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5 Ways to Raise MoneyWise Kids

 

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After sharing the Gospel, one of the most important things you can pass on to your children is how to handle money God’s way. The trouble is, a shocking percentage of parents fail to pass along strong money management skills to their kids.

Here are 5 money lessons your kids should know, and fortunately, it’s never too late to start teaching them.

  • Kids need to know that credit cards aren’t free money! Yes, a bill comes every month and if you don’t pay it in full, interest piles up fast. Teach by example and pay off your credit cards every month.
  • The biggest “secret” to managing money is to live on less than you make. Otherwise, you can’t save for emergencies or invest for the future. Teach your kids to save every time they receive income.
  • Giving. Jesus was right when He said, “It is more blessed to give and to receive” (Acts 20:35).  Young children naturally think they’re the center of the universe. Teaching them to generously help those less fortunate is an important life lesson.
  • Teach them to manage a bank account. It’s not rocket science. Help them set up an account and teach them how to record transactions, keep the register balanced, and reconcile the account.
  • Finally, paying back student loans isn’t fun. In the past, students could borrow their way through school, get a good job and pay back loans quickly. No more! Today jobs are harder to come by and student debts are a lot higher. Teach them to borrow as little as possible. This will help them choose a major or a minor that gives them marketable skills so they can land a job after graduation.

Remember what Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Teaching your kids to manage money God’s way is a gift that will last their whole lives and impact their children as well.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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What is the Economy of God?

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It starts with a dream…
Several years ago, I had a dream in which I was standing at an ATM machine. I was in line for several minutes, only to put my card in and watch as the machine spit out American tens, fives and ones and then nothing!  I wanted to panic as I had anticipated getting twenties and more money. 
Suddenly, I looked to my right and saw another ATM machine with a man clothed in white standing beside it. There was no lineup and I knew I needed to move over to that machine.  As I then stood in front of it, the dream suddenly ended.  I sensed the Lord speaking to me “I want you to step into My economy”.
 
This dream remains with me and has caused me to ponder what exactly does this phrase ‘economy of God’ mean?  While I do continue my quest to understand this term, here are a few of my thoughts so far.
 
Three things I consider when thinking through this term ‘economy’ are: 
1) The dictionary defines ‘economy’ as “careful management of available resources” and includes such concepts as thrift, providence, prudence, careful budgeting, saving, restraint, and frugality; 
2) In the Greek it pertains to “stewardship or administration related to a household”; 
3) Throughout the New Testament we hear Jesus speaking about His Kingdom having come. He often spoke about it within the context of servants being judged for their stewardship of what has been entrusted to them by their master i.e. Luke 16:1-13. 
 
My sense is that God is looking for us to have a far greater perspective in managing our finances than the immediate here and now. He wants us to consider an eternal perspective. I believe He is my King and He rules over a Kingdom as described in His Word.  As a believer in Him, I am a part of this Kingdom. I believe He has asked us to work in partnership with Him in stewarding or administrating this Kingdom as He leads and directs –in this case from a financial perspective.  I have come to realize that all that He has given me belongs to Him – the full 100%. 
So this begs the question – how does He ask me to steward these financial resources?
 
First, our Lord and King makes it clear in Scripture that He is the source of all things, including our finances. He then lays out principles for us in both the Old and New Testament that include such areas as debt, savings, tithes, offering and gifts. We follow these principles in obedience but He also desires us to seek His leading as part of the process. 
We ask Him what would bless and give Him joy in our financial stewardship. This question not only relates to where we tithe and release our offerings and gifts but also includes how we spend and manage our own personal finances in day-to-day living. 
 
In essence, the economy of God is being aware and intentional in how you and I administrate the financial resources He puts at our disposal.  I believe He releases financial creativity within us and blesses us for the healthy functioning of our families and communities.  Included in this process is a joyful and active engagement with Him, a partnering, an asking for direction and guidance, a releasing in obedience, a seeking to bless, and, ultimately, seeing fruit borne and the Kingdom of God extended.  This will have eternal rewards as His Word says.
 
I hope my musings have challenged you to consider whether you have entered into the economy of God
Ray Borg is the National Director of Compass Canada, a worldwide, non-profit, interdenominational ministry that teaches people of all ages how to handle money based on the Bible.
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The 3 Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned About Biblical Finance

In 1973, my business partner asked me to join him in a study of the Bible to discover what it said about money and possessions. I had never read the Bible before so this was going to be an eye-opening experience……..and it certainly was!

 

There were three things that really resonated with me during this year-long project.

