Stewardship in the Scriptures [03]: Joseph

Today we’ll continue our focus on real examples of stewardship, straight from the Scriptures.  Check out Part 1 and Part 2 here.

We’ve all felt at one point or another like we got the raw end of a deal.  Maybe we’re working hard, we’re doing our best, we’re serving people well, and then, inexplicably, we lose our job.  Or we’re blamed for something that wasn’t our fault.

Or maybe we’re sold into slavery by our family… Or thrown into prison for a crime we didn’t commit.  That happened to Joseph, anyway, as we see in the book of Genesis.  While he was still living at home, his other brothers sold him to slave traders that took him to Egypt, far from his home.  But because of his amazing stewardship […]

By |February 26th, 2015|Faith, Money|0 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [020]

- Now is the time where your money resolutions are made or broken.  Have you kept up with your money goals thus far?

– This week, you should be doing your third budget of the year, for the month of March!  Take this opportunity and DO IT, don’t forget!  This is where habits are built!

– Look back at what you talked about doing, resolved to do, or set goals about at the beginning of the year.  Are you making progress towards those?  Do something this month to take you closer to those goals.

– Make sure you update your budget each month with the bills for THAT month.  We’ll be warming up some for most of us, so your utility bills are going to fluctuate, and you […]

By |February 24th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

When Losing $6.2 Billion is NBD

Note: The theme of this post, not it’s language, is inspired by Nick Murray’s excellent book on investing, Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth.
There’s not a lot everyone can agree on, but I think we can all agree that a billion dollars is a lot of money (unless you’re in the federal government).

Take a look at this number, read it out loud, and let it sit with you:
$6,200,000,000
That, my friends, is six BILLION, two hundred million dollars.  More money than most of us will ever see or possibly even comprehend in our lifetimes.  Suffice to say, it would be difficult to spend that much money in a lifetime.
To help us understand how much money this is, think of it this way:  If you had $6.2 billion dollars, you could spend $10,000 every […]

By |February 23rd, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Sole Proprietorship or LLC?

I often get asked, “Ok, how do I make my business idea official?  Do I need to setup an LLC?”

The answer, in most of the situations I see, is “No, not yet.”

When should you use an LLC (Limited Liability Company)?  What are the benefits of it?  If I’m not organized as an LLC, what am I?  The answers are important to understand when starting and growing a business.

By default, unless otherwise specifically designated, any individual engaging in a business venture is considered a “sole proprietorship.”  In a sole proprietorship, there is no legal distinction between you, the owner, and the business.  Income taxes in a sole proprietorship are recorded and paid via a Schedule C form on your personal tax return.

The primary advantage of a sole […]

By |February 19th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [019]

- Your budget should reflect your priorities.  What’s most important to you?  Investing, getting out of debt, saving, giving?  Maybe your priority is living a comfortable life?  Your budget might say it is!

– Giving, saving, and investing, if they’re true priorities for you, shouldn’t happen last, they should happen first.  You’ll never save anything if you save “as much as possible” at the end of the month when all the spending is said and done.  Temper your spending to fit in with your real priorities.

– A good way to force your continued action on those priorities is auto-draft for your savings or investments.  On the 15th of each month, a sum of money is drafted from our checking account without notice and invested into mutual funds within our […]

By |February 17th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Four Resources to Help Start Your Side Hustle

What idea or talent do you have that could help you be your own boss?

Is there a creative skill that you have that would allow you to sell products or services?
Do you have a unique life experience that people would be interested hearing or learning about?
Do you have an interest outside of your “career” job that you’d like to use profitably?
Do you need a little extra cash and don’t want to deliver pizzas?

Starting a “side hustle” might be the answer.  I love this Art of Manliness article on starting a side hustle, and how to do that when working another job.  When you’re trying to take an idea or talent and turn it into something that takes money, it’s vital to find simple, cost-effective solutions […]

By |February 16th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Stewardship in the Scriptures [02]: Jacob

When you come to fully appreciate the story of Jacob in Genesis, you see a story of how God was able to use someone who wasn’t perfect and didn’t do everything right.  One of the coolest lessons of his story is that God can use us, checkered past and all.

If we define stewardship as “caring well for what is entrusted to you,” Jacob is a slam-dunk, for at least a portion of his life.  We see in Genesis 29-31 that Jacob worked for his Uncle Laban for 20 years of his life to earn his daughters as wives (yeah, they did that sort of thing then) and a flock of his own.  Don’t tell me the Bible is dry: There was drama like you don’t even […]

By |February 12th, 2015|Faith, Money|0 Comments

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [018]

It’s Valentine’s Week!  Here are some Valentine’s Day-inspired tips for your money!

– When you’re working to get out of debt, maybe the swankiest meal in town isn’t the wisest choice for you.  If you have any culinary skill at all, consider trying your hand at cooking a romantic dinner at home!  There are tons of resources online to help you do that – Pinterest, anyone?

– Talking with your love (whether married or not) about your financial situation is the best way to relieve some of the pressure around Valentine’s day and set mutual expectations for what kind of Valentine’s you’ll have.  Some years, maybe you’ll go all out – other years, you might not go quite as big.  Being open and honest about your finances will […]

By |February 10th, 2015|Money|1 Comment

Financial Secrets, and How to Overcome Them

CreditCards.com recently released the interesting results of a poll on money secrets in relationships and “financial infidelity” – keeping potentially damaging accounts or purchases hidden from their spouse.  The poll revealed that 1 in 5 people believe it’s acceptable to spend $500 without telling their spouse, and 6% of respondents had a bank account that their spouse did not know about.

On initial reading, I thought, “Oh, well 6% isn’t as bad as I might have thought.”  But then their article included this line: “If extrapolated out to the general population…that means about 7 million Americans have kept those accounts secret, committing financial infidelity.”

WOW!  7 million people have kept bank accounts hidden from their spouses.  In a climate where money fights and money problems are the #1 reason […]

By |February 9th, 2015|Money|0 Comments

Are You Ready for Taxes?

The fact we even have a season that we refer to as “tax season” is appalling in a free society.  Even so, in the space between New Year’s Day and April 15, millions of businesses and individuals file their taxes for the year.  It’s also a “season” because it takes almost that long to get everything together that you need.

It seems every year I have to think through, “OK, what are the documents that I need for our return?”  At the very least, I thought I’d compile a list for my benefit for the future of what documents are needed to prepare for a personal return.  Maybe they’ll be helpful for you as well.  Here they are:
1) W-2 from your employer
This […]

By |February 5th, 2015|Money|0 Comments