Hope for your financial life and beyond

How to Determine If People Really Want Help With Money

I have been interested in personal finance for quite some time now and love to help with money. I could teach the subject and dish out solid advice for hours. In fact, that’s what I do at my full-time job as high school economics and personal finance teacher. Teaching my students satisfies my appetite on the topic of money.

help with moneyThe funny thing though is, in everyday life, I rarely get into conversations about money.

Why?

Because people rarely ask. Every once in a while someone will approach the subject because they know my interest in it. But not often.

And even more rare are those times when I bring up the subject to someone else. I even resist when I see them making a poor personal finance decision. I’ve learned that when I initiate conversations about money it doesn’t go well.

[Read more…]

What Does God Prescribe for the Handling of Your Personal Finances?

The Bible has a lot to say when it comes to managing our lives in a more wholesome way. Money has always influenced the way people live. However, it does not mean that it should affect the kind of people we are at heart.

If you’ve grown up in a Christian household, you may have heard it said “Practice contentment and don’t covet other people’s stuff” (derived from Exodus 20:17). But the world around us usually says otherwise in the way that it tries to sell us material things by making us want them through various advertisements.

In the modern age, our finances can be affected by just a click of a button. It makes you wonder how we can manage that power and have better control over our finances. Many books have been written and careers made based on the popularity and demand for such help. 

Additionally though, people can and should turn to see the nuggets of advice that the Bible has to offer about how to manage your finances. Here is a quick guide to help us explore what the Bible says about money. 

[Read more…]

How to Enjoy a Life of Guilt Free Spending

guilt freeI would love to enjoy a guilt free life, especially when it comes to spending money. Have you ever heard the same voice rattling around in your head that I’ve heard in mine? It usually says something like, “Why did you spend that money? That was stupid! You know you shouldn’t have done that.”

If you’ve had that thought, then you know you spend the rest of the day kicking yourself and feeling like you’ve done something wrong. Additionally, some time during that same day might be spent seeking forgiveness from your spouse, which can always be a tense situation. And to top it all off, you will spend the rest of the month struggling to figure out how to make the budget cover your spending decision.

Guilt is powerful. But have you ever stopped to consider why?

[Read more…]

Teaching Kids About Money to Get the Best Results

teaching kids about moneyA major role of parenting (and one that is often neglected) should be teaching kids about money. For many reasons, parents drop the ball in this area and raise children who carry an improper understanding of money into college and adulthood. Unfortunately, these children then face challenges when they go to seek employment, earn an income and determine how to manage their financial lives.

But what is a parent to do? How do you go about helping kids develop a proper understanding of how to relate to and handle money? It seems like such an overwhelming process, especially for those parents who don’t handle money well themselves.

The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might think. For starters, what children should learn about money varies depending on their age. A five year old needs to hear different messages from the parents than does a teenager. However, there are three fundamental money lessons that every child needs to learn no matter what the age:

1) to save money for future needs,

2) to spend money wisely and

3) to give generously.

These three principles serve as the foundation upon which other money lessons build. Stick with these and you will see the best results when they are consistently applied over time. Let’s see what that practically looks like.

[Read more…]

More Money More Problems: The 10 Challenges of the Wealthy

Everyone has money problems, yes, even the wealthy. Nobody likes to hear this though. For one, we get tired of the rich flaunting their wealth. Additionally, we think we’d be OK with some more problems if we could have more money. In general, there isn’t much sympathy for the problems of people with a lot of money.

The problems of the wealthy may not be the same type of problems that someone living paycheck to paycheck has. They don’t have to deal with a mountain of school loan debt. They can pretty much pay for healthcare costs out of pocket. But their problems exist nonetheless. Having more money doesn’t isolate a person from having more problems.

more money more problemsI don’t consider myself rich by any means. I’m not even sure how to accurately define whether someone is rich. What net worth number does a person have to reach before they are considered wealthy? $1 million? $5 million? $10 million plus?

I would consider someone with $10 million in net worth to be rich. If they had all that money in cash, they could retire and live off $200,000 a year for 50 years. That sounds rich to me.

I’ll never reach the $10 million dollar plateau. But my wife and I have come to the point in our financial lives where we are worrying less about money. While we don’t struggle with putting food on the table, I have noticed other problems creeping into our lives as our net worth has increased. It got me thinking about the money issues of the wealthy and what they might be dealing with on a personal level.

We haven’t experienced most of these. But I’ll admit a few of them shake me on a small scale.

[Read more…]

Give Money and It Shall Be Given Unto You? (Luke 6:38)

“Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” – Luke 6:38

give and it shall be given unto youI’ve spent a lot of time cataloging all the Bible verses about money. I started this site years ago so that I could share what I learned about money from reading the Bible. There are literally hundreds of verses that give us positive instruction and warnings about the proper use and abuse of our money.

Unfortunately, individuals and churches have misinterpreted many verses in the Bible about money. It’s easy to do. Sometimes the verses are actually hard to interpret. Other times however, people do it to promote an agenda. In other words, people use these verses to teach and promote a message that isn’t there.