 

  1. The Bible says a ton about money! There are 2,350 verses dealing with money and possessions. In fact, 15% of everything that Jesus said had to do with it. The reason the Lord said so much about money is simple. God loves and cares for us. He knew that all of us would have financial challenges and he wanted to equip you to handle it wisely.

 

  1. I thought that the only financial subject the Bible would address was generosity — the handling of 10 percent of our money. But it tells us how to earn, spend, save, give, invest, get out of debt, and teach our children. It shows us God’s way of handling 100 percent of our money. Everything we need to know about handling it is found in God’s word.

 

  1. Finally, the Bible reveals God has a role in handling money, and we have a part. God’s part is that he is the owner of everything, He is the One who provides our needs, and He is in ultimate control of all events. Take a look at how 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 sums up God Part: “Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind. Your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great.” Our Part is that we’re to be faithful stewards of whatever God entrusts to us.

 

If you would like a Bible that has each of the 2,350 verses highlighted that deal with money and possessions, check out our Financial Stewardship Bible.

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Show me the money!

Gambling! It’s all about the money.

A couple of years ago I watched an interview of the governor of Pennsylvania who was leading the charge in getting casino gambling legalized in his state. When the interviewer pressed him on why he would risk so many of his citizens become addicted to gambling, he argued, “If we don’t provide it here, they will travel to another state, and the Pennsylvania state budget will lose more than a billion dollars of gambling income.”

Forget the fact that proximity to a casino dramatically increases the number of pathologically addicted gamblers.

Forget the lives and families that are ruined. The divorces. The children who don’t have a mom and dad in the home. The financial cost to the individuals who squander their paychecks instead of buying groceries. The worker who invades his 401k retirement funds and becomes totally dependent on the government when he no longer is able to work. It’s all about the money.

Let’s tell it the way it is! Far too often governments hungry for revenue have sacrificed the welfare of their citizens by colluding with gambling interests. Slick marketing that never reveals the pain and hurt.

Sophisticated techniques used by casinos to hook unsuspecting gamblers.

For example, there is a new breed of what used to be called slot machines or three-armed bandits. There are now about 850,000 of these new-breed machines that are high tech and literally captivate people. These machines are programmed to say “You won” after every bet. Forget that the bet cost you $1.00 and the machine says you “won” $.45 cents – you really LOST $.55!

God’s people should stand against this tsunami of gambling that has swept our nation. Pray for the Lord to work in the hearts of people to take away the desire to bet. I believe that we should individually make the commitment to never gamble even one penny. We should not risk becoming addicted to gambling nor should we support an industry that destroys so many people.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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Improve your Money and Marriage Communication

Successful marriages require good communication. The kind of communication you had when you were dating….close-up, honest, often, and generous. Remember, that’s when you realized how much you liked it when she wrinkled her nose as she laughed, and she was able to ignore your receding hairline ☺

When it comes to money and marriage God wants married couples to use money, even challenges with money – to come closer together – not have it damage the relationship. They should think of money as glue to their marriage and not as a wedge that separates. And that requires good communication. To improve your communication, answer these questions together.

How would you rate your communication skills and what can you do to improve? This is the reason we recommend that couples have a weekly money date to pray together and invite the Lord to be part of their financial life, review their income and spending for the week and celebrate when they make progress in their finances. If you establish a time to talk about money, you’ll improve communication.

Do you encourage your spouse and celebrate financial victories? This can change your marriage because when most couples talk about money – there’s a problem. Someone is spending too much or not earning enough. This is why you have to be intentional to celebrate progress. Become your spouse’s number one cheerleader, and it will have a massive impact on the health of your marriage.

What are the biggest differences between you and your spouse? It’s guaranteed that there are going to be differences. As the late Larry Burkett used to say, “If the two of you were the same, one of you would be unnecessary.  One is probably a spender and the other a saver. One is probably more gifted in keeping the budget.  We should celebrate the differences……and the strengths of your spouse can offset your weaknesses.

Have you agreed upon long-term goals? This is super important because when you both know your most important goals and dreams – you’ll spend money on those things that will help you achieve the goals instead of falling prey to impulse spending.

To learn more, participate in a Money and Marriage God’s Way small group study.

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What the Bible says about Handling Money

When I’m introduced to someone and am asked what I do for a living, I tell people that I teach what the Bible says about handling money. Often my new acquaintance looks at me in disbelief and says, “The Bible talks about money? How does that apply to us today?

The Bible is loaded with 2,350 verses dealing with how to handle money and possessions. Surprisingly, 15 percent of everything that Jesus said had to do with it. There are two major reasons the Lord said so much about it.

