Tuesday Tips for Budgeting

We’re getting closer to the end of the month, so make sure that you start to gather those bills and be thinking about your budget for next month! 

- If you’re trying to pay off debt and are getting intense about it, you may find it advantageous to change your thinking.  You’ll want to change your approach from, “I have $xxxx.xx in expenses, so what can I cut from that?” to this: “I want to pay $xxxx.xx/month on my debt, so what can I afford to buy?”

- The fastest way to get more cash flow is to take a part-time job.  The longer-term, more effective way is to pay off all your debt.  No payments, more cash.

- It’s wise to “zoom out” and look at your spending […]

By |July 22nd, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Thoughts on Stewardship

Where did your money come from?  The answer, in most cases, is your work, if you don’t immediately say, “God.”

What about your ability to work?  Where did that come from?  Your healthy mind and body – the two things necessary to do most work.

Where did your mind and body come from?  Well, here we are.  Those definitely came from God.

So God gave us a working body and mind, so we have the ability to work, and make money.  Ultimately, that money has come from God.  The truth is that it’s all his anyway.   It’s a foundational financial principle to understand that we are not actually owners of the stuff we have, but managers - “stewards” would be the Biblical term.

So we arrive at a simple definition of stewardship: managing and using […]

By |July 21st, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

The Power of a Strong Visual Aid

I love to teach.  It’s who I am.  Before settling on Communication alone, I almost double-majored in English and Communication, to go be an English teacher.  I was a soccer coach for several years.  I am a teacher: I love to see people take hold of truth and apply it to their lives.

One of the best ways to help people to do that is through the use of visual aids.  I’ve flipped tables, twirled umbrellas, played tug-of-war, broken paving stones…

…wrapped students with caution tape, smashed through plywood with a hammer, carried a cross, nailed things to a cross, thrown things at people, and recently brought Winston on stage during a Sunday morning service, all to get the point across and help people understand and retain what […]

By |July 17th, 2014|Faith, Life, Money|2 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Budgeting

- Your budget isn’t a Ronco Showtime Rotisserie – you can’t “set it and forget it,” especially early on in the process.  In the first 90-120 days of budgeting, you might have to check in weekly or even twice a week to make sure you’re staying on track.  Then, at the end of the month, do a post-mortem to see how things shook out and to help you more effectively plan for next month.  As you get better at budgeting, you won’t have to check in as much.

- Hybridizing the system with debit and credit will work out poorly most of the time.  If you’re weaning yourself off a credit card, go ahead and make the move.  Leave the credit card at home so you […]

By |July 15th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Ways to Go to College [More] Cheaply

Despite being the first thing suggested to students, there are more options than bankrolling a 5-star college experience with student loans.  You have to be creative, you have to be unconventional, but it’s possible.  Here are a few ways to help do it:

- Choose your school wisely.  If someone didn’t save $100k for you to go to school, and no one is going to cash-flow the school of your choice, the long-distance small private school probably isn’t for you.  I had some money saved, but not enough for any private school I wanted, so I went to the local state university.  This can be a hard one to stomach, because we believe that “education is priceless” and you should “follow your dreams.”  I say follow your dreams, too; just don’t follow […]

By |July 14th, 2014|Life, Money|1 Comment|

A Common Man

One of the more inspiring gifts I’ve been given was a print of the following quote, printed and framed from Nancy, which will one day hang in my spacious, wood-paneled office.  I thought it appropriate to share following the Independence Day weekend.

(Click the image or the post title to see the entire quote!)

By |July 9th, 2014|Life, Money|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Budgeting

- Budgeting is a team sport.  If you’re married, let me introduce you to your teammate – they happen to share a bed with you.  If you’re single, get a teammate.  A friend, mentor, or coach can help you stay on track.  Budgeting goes best with accountability!

- Don’t be mistaken, using the cash envelope system doesn’t mean you pay for things like utilities and your rent in cash.  It means that you use a cash system to control your spending in the discretionary categories that vary month-to-month!  We currently roll with six envelopes: Food, Date Night, Auto Care, Clothing, Household, and Gifts.  Our “Blow Money” is distributed in cash as well, and that goes in our wallets.

- If you find yourself in a crisis, go back […]

By |July 8th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Happy Independence Day! (aka 4th of July)

Remember to celebrate today.

Read the Declaration of Independence, pray, say something controversial, and blow something up!  Celebrate not just the conventional July 4th things like parades and hotdogs, but celebrate our independence, our God-given freedom.

It’s an incredible gift we’ve been given.  Use it well!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1

By |July 4th, 2014|Life|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Budgeting

Happy July 1st!  Hopefully you’ve completed this month’s budget, but if you haven’t, it’s not too late!  Knock it out today and happen to life instead of letting life happen to you.  Here are a few thoughts for you:

- The reason we do the budget process every month is because months are different.  Some things stay the same, but a lot of things change.  I’m buying contacts this month.  Our electric bill is ridiculously high because of how hot it is.  We’re taking two trips to the beach.  Each month is different, so that’s why we sit down every month and make a unique budget for that month.

- I’ve seen two different approaches to fuel costs.  Use a basic cash envelope, and when it’s gone […]

By |July 1st, 2014|Money|1 Comment|

Stop Propping Us Up

The “Millennial” generation goes by a number of names that reference a growing trend among us.  “Boomerang Generation,” “Growing-ups,” and the “Go-Nowhere Generation” have all been used to describe the growing trend of adults living with their parents.

More adult “children” are living at home than ever before.  It’s reaching levels that we’ve not seen before, with Gallup reporting that 29% of adults under 35 years old live with their parents.

There are several ways these numbers interrelate, but in addition, the effective unemployment rate for 18-29 year-olds is at a staggering 15.5%.  That means 15% of millennials are in-between jobs, looking for work but unable to find it, wandering aimlessly, or have given up looking for work entirely.

I realize there are a lot of factors that […]

By |June 30th, 2014|Life, Money|0 Comments|