “side hustle.” Rest assured it has nothing to do with Pete Rose diving head first into third base or Paul Newman and Robert Redford conning their way to a fortune in The Sting.

Having a side hustle refers to someone pursuing a secondary stream of income earned aside from their full time job. So for instance, generating income from a blog on the side or delivering pizzas at night after work would be classified as side hustle money. Many times side hustles line up with a person’s passion and if hustled on long enough with success, could allow them to transition from their full time job into that hustle. At the very minimum, the extra money they bring in provides some breathing room in the monthly budget.

The potential side hustle ideas are limitless, only confined to the depth of imagination of what you could come up with to make money.  J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy has a whole series devoted to people who are creatively pursuing a side hustle.

I admit the idea of Jesus having a “business-on-the-side” is purely speculative on my part and may amount to doctrinal heresy. But the idea is not without precedent in the Bible.

Jesus and His Side Hustle

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How to Choose a Career: 6 Tips For Making the Right Choice

how to choose a career“So what’s going to be your major when you go to college?” The question annoyed and frustrated me as an 18-yr. old high school senior. I had no idea how to choose a career at that age. Nothing had ever seemed to jump out at me.

So, when asked, I’d sheepishly throw out a few ideas.  Then say I was just going to take the required core classes my freshman year of college to get those out of the way. Everyone seemed to think that was a good idea.

College did indeed open up a new world of vocational options for me – careers that I had never considered before. My first two quarters were spent getting adjusted to school and meeting new friends. Still nothing overly intrigued me. Business management? Optometry? Finance? Ministry? What direction should I go?

Then, to satisfy a general ed requirement, I took Intro to Psychology in the spring quarter.

I was hooked.

Learning about the intricacies of the human mind fascinated me – how it functions and how we interact with other people. “Plus, I’m a good listener,” I thought. “That should come in handy in that field, right?” So by fall quarter of my sophomore year I was a full-fledged Psych major with a dual emphasis in counseling and child and family studies.

Just to be clear in case you missed that – I made that decision based on one class and the fact that I was a good listener.

But was it the right decision?

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