First, God loves us like crazy and He realized that from time to time money was going to be a challenge for us all – so He wanted to give us a road map to handle it the very best way possible. Second, He knew that money would be the primary competitor with Christ for the lordship of our lives. Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

The Bible reveals that God is the owner of all that we have. Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” On the other hand, our responsibilities are summed up in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “It is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” Our job is to faithfully handle money God’s way.

Fortunately, the Bible tells us why and how we are to work, give, save, spend, invest, get out of debt, and teach our kids how to handle money in the wisest way possible.

The Bible is God’s word and everything in it is true. It is practical and applies to every generation and every culture.

To learn more about what the Bible says about money, order the Financial Stewardship Bible at www.compass1.org. Compass partnered with American Bible Society in producing this Bible that has all 2,350 verses highlighted (in green, of course) and a 40-day financial devotional.

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How to Raise Money Wise Kids

After sharing the Gospel, one of the most important things you can pass on to your children is how to handle money God’s way. The trouble is, a shocking percentage of parents fail to pass along strong money management skills to their kids.

Here are some money lessons your kids should know, and fortunately, it’s never too late to start to teach them.

  • Kids need to know that credit cards aren’t free money! Yes, a bill comes every month and if you don’t pay it in full, interest piles up fast. Teach by example and pay off your credit cards every month.
  • The biggest “secret” to managing money is to live on less than you make. Otherwise, you can’t save for emergencies or invest for the future. Teach your kids to save every time they receive income.
  • Giving. Jesus was right when He said, “It is more blessed to give and to receive” (Acts 20:35).  Young children naturally think they’re the center of the universe. Teaching them to generously help those less fortunate is an important life lesson.
  • Teach them to manage a bank account. It’s not rocket science. Help them set up an account and teach them how to record transactions, keep the register balanced, and reconcile the account.
  • Finally, paying back student loans isn’t fun. In the past, students could borrow their way through school, get a good job and pay back loans quickly. No more! Today jobs are harder to come by and student debts are a lot higher. Teach them to borrow as little as possible. This will help them choose a major or a minor that gives them marketable skills so they can land a job after graduation.

Remember what Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Teaching your kids to manage money God’s way is a gift that will last their whole lives and impact their children as well.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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Spending: Ways You Can Save Your Energy Dollars

Because I live in Florida, I don’t have a lot of experience in saving energy dollars during the winter, but I know someone who does. My wife, Bev, is from Maine and most of her family still lives there, so we hear a lot about how to save money and stay warm even when the temperature gets way below zero.

  • Use door snakes and chimney balloons. The balloons do a better job of sealing than steel dampers that may become warped.
  • Caulk windows, doors, and around electrical outlets. Many power companies will do an energy audit for free.
  • Energy Film on some windows prevents heat loss in the winter, and don’t forget to close doors to unused rooms and close off vents.
  • Turn down heating when you’re not at home for days at a time. Be careful when setting the thermostat below 60 degrees to avoid pipes freezing on the colder outer walls of the house.
  • Try to live at 68 degrees in the winter and wear sweaters. It may take a few days to get used to the lower temperature, but you will adapt and may even feel less sleepy and more energetic.
  • Set your water heater to no more than 120 degrees and wrap it with a thermo-blanket.
  • This next suggestion works regardless of the season. Unplug chargers when you’re not using them, because plugged in chargers use power, even if they are not charging anything.

Well, there you have it . . . good suggestions on saving energy dollars during the winter. And come summer time, I’ll be able to give you some first-hand advice on how to save on air conditioning from hot and humid Florida

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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Faithful with Money

Friends,

I’ve been thinking about some of the basic truths of God’s word dealing with money. One of the most important is simply this: The Lord requires us to be faithful regardless of how much money He has entrusted to us.  The parable of the talents illustrates this. 

“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them.  And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability” (Matthew 25:14-15).

When the master returned, he held each slave accountable for faithfully managing his possessions.  Read the master’s commendation of the faithful slave who received the Continue reading Faithful with Money

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The Fiscal Cliff

Dear Friends,

After months of playing political chicken, Congress managed to avoid the “fiscal cliff” at the very last moment by passing what is inaccurately titled the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. How is this going to impact you and me over the short run?

First, all workers will pay higher taxes this year because the payroll tax is now increased by 2%. This means that a person or couple earning $50,000 will pay an additional $1,000 in payroll taxes. On the flip side, the Bush-era tax cuts have been made permanent. This means that tax rates, capital gains taxes, and tax on dividends in 2013 will be the same as last year for all but those individuals earning more than $400,000. The legislation also provides some economic certainty for small businesses and entrepreneurs to count on which, thankfully, should translate into more job creation.

What Congress failed to address was our out-of-control spending. Remember, Congress intentionally created the Continue reading The Fiscal Cliff