Of all the verses in the Bible about money, people abuse Luke 6:38 probably more than any other verse. It reads:

“Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (KJV)

Why misinterpret this verse so much? Because many have chosen to believe or teach that this verse means you can profit financially from giving. Let’s look at why this is incorrect.

[Read more…]

How Much We Pay Our Kids For Chores

If you’ve ever wondered how much to pay kids for chores you are not alone. It’s a question my wife and I have wrestled with again and again. I’ve mentioned before why we don’t give our kids allowances. I’m not giving them money just for existing. It seems like that 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 choresIn 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. When I was in school, I knew some college freshman who couldn’t do their own laundry. All four of my children have been doing their laundry since they were nine.

Over the years my wife and I have adjusted how much we pay our kids for chores. The amounts started out small and increased as they got older. And then when we started having teenagers, specifically when they turned 16, we made another radical turn. Before I get to that though, here is some background information that helped us decide on how much to pay kids for chores.

[Read more…]

10 Tidbits of Financial Wisdom on My 45th Birthday

Forty-five. That’s the age I turn today – March 7, 2018.

A lot has changed in our world since 1973. Almost every area of life I can think of has made advancements. Mostly these have been for the good of society and have ushered in new eras for technology, medicine, science, politics and sports just to name a few.

One thing really hasn’t changed though. And that is our need for money. We need it now just as much as my parents did when I was born. Money provides us with the means to secure the most basics needs for our survival – food, clothing, shelter, utilities and transportation. If any one of those key areas is missing in the equation, then we are more or less suffering to some degree.

I’ve been blessed in that I’ve never had to worry about meeting these needs. However, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a challenge at times. But both my parents when I was young and now myself leading my own family have always been able to manage. I’ve truly been blessed in that way.

In my 45 years of life, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about money and finances. So today I’d like to give you 10 quick bits of financial wisdom that have helped shape me over the years. I won’t get bogged down in the details about how I learned these lessons. If you want to read more details, click on the links I’ll provide.

[Read more…]

3 Principles from the Bible that Will Help You Build Wealth

The following is a guest post from ESI who blogs at ESI Money. He’s a 50-something early retiree who has amassed a multi-million dollar net worth by following three simple steps to build wealth — earning, saving, and investing (ESI).

As most Christians know, the Bible has a wealth of information and advice about handling money and the ability to build wealth. The book of Proverbs alone provides enough guidance to fill many personal finance books.

build wealthOf course the Bible doesn’t focus on becoming wealthy for wealth’s sake, but to bless others. That said, if you apply the principles in the Bible, you can’t help but become wealthy.

Over the past 25 years I have applied three simple steps to become wealthy. At the same time, my knowledge of what the Bible says about money has grown. Somewhere along the way I realized that my actions mirrored what was in Scripture. And even better, as I changed my actions to better reflect the Bible’s teachings on money, I prospered even more.

[Read more…]

10 Futuristic Money Saving Ideas That Are Already a Reality

Technology is changing the face of the world as we know it and it’s doing so at lightning speed. For example, think about this article. Ten years ago the platform on which you discovered it was either non-existent or looked totally different. Fifteen years ago you might not have been able to even conceptualize the device you’re using to read it. Twenty years ago you wouldn’t have anticipated this information – and many other things you need to know – being so readily available.

The mainstream financial services industry has not moved at quite the same pace. Traditional banks have not led the process but followed along with the sort of lag you’d expect from an old Windows PC. A major reason has been security concerns. It’s been challenging figuring out how to make financial services immediately accessible without compromising the safety of the huge amounts of money involved.

But the non-traditional financial services companies have made big strides. And with increased safety, it’s becoming easier to innovate ideas that save you money. The following 10 startups have produced some of the most revolutionary money saving ideas out there.

[Read more…]

Is a Liberal or Conservative President Better for Your Money?

It’s President’s Day, 2016 and it’s also an election year. America will again be choosing a liberal or conservative candidate to be the next President. We won’t know our choices until the primaries are finished but it will once again be a knock-down, drag-out fight all the way to the November elections. And well it should be – a lot is at stake.

liberal or conservativeThere are many issues on either side of the political spectrum that attract people to the liberal or conservative cause. I’m sure you have a worldview or pet issue that draws you in one direction or the other. Our differences are both a strength and a weakness, propelling us forward at times and hindering us at others.

One area though where the American electorate can find common ground is this: we need money to manage our lives. I don’t see how you can argue with that statement given the nature of our society. Money functions as a tool for living. The more of it we have, the better off we are when it comes to running our day to day lives.

So during an election year is a good time to ask, “Which philosophical viewpoint – liberal or conservative – gives me the best chance to succeed with money?” Whoever becomes the next President will surely promote his or her agenda to the American people. Their views about money, economics, businesses, taxes and foreign affairs will have a dramatic impact on our pocketbooks. Not that you should only vote based on your wallet but it is a major factor to consider.

To answer the question, I’ll start the only place I know – with the actual viewpoints.

Liberal or Conservative Worldview on Money?

[Read more…]