Hope for your financial life and beyond

4 Ways to Take Control of Your Financial Wellness

When you hear the term “wellness,” you may understandably think of wellness of the physical, emotional, and/or spiritual variety. These forms of wellness are all important. Without wellness being present in those areas, life would be difficult.

However, there’s another type of wellness that is also crucial. It may not be on par in importance as the ones mentioned above but it can improve on your life. What we are talking about here is financial wellness.  

Money doesn’t solve every problem. However, it can solve some problems. If your financial life is not well, you will have difficulty paying for the things you need, raising a family, and saving enough money for retirement.

So what is financial wellness and how do you get there? Let’s define it and then look at some steps to get you moving in the right direction.

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God’s Giving Nature Shines Brightest On Easter

EasterWe don’t often think of Easter as the holiday of giving. Giving is most characterized by the Christmas season. We love giving presents to show those we love how much we care about them.

Are you one who loves to give? Have you ever wondered where that desire came from? Well, a starting point would direct us back to the time when the greatest gift ever given was bestowed on mankind.

I’m quite sure giving is a character quality God possesses Himself. He passed that gift down to mankind during the days of creation so many years ago. The book of Genesis describes how we are created in His image. So it would be logical to conclude that God passed on His giving nature to humanity during that creative process.

And then, one special time on the holiday we now call Easter, God showed us just how extreme a giver He can be.

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6 Money Management Tips For Seniors

There may be no other group more valuable to our society than the elderly. They have so much wisdom and life experience to share with the younger generation. They need to be respected, honored and taken care of as best as possible. 

There is something else though that seniors have over the younger generations. Generally speaking, they have more money. Good old-fashioned saving, budgeting and spending discipline has led many of them to accumulating a sizeable nest egg. 

Despite this, many seniors lack knowledge regarding financial decisions, despite managing their spending habits for years. Retirement is the phase of life that requires careful planning so that one can remain self-sufficient and live independently. It’s not the time for debts to continue piling up or for wild, spur-of-the moment spending to begin happening. If those were to begin and continue, it may damage their ability to care for themselves financially. 

Additionally, health concerns are a major factor in retirement, including the loss of some cognitive abilities. It’s reasonable to conclude that this is why scammers so frequently target this demographic. That’s all the more reason to be vigilant with managing money as one grows older. 

Other vital factors tied with retirement can take up a lot of a senior’s time. Managing money may be tricky for some, especially when juggling it alongside other responsibilities. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few money management tips to help seniors.

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How to Get Out of Debt and Win in Five Simple Steps

Are you up to your eyeballs in debt? Don’t see anyway out? If so, take heart. You are not alone. Millions of Americans live with this burden. They either never think about how to get out of debt or they think that it is impossible for them to get out of debt. So they never deal with it.how to get out of debt

It would be unwise for you to ignore the mountain of debt that is piling up. You need to wake up and pay attention because excessive debt will cripple your wealth building process. It will mess up your savings, helping the kids with paying for college, and even your retirement investing.

And sadly, in many cases, it also ruins relationships.

Debt is a chain of bondage around your life. It’s an anchor weighing you down. You can’t go where you really want to go because it’s holding you back.

In order to break free, you’ll need to change your perspective, your behavior and your systems for purchasing things. But it’s all possible. It will be a journey you will never regret.

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My Go To Bible Verse When I Worry About Money

If there is one thing I’ve discovered while monitoring my own finances through the years it’s this – the future is friends with worry. It’s inevitable. At some point I will worry about money.worry about money

I think many people are right there with me. A recent survey showed that 73% of Americans ranked their finances as the #1 stress in their life. That’s over things you’d think would cause more stress like relationships, career, family, kids and traffic on the freeway.

So what’s to worry about when it comes to money? Well, everything really.

First and foremost, we worry about how to make ends meet. Again, recent studies show that just over 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means they can only make ends meet from one paycheck to the next. That’s no way to live, wondering if you can make it to the next pay stub.

But there are other areas where people worry about money.

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High Risk Investing: When I Turned One Thousand Dollars Into…

I marvel at how Wall Street creates wealth. This even happens sometimes through high risk investing. An investor purchases a few 100 shares in a small company that hits it’s stride or a start-up that goes supernova and they become a millionaire inside a decade.

high risk investing

That’s not normal. For most investors it takes multiple decades of steady, solid investing to create significant wealth. But it does happen from time to time, as we all have seen.

That’s why the latest opportunities or fads like cryptocurrency and NFTs attract us. It’s why we get caught up in new companies and try to buy in on the opening day of trading. IPOs (initial public offerings) tend to be extremely volatile. That is why investors are better off waiting for several months before they decide to purchase shares.

