Hope for your financial life and beyond

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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Key Differences in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders

Every builder knows you need a strong foundation to support a house. Well, accept one builder described in the Biblical parable of the wise and foolish builders. He could have made a better choice and taken a Construction 101 class. More about that in a moment.

parable of the wise and foolish buildersWhat makes a solid foundation?  A concrete slab works. So does a poured basement wall or concrete blocks placed on a footer.

On the other hand, building a house that rests on gravel won’t work in the long run. Dirt would be even less sturdy. A house built on sand would have no chance.

No one would ever conceive of building a house on something as unstable and shifty as sand. Without a solid foundation, the ground would buckle under the weight of the house. The slightest storm would wash away the sand and cause the house to crumble.

Ironically, we do this all the time. Not with a real house structure though. We do it with something way more valuable – our lives. We construct a life on all kinds of foundations that have no chance of supporting us in the long run.

Jesus told an epic parable about a wise builder and a foolish builder that highlights this issue. They both built their house differently. And wow…did they ever have different outcomes!

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Our Nightmare on Rental Street: Lessons From Evicting a Tenant

My wife and I have long enjoyed the benefits that come with owning rental real estate. The extra income each month has given us freedom within our monthly budget to fund things like our personal mortgage payoff, vacations and other investments. Granted it hasn’t been the easiest side hustle and we have learned many lessons along the way. One of those was the process we had to go through while evicting a tenant.evicting a tenant

Evicting a tenant is one of rental real estate’s darker sides. No one ever thinks they will have to do this when a tenant signs the rental agreement. We trust our background research and intuition about the person we’ve selected to fill the property. And we expect the tenant to honor their part of the rental agreement.

We provide them with quality lodging. They pay us for that service. That’s how this business is supposed to work. So, what could possible go wrong with such a simple arrangement?

Actually, plenty can go wrong. Especially when the tenant sees an opening they feel like they can take advantage of.

This is our story of how we dealt with a tenant who refused to pay his rent, how we went about evicting him and the lessons we learned from it.

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Even Jesus Had a Side Hustle?

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

side hustleYou’ve probably heard of Jesus. He was a really good preacher who lived several millennia ago. He claimed to be God in the flesh and Savior of the world. After three years of ministry, he died on a cross for the sins of all mankind. But his story didn’t end there. Three days later, he rose from the dead and appeared to many. Ultimately, his ministry launched a brand new movement (Christianity) and a brand new entity (the church). You can learn more about him here.

But you may be unfamiliar with the term “side hustle.” When you hear the word “hustle”, what comes to mind? Pete Rose diving head first into third base? Paul Newman and Robert Redford conning their way to a fortune in the movie The Sting. In this context, side hustle doesn’t mean either of those things.

So what is it and should you have one? Let’s take a look.

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The Best Option for the Extra Budget Money at the End of the Month

Perhaps you’ve had this experience with your monthly budget money: budget money

At the beginning of the month you allocated “X” amount for a particular budget category. Due to clipping coupons, noticing that sale item or exercising some intense discipline, you didn’t end up spending as much for that category as you had planned. You had extra money for that budget category that went unspent for the month.

Putting it into an example – you budgeted $600 for groceries but only spent $525. You thought that dress would be $100 but you lucked into a half-off sale. There was no car maintenance for the month and the $75 you earmarked for the car maintenance budget wasn’t used.

So there is extra money available to be used in that expense category. What do you do with the extra money? Where does it (or should it) go or should you spend it at all?

You may have never thought to ask those questions, but there are actually some issues here that need to be addressed. I can think of three different options for your extra budget money at the end of the month, with one of them being the clear cut winner in my book.

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Beware: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

You’ve probably heard the saying, “All that glitters is not gold.” Well, society would tell us differently. And so would one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time.

all that glitters is not goldIn the image that is coded into this post, you can literally see the burning desire in this man’s eyes to possess the golden treasure. This is THE MOMENT he has waited for all his life. The reward of his life’s journey is finally before him. Nothing could stop him now.

Except – in the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar of Star Wars fame – “It’s a trap!” You just knew that bag of sand Indiana Jones used to replace the idol when he lifted it off its resting place was not going to work.

In the next few moments as he ran for his life, he would face a collapsing cave roof, poison darts shooting from the cave walls, a treacherous guide, a giant rolling boulder, and native spear points. The worst part is he didn’t even get to keep the idol. His treasure-seeking arch rival with the help of the locals deprived him of that item.

Yes, it’s an extreme example. We’ll probably never face such a situation. But it does teach us a valuable lesson that all that glitters is not gold. Or in other words, not everything that can be attained is beneficial to us.

It sure does seem like bad things happen when we try to lay hold of something that we are not supposed to have. So if we are going to learn from this, we will have to look inward. And the looking starts with our eyes.

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What You Should Know Before Putting Your Money on a Crypto Exchange?

Cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange or as an investment has certainly caught everyone’s attention in the past few years. You can’t turn to any financial news outlet without seeing news reports about who is and who is not accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment. And some of the currencies have caught people’s attention as their values have soared to astronomical heights.

Cryptocurrency may be the future. It is also leading many to think about investing in it. In order to do so, you have to understand about the exchanges where these can be found. 

Crypto exchanges are the first step into the crypto world for many newbies who wish to trade or buy digital currencies. Also, if you want to utilize any token issued through an ICO (Initial Coin Offering), you should eventually exchange your other cryptocurrencies for them. So, it’s essential to choose a proper exchange service and know what you are doing there.

Here you will find some things to think about in the cryptocurrency exchange world.

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The Benefits to Hiring a Higher Education Marketing Company

Going to a college or a university whether in-person or online has become a competitive endeavor for high school students. However, within the world of higher education, it’s just as competitive. The marketplace for students is opening up, especially due to advances in information and communications technology. Colleges and universities are competing with one another now more than ever to draw in the best and brightest to their institution. 

It is therefore important to stand out in this industry. An institution that doesn’t won’t be successful. Many of the higher education businesses that are able to stand out do so because they have hired the services of a higher education marketing company. So, if you manage or own a business in this industry, this should be a consideration. If you don’t, your business may be left behind. 

Why so? Because these companies have insights about what is going on in the broader industry that you may not have. They exist to study the trends in the marketplace and relay those on to their clients. So, put simply, if you are not working with an agency trained for this, you are falling behind.

Here are several ways they can help you reach your goals.

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7 Benefits Of Hiring Millennial Workers For Your Business

It’s almost natural for any society to have stereotypes about the different generations that exist in their culture. For example, Baby Boomers, generally considered to be born between 1964 and 1964, were known to be mentally focused, resourceful, competitive, and disciplined.  Gen-Xers on the other hand, born between 1965 – 1980, were known for being independent and focused on maintaining work-life balance. millennials

Millennials, on the other hand, were frequently stereotyped as entitled, apathetic, and addicted to technology. This is the group born between 1981 and 1996. They grew up in an era that saw some of the greatest technological change the world has ever seen, mainly the creation and mass consumption of the personal computer. Oh, and let’s not forget the introduction of the Internet to the masses occurred at the later part of this timeframe. 

Despite some of negative stereotypes Millennials have, they also possess many positive characteristics that are surprisingly beneficial for any company or industry.

While Baby Boomers have already retired, both Gen Xers and Millennials dominate most workplaces today. And Millennials are in great supply. So, if you’re thinking of hiring more Millennials in your workspace and want to dive deeper into the research, you can check it here to learn more about what they can offer your organization. 

Here are some of the highlights.

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