Sunday, August 30, 2009

Manage Money By Living From Heaven Backwards

This article is provided by Jason Price at One Money Design. Jason has a passion to see people prosper, become debt free, and experience financial freedom.

No matter the stage of life you’re in today, you’ve probably said to yourself,

“If only I would have known about (fill in the blank) 10 years ago my life would be different today.”

I think we’ve all said or thought that at one time or another. For many of us it’s about money and the decisions we’ve made managing it. In today’s economy we might often hear people say,

“if only I would have known to build emergency savings as a top priority when I finished school, I might not be accumulating so much debt today because of my job loss”.

Sure, sometimes it’s not about money. Sometimes, we talk about family and relationships and the lack of time spent with them, wishing things could be different today.

I heard a pastor once speak about his visits to a local hospital to encourage people with terminal illnesses. It’s interesting to know that no one he spoke or prayed with talked about their career accomplishments, cars, or other possessions in their final days. Instead, he said they always talk about their faith in God, family and relationships as the most important areas in their lives.

Most Christians would agree that faith in God and our relationship with Him is the top priority in life. Putting God first positions us to have a blessed marriage and other relationships because they are based on His solid foundation.

And so by putting God first, we can better understand the importance of living our lives from a Heaven backwards perspective (sometimes referred to as living with an eternal perspective). Of course it’s not easy to consistently live with this perspective on life, but it’s what we have to strive for as Christians to keep our priorities straight.
Living From A Heaven Backwards Perspective

Imagine if all of the sudden peoples’ decisions with money management were from a Heaven backwards perspective. People would certainly make different choices with how they make, spend, save and give it. They could begin to see money as a delicate blessing which we are all to manage wisely for prosperity as well as for the good of others.

Managing money from heaven backwards requires doing a few things that might cause some to raise a brow or advise against, but essential to live from this perspective.

Consider the below Manage Money from Heaven backwards Checklist to see what perspective you’re using to manage your money:

* Do you recognize God as the owner of all things and you are the manager of what has been entrusted to your care?
* Do you spend wisely by having a spending plan every month?
* Do you strive to live debt free? This includes spending money based on what one can afford (according to your plan) versus the amount of credit which may be available.
* Do you give of your first fruits by tithing? Ultimately, it’s God’s money and through this action, you are trusting in God with your financial prosperity, i.e., there is no more a reason to “get rich” because God is in control.
* Do you give back to others by sharing success stories and helping people know what it means to manage money from Heaven backwards?

If you can only say yes to 3 you may need to consider seeking counsel to identify specific action steps for your situation.

Many may define financial freedom as becoming debt free or getting into a position to where there is no more dependence on income from a job. However, the act of managing money from Heaven backwards is financial freedom.

Seeking help with a personal financial plan... talk with Pastor Steve at WestlockNaz at gmail dot com

Friday, August 21, 2009

What is the purpose of your money?

via Christian Personal Finance by bob

Define Your Financial Purpose

What are you on earth for? Millions have read Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life and found a sense of purpose. Have you found purpose in a certain career, position, or situation? What is the purpose of your money? Money can buy a lot of things, but there are also a few things it can never buy:

Money can buy:

* . . . a bed, but not sleep
* . . . books, but not knowledge
* . . . a clock, but not time
* . . . a position, but not respect
* . . . food, but not an appetite
* . . . a house, but not a home
* . . . medicine, but not health
* . . . sex, but not love
* . . . amusement, but not happiness
* . . . a crucifix, but not a savior

You should be able to answer the question “What is the purpose of my financial plan?” This includes reasons why you are saving, investing, or incurring debt. What is the “bigger picture”? More important, what does God want you to accomplish through your finances?
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help get you started:

* If money weren’t an issue, what would I be doing?
* My ideal job would be what?
* I would like to spend my days doing what?
* My life is not complete until this is done: ______________________________.
* If I died today, how would I want people to remember me?
* What are the community/social/religious issues I feel most passionate about?

Seeking help with a personal financial plan... talk with Pastor Steve at WestlockNaz at gmail dot com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Encouraging Story of Getting Out of Debt: Patrick Gessleman

Patrick has been only been on the journey to clean up his finances less than 2 years, but because of his tremendous progress he was recently interviewed by Chuck Bentley of Crown.Org.

Patrick's Story

Patrick did the hard and difficult things that he needed to do - it is easy to read all about how to manage money, but actually taking the steps to do it is another story.

He and his wife Heather were digging themselves into deep debt with credit cards and decided to roll all their debt into a home equity loan. Just like many others, after they consolidated their debt, things got worse. They had put a Band Aid on the symptom (the debt), but didn't properly address the root of the problem (their spending habits). As a result they just dug themselves into deeper debt by racking up another $25,000 in credit card debt.

* At this point they knew they needed help, but didn't know where to start.
* He started immersing himself in the subject he was trying to learn.
* He talked to his wife and they tackled the problem in unity.
* They locked up their credit cards and made it very difficult to use them. They stopped carrying them in their wallets.
* They used a virtual envelope budgeting system.
* They sold their house and began renting which allowed them to pay off their credit card debt a lot quicker.

They Fought For It!

Patrick and his wife didn't just want to get out of debt, they took action. Getting out of debt doesn't happen by accident. People who pay off $20,000 of debt do it because they want it SO bad and they make big sacrifices to get it.