What if you could purchase shares in a company before it went public though? That would be an extreme level of high risk investing. You are essentially putting money into a company that might not even make it to market. That strategy is more like speculating than investing.

But would you do that given the opportunity? Put money on the line with a chance to hit it big or lose it all? I did once and here’s that story.

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With God All Things Are Possible – Even Saving Rich People

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

On one occasion in the Bible a rich young ruler approached Jesus with a very serious question. The man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. After a brief back and forth exchange Jesus had this final answer for him:

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

with god all things are possibleIt’s easy to misinterpret what Jesus was saying to the young man. He was not saying that owning possessions is bad. Nor was he saying that a person can buy their way into heaven. That can only happen through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

He also wasn’t saying that we all have to give up our wealth to enter heaven. And he certainly was not saying that God favors the poor over the rich. God looks upon all people with equal value regardless of their financial status.

So what was going on here? In essence, Jesus knew something about this particular man. It was something that was keeping him from following Jesus and inheriting eternal life. The man’s reaction to Jesus’ final instruction reveals exactly what it was.

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4 Steps To Getting A Social Security Number

All US citizens, permanent residents, and even those only temporarily residing in the United States can get a social security number (SSN). You may not have known that. As it turns out, social security numbers are open to more people than you think.social security number

My family has hosted international high school students for the last several years. We just helped one of them get a social security number so that she could obtain her driver’s license. She’s going to college in the states next year, so being able to drive is very important to her. Having that social security number helped expedite the process.

Social security numbers are of course very useful in business transactions with both federal and state government agencies. Even those who aren’t working would find it very convenient to have their own SSN. But there are some steps to go through to get one though. If you weren’t granted one at birth for some reason or are a foreigner to the United States, it will take a little bit of time.

For starters, you’ll have to submit an application to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Your number, once issued, usually comes with a corresponding social security card. So, if you want to know more information about getting and laminating a social security card, you might want to read on. 

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How to Develop a Purposeful Plan for Giving Away Money

If you have found your way to this article, you most likely have a generous heart and enjoy giving away money to a favorite cause. But have you ever thought about how you give away money? Do you give purposefully or haphazardly as opportunities pass in front of you?

giving away moneyDeveloping a purposeful plan for giving away money might seem silly. You may want to give wherever and to whomever you like without feeling held back by a plan. There is great freedom in that philosophy. However, as I’ve found out over the years, there are also great dangers.

Putting together a purposeful plan for giving away money is a fundamental exercise you should go through. In short, it will help you have success with your finances.

Everyone who gets serious about their finances tries hard to make a monthly budget work. We make a plan to pay for the kid’s college. And we work tirelessly in order to support ourselves in retirement.

So why do we ignore this area of our finances where a lot of money could also pass through our fingers?

The fact is we shouldn’t ignore it. Here’s how to get purposeful with your giving.

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It Is Not a Sin to Buy a New Car

Is it ever OK to buy a new car? You won’t find many people in the personal financial space advocating that practice. Why? Because a car is a depreciating asset, meaning that it goes down in value over time.

buy a new carHow fast do cars depreciate? Figures vary based on the make and model of the car and market conditions. But most estimates say that cars depreciate around 20% the first year, and 15% more each year in years two through five. So you can expect a new car to be worth around 40% of its purchase price after 5 years of ownership.

So looking at those numbers, this should be considered the cardinal personal financial sin. Anyone considering buying a new car instead of a used one runs the risk of being called a foolish, image-conscious over spender.

Used car purchases always outpace new car purchases. But still, data from 2020 shows 14 million new light trucks and automobiles were purchased in the United States.

So, is it really a big a deal to buy a new car? A large segment of society doesn’t seem to think so.

I’ll answer my own question by saying “It depends.”

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8 Bible Verses About God’s Love You Should Never Forget

Ever wonder where our capacity to love actually comes from? It’s pretty clear that our ability to love is something that was given to us by God. In fact, the Bible verses about God’s love that I read tell me He is Himself the essence of love and has passed that on to us.

verses about God's loveGranted it’s not always easy loving others. We are difficult people to get along with. Even people we care about sometimes do not get the love they deserve from us.

Not only is loving others hard, we often choose to love for all the wrong reasons. Often times we choose to love others based on how they act towards us. Or we choose to love based on what we can get from someone else. Fortunately for us, that’s not how it is with God.

God’s love towards us is unconditional. That means He loves us no matter what. We can’t do anything to reject, or bypass or disown His love. He can’t help it – love is part of His nature.

He loves us – all of us – equally and without hesitation no matter who you are or what you have done. Let that sink in for a moment.

If you doubt this, just look at these verses about God’s love found in the Bible.

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