Archive for February 2013


Two words: “OWE” and “OWN”

The words share the same first two letters, but the third letter makes all the difference!

When you purchase a car with cash, you owN it. If it is financed, you owE it.

Here’s the difference the third letter makes:

  1. A different future.  Owning equals no future payments. Owing means you’ve pledged away future income.
  2. Stress.  Owning equals reduced stress. Owing means HAVING to produce income just to hand it over to the bank.
  3. Relationship.  Owning equals positive relationship. Owing means there is a unique “borrower-lender” relationship where the lender has the right to bother and hassle you should you fail to meet every part of the lending agreement.

Do you OWE or OWN?

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My Favorite Sources for Financial Knowledge

I seek to learn something new about money every single day.

Every. Single. Day.

The sources are wide ranging. I learn from:

  1. Leaders
  2. Organizations
  3. Magazines
  4. Books
  5. Conferences
  6. Blogs
  7. Major websites
  8. Observation of people
  9. Personal experiences
  10. My family

But none of these are as good as the best source that I’ve used to gain proven financial wisdom and knowledge: The Bible.

There are stories of feast AND famine. Moments of wealth AND poverty. More than anything, I’ve discovered that if I would:

  1. Read the Bible, and
  2. Put the teaching and wisdom into practice

I would maximize every dollar I’ve been blessed to manage.

I’m convinced the same is true for every living being. This is why I’ve written many blog posts as part of the “Biblical Financial Lessons” series. They can help you get from where you currently to living the fully funded dream you have in your heart.

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Are You Able To Handle A Major Financial Disruption?

I was recently on a flight that had a connection in Charlotte, NC. Charlotte, however, experienced a little snowfall. I say “little” because I grew up in Indiana. But for Charlotte Douglas International Airport, it was a MAJOR deal! My 5:55 PM flight was missed. So was the 8:05 PM that I was reassigned to. After it was delayed to 8:30 PM, 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM, and 10:30 PM, it was canceled. Then my 10:20 PM reassignment was delayed to 10:25 PM, 10:50 PM, 11:05 PM, and 11:20 PM. Nearly all inbound flights had people stranded on planes for over two hours as they attempted to navigate the pile of planes on the ground and de-icing stations that had been established. It was awful, and it leads to the bottom line.

The Bottom line: Charlotte Douglas International Airport was not equipped to handle this disruption very well.

It made me think of my financial situation and ask this question: “Am I prepared to handle a MAJOR financial disruption?”

Most of us will face a MAJOR financial disruption at some point in our life, so we must be prepared for it.

So, let me ask you the question: “Are YOU prepared to handle a MAJOR financial disruption?

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MONEY LIE: I Can’t Give Money Away and Still Make It Financially

Welcome to the “Money Lies” series here on the wildly popular In this series, I will be sharing many common money lies that people believe.

MONEY LIE #6: I can’t give money away and still make it financially.

Yes. You. Can. I’m convinced that my giving keeps me from becoming greedy and a “Me. Me. Me!” person. When my bride and I prepare our monthly budget, we put giving in our budget first. We give far more than 10% of our gross income away. It is our passion to invest in our church and in others. We love helping fund the dreams of others and investing in life change. There was a time when we were broke that we didn’t give much away. Since we weren’t giving and we were broke, we decided to do something different: we began giving – even though we were broke.

It completely transformed our life.

Giving connected us to the fact that we could partner with others to accomplish great things and to fund causes we fiercely believed in. It allowed us to be part of something much greater than ourselves. It made us keenly aware of the need to manage the remainder of our money in a trustworthy manner – or else we couldn’t continue giving!

If you’ve never given, I urge you to begin right away (like NOW!). Here are some practical ways to GIVE and still prosper:

  1. Prepare a written monthly budget and put giving in FIRST (not last).  If you wait to see if something will be left, there never will be anything remaining. It must be a priority.
  2. Determine WHY you are giving.  If you are giving because someone made you feel guilty, your commitment to giving won’t last. You have to KNOW why you are giving – and BELIEVE in what you are giving toward.
  3. Put Giving FIRST and Saving/Investing SECOND.  This is how Jenn and I manage our budget. It ensures that our priorities are always funded before anything else. By the way, we view our saving/investing as a means to give BIG-TIME in the future.

Read the entire series (available after 2/20/2013)

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MONEY LIE: I Can’t Budget

Welcome to the “Money Lies” series here on the wildly popular In this series, I will be sharing many common money lies that people believe.

MONEY LIE #5: I can’t budget.

This is so common. People are busy. They hate math. Their spouse is impatient about money. They have “seasonal, cyclical, or irregular income” and that makes it more difficult to budget.

Here’s the deal. I KNOW it is difficult to prepare a budget. I’ve been told that by many people. They share that it is difficult expecting that to make it okay to not prepare a spending plan. My question is this: “Difficult compared to what? Not budgeting?”

I don’t know all of the reasons that people choose not to budget (and it is a choice), but here’s one thing I will fight about: A BUDGET SET ME FREE!!!!!

  • A budget allowed me to know exactly where every single dollar was going BEFORE I was ever paid.
  • A budget provided choices to me – because I was planning it before I received it.
  • A budget brought my bride and I together and put us on the same financial page.
  • A budget allowed me to pay off all of my non-house debt in 14 months.
  • A budget allowed me to pay off my house in 10 years and 1 month.
  • A budget has allowed me to launch two businesses and purchase another.

In case you can’t tell, I am more than a little passionate about this topic. To put it all into a simple sentence: “You need a budget!”

Here are some practical ways you can make a budget work well for you:

  1. Use a budget tool.  This allows the math to be done automatically for you, and that means you can focus on the financial decisions instead of a facing a terrible math quiz. Use our FREE BUDGET TOOLS – they do all of the math for you!
  2. Build an emergency fund equal to a full month of EXPENSES.  This is EXPENSES – not INCOME! Once you’ve saved enough for an entire month of expenses, you can ignore multiple paychecks each month, and use the Monthly Budgeting Tool instead. And you will rid yourself of a level of stress you didn’t even know you were dealing with!
  3. Be realistic.  If you are just beginning to prepare a monthly budget, it is important to be very realistic on your expenses. Do not tell yourself that you will spend $2.81 on groceries in the next month. That’s not possible, and it sets you up to fail. If you have a household of kids that are involved in 83 activities, don’t put $0 in your “dining out” part of the budget.
  4. Read the “How Do I Budget SERIES”. You can read that HERE. It will really help you as you launch into the wonderful world of budgeting!

Read the entire series (available after 2/20/2013)

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