Archive for July 2008

Is Your Pastor Managing Money Well?

As I travel and teach at a variety of churches, it is always important for me to understand if the pastor and the church staff are managing their money following biblical principles.  I mean, if the pastor is blowing all of their money without a plan, 100% financing everything, and unable to say "NO!" to a purchase, then it is impossible for them to stand up with any credibility and teach biblical principles such as:

Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children. (Long-term saving!)

Proverbs 13:11 … He who gathers money little by little makes it grow. (Invest!)

Proverbs 22:7  The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Avoid debt.)

Romans 13:8  Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another … (Always pay off debts that you owe!)

Not too mention the Parable of Talents (Matthew 25:14-30 – sound money management) and Giving (Malachi 3).

I have said it many times in the Financial Counseling Experience training that the number one reason NewSpring Church has a successful financial counseling ministry is the fact that Perry (senior pastor) lives this stuff!

So the question today is:  If you are a pastor or a church leader, are you managing money the way that God commands you to?

The question for everyone else (and today's poll question) is:


My pastor manages money (to the best of their ability) as the Bible directs
View Results

If you need help getting your finances in order, the financial counseling team at NewSpring Church is passionate about helping people.  You can request financial counseling HERE
I am also passionate about helping churches and businesses take their finances to the next level.  If your church or business is interested in having me come and teach, you can contact me HERE.

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Gift Cards – A good deal?

The Saving Freak wrote an excellent post about gift cards becoming a risky purchase.

Have you ever thought about what a gift card really is?  A gift card is where someone takes the national currency (US Dollar, British Pound, Euro, etc.) and converts it into a store currency.  This severely limits the use of the currency.

And if the company issuing the gift card declares bankruptcy and shuts its doors?  The currency becomes useless.

Read The Saving Freak's article HERE

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Air Conditioner

I have written before about the fact that I have a thirty-year-old house that has thirty-year-old house problems.  One of the problems is that the downstairs AC is the original AC for the house.

Problem 1 – January 2008

It was making a "banging" sound.

Diagnosis: Low on refrigerant – $75.

Problem 2 – May 2008

It was not cooling at all, and it was making a loud electrical "HUMMMMMMMM" sound.

Diagnosis: Condenser unit fan was not operating – $200+

Problem 3 – June 2008

It stopped cooling again.  It was a day before vacation so I decided to have it looked at when I got back home two weeks later.

Diagnosis:  Electrical wiring insulation had worn through and was shorting out the fan – $105

So we are back to enjoying the nice cool air conditioning in the dead-middle of a South Carolina summer.

I wonder when I will have to replace this unit?  Part of me wants to bury my head in the sand and hope that it runs another thirty years.  The realistic side of me says I should go ahead and start pricing out units.  Initial looks have shown a cost of $5K – $7K.  Just what I want to spend my money on …  an air conditioner.

Why do I bring all of this up?  Because it is so important to look ahead when preparing a financial plan.  Jenn and I could pretend that this issue does not exist and then have a financial "emergency" when this AC really does fail permanently.  In the past (when we were always broke), we would ignore this issue and then be surprised when it failed.  Now, we recognize it as a known, upcoming expense, and we plan for it.

I do hope that it lasts another thirty years, though. 

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Teaching Children About Money – Guest Post

Today's post is written by Katie.  Katie is a HUGE help to the crusade!  She coordinates all financial counseling appointments, manages my schedule, and helps ensure that the crusade to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances rolls along smoothly.

Anyway, she and her husband (Matt) are the proud parents of two beautiful children – Cameron (4) and Claire (<1).  Today, Katie shares how she and Matt are training Cameron about money.

Since our son is only four years old, we are teaching him that there is value to everything and that we use money to buy the things that we need. Because money is limited we teach him not to be wasteful. One of his favorite things to do is to pour milk down the sink (who knows why). I have started explaining to him that we paid money for that milk so we need to save what we do not drink because it is worth something. When we go shopping I am constantly talking to him about how we have to pay the store money before we leave because those items are worth something and we have to exchange our money for them. When he asks for a treat or something at the store I have to tell him that we only have x amount of money and that costs more than what we have to spend since we are buying other items to eat for meals.

Sangl says …  It is never too early to start teaching children about money.  Jenn and I started teaching our daughter about money when she was four years old too.

By the way, Matt and Katie's son is super-smart.  He has learned the books of the Bible and can say them without help – backwards.  Watch it HERE

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SERIES Teaching My Daughter About Money: Waiting

Ever since Jenn and I had our I Have Had Enough Moment with living paycheck-to-paycheck and B-R-O-K-E and living the three-time-loser-with-credit-cards life, we have made it a huge priority to teach our daughter about money management.  It became a HUGE priority when we realized that she has inherited my "spender" genes!

In this series, I will be sharing some practical ways that we are teaching her about sound money management.

Part Three – Waiting

To put it bluntly, waiting sucks.  I despise lines.  I detest waiting rooms.  I deplore delays.  Waiting is no fun.  I have routinely said, "If I had wanted patience (patients), I would have become a doctor."  

Yet, it is absolutely true that patience is a virtue.  If one spends money based on snap decisions without the beauty of time between the "I WANT THAT!" moment and the purchasing moment, there will be huge opportunities for regretful decisions.

There have been times that I have had our daughter leave her short-term savings at home when we go shopping.  Why?  Because I have observed the wishy-washy decision making that she is highly susceptible to (I've even written about it HERE).  First she wants a Webkinz, then a bunny rabbit (yes a live one), then it is bunny rabbitS (plural!), then an iPod, then …  Children are such a reflection of their parents.  I'm sorry you have got my "spender" genes, my beautiful daughter.

By leaving her money at home, it opens the door for me to have conversation about the important financial principle of "waiting".  Yes, honey, it is no fun, but just think about the fact that all of that money that you have saved for months is still safe and sound for that big purchase you are saving for.  No, honey, I have not always waited and here is how I paid dearly for it …

Great conversations can be had when you just say "wait", "not now", and "later". 

Here are the lessons I think are being learned or reinforced:

  • Waiting is essential to excellent decision-making.
  • Open lines of communication are critical.  Instead of just saying "No!", we provide the opportunity to talk about why the decision has been made to wait.
  • Her parents are practicing what they are preaching.  By showing our daughter that we are also "waiting" on some purchase decisions, we are demonstrating that we are living this out.  Now THAT will preach!

Read the entire series 

Part One – Twenty Dollars

Part Two – Give, Save, Spend

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