Investing In Your Future

I mentioned that this is one of my weakest areas when it comes to finances because I try to live by this biblical principle 

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34

But, I know that we can’t stick our head in the sand forever, and that’s not what God wants us to do.  He wants us to prepare for the future and take good care with the money that He has blessed us with.  There is a story in the Bible in Matthew where a master gave money to three different slaves, and they all chose to handle it differently, and two were blessed because they made money from the money they were given, but the one who buried the money (aka coffee can), the master took the money back and gave it to the other two and fired him.  (very loose paraphrase 🙂 – click on the link to read the story yourself – you’ll have to click to get off that first screen maybe where you can’t see it all, not sure what that’s about).  

I want God to be pleased with how I took care of my loan, so we do our best to ‘plan’ for the future.  

Maybe you’ve heard the expression “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.  Well, this makes a lot of sense when it comes to investing in your future.  You don’t want to count on one source of income for retirement, or on one source of funding for your child’s college tuition.  A lot of us are blessed with retirement packages through our jobs.  Make sure that you are aware of how that works, and consider if that is enough to get by. Or maybe, you need to add to that.  Some companies allow you to contribute over the amount that they are contributing – do that as you are able.  The more money in the nest egg, the more money it makes.  Consider investing on the side through an investment company for another source.  

College funding is a whole separate stress for most of us parents.  Let me first just give this disclaimer.  If you are unable to save for your son or daughter’s college education, do not think less of yourself as a parent.  My hubby and I, and I’m sure many of you, paid our way through college ourselves, with the assistance of aid, loans, and work.  It can be done, it’s not the end of the world, and they will probably be better for it.  

However, if you are able to bless your children with a free college education (that being free for them), then by all means, do it.  Again, there are several different avenues for this.  My suggestion here too, would be to find a financial adviser with an investment company that you trust to guide you in the best ways to do that. You can go to Dave’s sight here for some of his recommendations for people in your area.  

Blessings friends!!

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Saving For a Rainy Day

My grandma always had a coffee can on top of the fridge with cash in it – saving for a rainy day.  🙂  My hubby’s grandma used to stuff her extra cash in socks. We have a couple of jars around the house to collect spare change and a couple of dollars now and then. Everyone likes the idea of having a couple of bucks stashed away.

Dave suggests that the first thing you do, even before budgeting or paying off debt, is to build an emergency fund of $1,000 as quickly as possible.  Now, if you have ever been through any of the situations I used as examples yesterday, you know that most likely won’t cover it all, but just think how much easier it would be to have that (that will cover most deductibles). 

Then, after you have been working your budget and you have successfully paid off all debt (except the mortgage), it’s a good idea to add to that emergency fund.  Dave suggests enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses.  This would be huge help in facing any financial trial. Can you feel the freedom in that?!?

Remember when you use money from these emergency funds, they must be replenished.  There is no point in doing all that work in the beginning, if you are not going to keep up with it.  Here are some great suggestions for how to come up with that first $1,000 FAST.  🙂

Build An Emergency Fund Fast

So, where do you put the money that you save??  We use a simple savings account, which is great because it’s easily accessible.  As you grow a larger emergency fund you may want to look into something with a higher yielding interest rate like a money market account. Always consider how accessible you need the money to be, and find an account that suits those needs.  The more your money can make money the better!!  

Blessings and Happy savings!!

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Saving and Investing

Okay, so if you’ve hung around this long, you should have an idea of where all your money is going.  You should have a basic idea of a budget, and in these two processes you have probably discovered some “extra” money.  The next couple of days we are going to talk about what to do with that “extra” money.  

I say extra with “” because I truly believe God gives you exactly what He wants you to have, you just have to figure out how He wants you to use what He has given you.

We talked in the beginning about how most things that we might consider ’emergencies’ aren’t actually an emergency.  For example, if you are a home owner – leaks happen, if you own a car – they break down, and so on and these things should be planned for in your budget.  However, there are things that happen that we may never be prepared for – unplanned medical expenses, unfortunate accidents (either in the home, at work, or in your car), loss of a loved one, loss of a job.

These things can hit our finances hard, so hard that it makes it virtually impossible to recover from them. This is where the savings comes in.  

Then, it is time to look toward the future.  This is my weakest area, because honestly I prefer to live in the present and let the Lord take care of tomorrow.  But, I also know I don’t want my hubby to have to work until the grave, and I want to be able to hop on a plane to see my grand kids whenever I want when that time comes. So we should all plan for retirement.  Also, none of us want our kids to be saddled with student loans in order to get a college degree, so we should consider how we will assist them in that.  

We will explore all of these areas a little deeper over the next couple of days!!  

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I Hope To Be A Good Steward

As I have shared with you this month about money, and all the things that we should keep in mind as we do our best to use the money we have wisely, I never want to forget that everything we have, we have because the Lord God has given it to us.  Everything is merely on loan to us. 

The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.  -Psalms 24:1

God provides for our needs and the only request is that we take care of {be a good steward of} what He gives us.  

Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds.  -Proverbs 27:23

Seeking riches will only end in heartache.

If riches increase, do not set your hear on them.  -Psalm 62:10

Possessing a cheerful and giving heart will bring you joy.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.  Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.  -Proverbs 3:27-28
Blessings Friends 🙂

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What Do Kids Need to Know About Money Before College

Since I have a senior in high school, this topic has been in the front of my mind as of late, so I sat down and made my own list of things I want to make sure we cover before he spreads his wings. Here is our list.

*How to make and maintain a budget
*How to pay a bill
*How to use a debit/ATM card
*How to balance and reconcile a checkbook
*Understanding bank statements
*How to write a check
*How to cash a check
*How to deposit/withdraw money from the bank
*How to open a checking account
*How to save
*Understanding the basics of investing/retirement saving
*Understanding the basics of loan/mortgages
*How to avoid the credit trap

Some of these things are very basic, things you think are second nature, but to an 18yr. old, not so much.  I remember the first time I had my son (then almost 16) pump gas – he had no idea what he was doing, and at that moment I felt like I had failed!!  He was weeks away from getting his driver’s license and he didn’t even know how to get his own gas!!

So, I don’t want to be the same way with finances.  Yes, we have worked some basic principles along the way, but there are definitely grown-up things he hasn’t had to do yet, that he will have to do very soon.  So, I want to make sure he’s as prepared as possible.  🙂

Is there anything that you would add to the list?? Maybe some of you with grown kids??  What is something that you realized they didn’t know after they left the house??

Blessings to you friends!!

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