Monthly Archives: September 2013

Budgeting 101: Why Tithing is so Important

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When creating and living off of a written budget, tithing to the church should be the first item on the list.

Why?

When I was younger I did it because that is what my parents and the church taught me was the right thing to do.

As I have gotten older I have learned more and more, on my own, why it is so essential.

Giving away a portion of your income is a testament of your faith and belief in God and his church.   It is a sacrifice.

Since the creation of man God has asked us to sacrifice by giving of the first of our fruits.  Adam and Eve taught Cain and Able how to sacrifice.  This story also taught us the importance of giving of the best that we have and with the right attitude or there could be consequences.

All God asks is that you give 10% back of what he already gave you in the first place.  It takes money to run the church and the purpose of the church is to reach out to the community and help those in need.  To save those that are lost.

God will take care of you when you give.

God has never failed to provide for me or my family and that is because we are first faithful to Him.

He provides in many more ways than simply a good, steady income.

He has kept our family healthy.  He has kept our vehicles running well.  He has taken care of our home and so much more.

Any of these things could instantly cause you to have to pay out a tremendous amount of money if something goes wrong, especially when it comes to your health.

If you do not pay your tithes, God may choose to get that portion from you one way or another, so it is better to give it up front, willingly and happily and be blessed, instead of the other way around.

If you are faithful to God and his church, then he will be faithful to you and take care of 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.

Sounds to me like a win-win situation.  Bless others and you will be blessed even more.

You can’t out give God.  Go ahead and test him.  Give him the first of what you receive in tithing to the church and see what happens.

May God bless you.


Budgeting 101: Creating a Budget

Budget

 

Living on a budget is not something everybody does, but it is something that everyone should do.

As Dave Ramsey says, “If you don’t manage your money, your money will manage you”

For those ready to take control of their lives and their money, creating a budget is the first step.

Be intentional about getting started.  Don’t just let each day go by and see if time just happens to tap you on the shoulder and suggest that you sit down and do this.  Schedule a day and time that you can sit down for an hour, then follow these steps.

 

Step 1: Grab a pencil, some paper, a calculator and sit down at the table.

  • Use a pencil because you likely will need to so some erasing.
  • Lined paper would be helpful, but not necessary
  • Don’t sit on the couch in front of the TV.  Sit at the dinner table where you can focus.

 

Step 2: At the top, write down how much you make in a month.

  • This part can be tricky if your income is variable. There are multiple ways to budget with variable income.  For now pick an average of what you expect to make each month.

 

Step 3: Start making a list different places that your money goes each month.

  • Don’t worry about the amount spent on each item yet.  Just list everything that you can think of that your money goes to.
  • Start with the items that are essential to life first.

Examples of essential items

  • Tithing
  • Savings
  • Mortgage or Rent
  • Power or Electric
  • Food or Grocery (not dining)
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Phone/Internet/Cable
  • Auto insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Life insurance

Examples of non-essential items

  • School misc
  • Kids activities
  • Birthdays
  • Recreation
  • Dining
  • Kids allowance or commission
  • Clothes
  • Home maintenance
  • Music lesson
  • Dental
  • Eyecare
  • Medical
  • Retirement
  • Vacation
  • Christmas
  • etc…

The the non-essentials will look different for everyone, but it is is important to get everything that you can think of listed.

 

Step 4: Write a dollar amount beside each and every item

Some you will know and some you might have to estimate.

 

Step 5: Pick up the calculator and punch in the income number at the top of the page, then start subtracting each item from that number.

Most of us will run out of money before we get to the bottom of the list.

 

Step 6: Balance your budget by adjusting the numbers or items until all of the money is accounted for and your final number is 0.

 

In future posts I hope to go into more detail about why I listed things like vacations, birthdays and Christmas in the monthly item list.

I would also like to explain further why I think that tithing and saving are essential to life budget items.

For now…Have fun creating your budget.  It will feel good to take control of your money.


iOS 7: Do This Before You Update

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Apple releases the new iOS 7 today for their iPhones.

If you are reading this article then you most likely have an iPhone and are anticipating the new operating system and excited to try it out just like I am.

This week I have done a couple of things that will hopefully make the update go smoother and would like to share these with you.

1. Make sure your photos are backed up and then delete all those that you don’t need.

2. Delete all the apps that you have not used in the the past month or more.

3. Back up your phone either through iTunes or the Cloud.

4. Be patient.

Wait to do the update tonight when you are at home, have a strong WiFi signal, have plenty of time and won’t be needing your phone for a while.
Major updates could take a couple of hours and you don’t want to be trying to do this when you are out and about and in need of your phone.

If I am missing something or you would like to add, please leave a comment.
Thanks and happy updating!


The Grasshopper and the Ant: Which one are You?

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The story of the grasshopper and the ant is an oldie, but goodie!
There is so much that can be learned from it.

If you are not familiar with it, check it out on YouTube.

While the ants are busy working all summer long, storing up for the winter, the grasshopper is just hopping around having fun in the moment. He does not have a care in the world for what may lie ahead.
Then winter comes and while the ants are inside with plenty of food, the grasshopper is left out in the cold, freezing and starving.

Some basic lessons to be learned from the story…

  • Don’t procrastinate.
  • Don’t just live in the moment and totally ignore the future.
  • Some thinking ahead and planning ahead is essential for survival.

There are multiple areas in life that we can apply this story to.
Ask yourself these questions and then think about whether you are the grasshopper or the ant in each situation.

Physically

  • Are you exercising each day?
  • Are you eating for the moment or for the future?

Family

  • Do you have a Will?
  • Are you spending time with your spouse and kids?
  • How much longer until the kids go to college? Will you be ready?

Mentally

  • Are you learning something new each day?
  • Are you reading non-fiction books?

Financially

  • Do you have an emergency fund?
  • Are you saving for retirement?

Career

  • Will the job that you have now last forever?
  • Do you need to be furthering your education just in case?

Spiritually

  • Are you spending time with God in prayer?
  • Reading the Bible?
  • Going to church every week?
  • Have you completed the steps of salvation?

Are you the grasshopper or the ant?

Maybe you don’t have to choose one or the other.
Maybe you can be a hybrid?

Enjoy life, but also work hard and prepare for the future.


Why We Should Be Humble

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Jesus tells us why it is best to be humble in Luke 18:14.

…for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Prior to saying this Jesus was telling a parable of how 2 different kind of men prayed.
The Pharisee was very boastful and proud, exalting himself, while the publican was very humble in his prayer.

Jesus said those that exalt themselves shall be abased.
Abased means to be put down or degraded.

He also said those that humble themselves shall be exalted.
To be exalted means to be lifted up high or at a powerful level.

Jesus often tells us the reverse of what our flesh wants to hear.

Our flesh wants us to think that to humble yourself places you lower than everyone else and that can’t be a good thing.

But, according to Jesus, to be humble is the highest position that one can attain.


The Greatest Commandment

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Matthew 22: 36-38.

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

If you going to be intentional about one thing in your life make sure you spend time with God each day.

Go to church every time the doors are open.
It’s the greatest thing that you can do for you and your family.


How To Live Without Credit Cards

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Life without credit cards is possible.

My wife and I have been able to survive without credit cards for more years than I can count now.
You can do it too and here’s how.

The secret to living without credit can be done with 3 simple steps.

1. Budget
2. Save
3. Buy, using cash or debit

The main reason most people use credit cards is because they do not have enough money in the bank to make a purchase and they want it now.

Why would there not be enough money in the bank to make the purchase?
Because they didn’t save.
Why did they not save?
Because they were not living on a budget.

Get on a written budget and make sure savings is near the top of the list (right under tithing)

Plan on putting 10% of you income into savings.
The best way to do this is to have it auto drafted into savings each time you get paid.

Make a goal to have at least $1,000 in the bank for large purchases and emergencies.
Save more if you need more, but this is the very minimum to keep in the bank for purchases.

Once you have money in the bank you can use cash or a debit card to make purchases instead of a credit card.

Get on a budget, save and cut up those cards.

Tell those creditors that you don’t need them any more.


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